eWorld – first thoughts on yesterday’s event

eWorld Purchasing and Supply yesterday at the QE2 Centre in Westminster was successful certainly in terms of numbers – around 30 exhibitors and sponsoring firms, and over 300 delegates through the doors, according to the organisers (and I believe them based on the attendance at the sessions I saw). Even when there were four sessions running in parallel, each was getting 30-40 delegates at least.

It is an odd event in some ways – the exhibition area is so crowded, suppliers find themselves literally treading on the toes of their competitors at times! Yet that proximity seems to encourage contact, and generally those firms seemed happy with the conversations they were having with procurement visitors.

I ran a couple of ‘roundtables’, which I think are a good addition to the agenda but I wouldn’t have them again in the location we did yesterday – too much noise from the exhibition area which made real discussion a bit hard on the hearing. Thanks to those who attended and participated despite the distractions.

In terms of the various presentations my informants (I need them because you can’t get round everything yourself) and I saw, we again had a variation from the very good, to the frankly shouldn’t have bothered.  One session that some of my friends were at “treated us as if we knew nothing about procurement”.  All sponsors need to understand that whilst this isn’t an audience full of the very top CPO types, it tends to be people who are deeply into procurement technology, strategy, process... so a knowledgeable audience, bordering on the geeky at times, but not one you should or need to talk down to.

Another session left us wondering “what was that all about” without a clear sense of what the speaker was trying to communicate.  It continues to amaze me that firms pay good money for sponsorship then put presenters who just aren’t very good in front of 40 potential prospects!  Perhaps I will offer a ‘mystery shopper’ service to CEOs – I’ll report back on whether their sales director (or whoever it is) knows how to deliver a presentation.

Anyway, ranting on that topic aside, highlights included Declan Kearney who tried to cover the entire world of Supplier Management in 30 minutes, which exhausted me and probably him. But my goodness, he knows his subject and there was some very good material there.

Andrew Bartolini as the keynote speaker gave a sneak preview of the latest CPO Rising survey. I’m not sure there was anything unexpected in there, often the problem with surveys, and I never really got to grips with the whole concept of ‘Convergence’ which was the title of the session – convergence of what or to what?  And my Real World Sourcing colleague Guy Allen worked out that the survey results proved that procurement delivers virtually no benefit!  We’ll explain why in another post shortly.

And as usual, there were both old friends there – BravoSolution, Iasta, Wax Digital, Science Warehouse, Qinetiq Commerce Decisions, State of Flux,  Proactis all prominent – and some new firms I hadn’t come across before.

I had brief discussions with Keelvar, a young Irish optimisation / market informed sourcing business; with neuro red, (crazy name, interesting firm of Spanish origin) who provide procurement and supply chain software on the Salesforce.con platform – my technologically savvy US colleagues will I think be interested in that one. And finally, ABBYY / Invu.  ABBYY are a well established international player in OCR, ICR, OMR solutions, linguistic software and translation services, but Invu are a smaller UK firm who have an interesting approach to P2P solutions aimed specifically at mid sized firms.

We’ll have a feature with more detail on those firms shortly, and we’ll pick up on some of the other sessions I’ve mentioned as well.

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First Voice

  1. Nick @ Market Dojo:

    Another great eWorld event. This was the first that we’ve ever held a seminar at, so thank you to all the 80 or so attendees that came to it – apologies to those who had to stand at the back. Great to see so many friendly faces as well (especially as a speaker!).

    Shame we didn’t have a chance to catch up Peter, but as you say, there’s a lot to see in a short space of time. And free tea and coffee this time, possibly the most popular event of the day!

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