Coronavirus disrupts spring procurement events: My View, by Jason Busch

Updated March 30 with Coupa moving its North American event, Inspire, to the fall from the spring.

Updated March 19 with Ivalua canceling its May event in Washington, D.C., and Jaggaer announces a virtual summit for April.

Updated March 18 with SIG canceling its April conference and Basware canceling its Las Vegas event in May.

Updated March 17 with ISM canceling its April event in Boston.

Coronavirus concerns have led many procurement and finance solution providers to cancel components of their spring events:

  • EcoVadis Sustain (March, now a virtual event)
  • Oracle Modern Business Experience (including Modern Supply Chain World) (March, no event, but speeches to be broadcast)
  • SAP Ariba Live (March, Las Vegas event rescheduled as a virtual event)
  • Ivalua Now (March, Paris event called off, but webcasts and online updates planned)
  • Basware Push.Play.Connect (April, Berlin event canceled and virtual one planned)
  • Procurement Leaders (March 16-19 event in Miami is moved to September)
  • ISM (canceled national conference in Boston for April 26-29. Click link for full message from ISM.)
  • Basware Connect (Las Vegas, May 6-8 canceled.)
  • Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) — April summit in Florida is canceled, and an all-digital event is being planned.
  • Ivalua Now (US event in Washington, D.C., is canceled, but a virtual event will be held on the same days, May 4-6)
  • Jaggaer (announces a virtual summit for April 16)
  • Coupa (Inspire in Las Vegas will now be held in the fall, and online options are being considered.)

The outbreak of COVID-19, specifically, is the culprit.

Many other spring events have not been canceled yet. At the time of this writing, these include:

  • ProcureCon
  • Procurement Leaders (Europe)
  • SAP Sapphire

Spend Matters partners with a number of conference providers in this market (and we attend many of the vendor events).

One of our most important relationships in the sector is with SIG. On a personal level, our SIG partnership means a tremendous amount to me. There is no one in the procurement industry like SIG CEO Dawn Tiura — who works harder and cares more about her members, delegates and sponsors. I aspire to her level of dedication, enthusiasm and love for this market.

SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit in April was canceled March 17. I was set to attend and was looking forward to seeing many faces, both old and new, at the event.

In the meantime, please join me in supporting all the technology firms and conference providers in this time of uncertainty. It is important to stand by the providers and independent membership and events businesses in this market that give so much to the industry.

And it is during black swan events like this that, hopefully, the good can come out in people who take so much from the relationships they develop at these events. Not a single relationship should be seen as transactional by procurement/finance organizations or sponsors alike. These are our partners in networking, learning, thought leadership, training/education and much more in serving the industry.

Stand by them and take the long view. Things may go digital for the next couple of months by necessity (in part or in whole), but relationships are never forged or maintained in a virtual world alone.

The Spend Matters team is committed to attending events that are not canceled (but our individual team members will always have the final say on their comfort levels with traveling).

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Voices (9)

  1. Pierre Mitchell:

    Don’t worry everyone. Larry Kudlow just made these statements on CNBC earlier:
    “We don’t actually know what the magnitude of the virus is going to be, although frankly, so far, it looks relatively contained”
    “America should stay at work”
    “I will still argue to you that this is contained. It can’t be airtight, but … in a relative sense, relative to our population, relative to ordinary flus … I think it is relatively contained.”
    And if this doesn’t soothe, we have POTUS saying “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work, some of them go to work, but they get better”
    Oy vey, I can’t imagine why markets are feeling uncertain! 🙂

  2. Tim Wainwright:

    Well said Jason. It is so important for everyone to remain safe – and hopefully we’ll see innovation come out of this in the “virtual event” space in our industry!

  3. Bernadette Fitton:

    Jason, well said and thanks for the support. A huge amount of effort goes into these events and so many of our colleagues are so disappointed to have to cancel these events…but health and safety comes first. Please do support our events as they go online as many Procurement professionals are taking time out to be involved as speakers and it would be good to make something good from this…

  4. Lurker:

    Some good news from eWorld …

  5. Emily Rakowski:

    Thanks for your understanding and support during this strange time for our industry Jason! We are lucky to have pivoted quickly and are still delivering ALL the originally scheduled content in our virtual Sustain event. And the good news is that everyone can now join from anywhere in the world! See you there! And hopefully at SIG as well!

  6. Jason Busch:

    Thanks, Brian. Hope you are well!

  7. Geoff Talbot:

    Thank you Jason!

  8. Brian Hoffmeyer:

    Well said Jason!

    1. Javier Palacio carpio:

      Muchas gracias compañeros la verdad por apoyarme en esto

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