ISM2015 and Spend Matters – A View From Outside Phoenix

Due to a last-minute change in some exciting new activities you’ll be hearing about this week on Spend Matters, I am not at ISM2015 in Phoenix, but in another city. It’s a shame, too, because I truly love going to the organization’s annual conference.

This will be the first year I’ve not spoken at or attended the event in at least 5 years. But at least I have 4 great colleagues from Spend Matters who are going: Pierre Mitchell, Thomas Kase, Eric Lynch and John Conolly. If you are in Phoenix, please say hello to them, and if you need their details, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

There are a number of things I’ll miss about ISM this year. In no particular order, they are:

  • Watching the success that ISM CEO Tom Derry is having at bringing ISM into the spotlight and changing how the industry looks at procurement overall
  • Being selective about the various conference track options. There are so many, and once you’ve been for a couple of years and get a sense of the speakers, you can almost always find a great break-out session to attend if you do your homework
  • Learning about peripheral things to procurement that would not show up in smaller events (with the same depth of sessions) – including seeing greater track sessions in such topics as corporate social responsibility/ethics, risk management, change management, etc.
  • Walking the floor – one great thing about ISM is simply how many solution providers are in attendance. I never fail to discover at least half a dozen providers I knew nothing about before. It’s always accelerated learning for me, and the relative low cost of attending ISM for smaller or niche procurement vendors makes it a great place to learn about providers that do not typically go to conferences

Stay tuned for live coverage from my colleagues throughout the week – and more from me (from afar) as well.

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