Which Procurement Conferences Should You Attend? Start With Procurement Leaders

It’s almost that time of the year again (at least we hope), when the freezing winter thaws into spring and the many feet of accumulated ice and snow in Chicago and the East Coast is replaced by, well, mud. Once this transformation starts, you know procurement conference season is right around the corner. That and the Chicago Cubs starting to once again migrate their way into last place (which usually happens around the end of April).

Indeed, spring is nearly here, along with the dozens of procurement shows that kick off the warmer months.

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I am often asked by just about everyone in the market: Which procurement events should I attend? The answer will vary by individual and their goals. Much as a 2/2 chart alone is not a replacement for doing your homework on selecting the right technology for your needs, no one conference (if you can’t go to a bunch) is the right one for everyone.

Next week I’m stopping by one of my favorites: Procurement Leaders. PL is holding its annual Americas Congress in Miami. Procurement Leaders has done a remarkable job on the global conference front by holding classy – classy with a “C” and not a “K” as some of their lower brow event competitors are prone to – events with a great list of speakers and attendees. I don't go to enough of PL conferences anymore, but knowing what it takes to orchestrate such an event, I have tremendous respect for the people who put it together as a team.

I’ll report back from the event and look forward to seeing many faces, old and new, at the show. If PL is not on your event list, it should be.

Later this spring, I’ll share thoughts on other non-vendor event providers that should be on everyone’s list including Sourcing Interests Group (SIG) and ISM, but for different reasons than Procurement Leaders, which from a conference growth standpoint is pulling away from its peers by adding events in the US, Europe and Asia, while managing to set a consistent standard without sacrificing quality for scale.

Putting on events is a nightmare. It’s like getting married 10 times at once. Trust me. We’ve done the occasional one ourselves. And doing it without a single cult of personality on top (e.g., Dawn Evans, Susie West, Lisa Reisman (my better half), etc.) is even harder.

Put Procurement Leaders on your agenda this year if you haven’t already. I promise you’ll meet a set of top caliber people and learn something new in the process without even recognizing all the mechanics that go on behind the scenes to make things run smoothly without any used-car-salesman-like pitches on stage at lunch from a sponsor that truly paid to deliver an infomercial (attention conference organizers: please stop this poor sketch comedy on stage!).

And most important, check back later next week for what I learn from a day at the PL show!

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