eWorld Procurement and Supply – Seven Observations from Yesterday’s Event

Yesterday’s eWorld conference and exhibition demonstrated both the strengths and weaknesses of its format. Here are our immediate observations following a busy day getting lifts up and down the QEII centre, Westminster.

1.  As a free-to-practitioners event, eWorld continues to get strong registration numbers – over 300 according to the organisers (and I have no reason to doubt them). And more importantly for the sponsoring firms, there seems to be a good willingness from delegates to engage. Indeed, from the level of the questions I heard in some of the sessions, it is clear that there are some well-informed procurement technology people there these days, asking insightful questions and genuinely looking to learn or even buy.

2.  There was also a good number of suppliers, although there seemed to be quite a few of the bigger software firms missing this time – some don’t tend to do this event (BravoSolution notably), but there was no Iasta, SAP / Ariba, Curtis Fitch, Coupa, iValua, IBM ...

3.  The standard of the presentations is still highly variable. And having a choice of 4 or 5 alternatives at any given time is frustrating – I didn’t get all my choices right this time, that’s for sure. Here’s a thought for the organisers. Insist that every speaker records a one minute video in advance and put them up on the website so we can see and hear a bit more about both the content, and whether the speaker is going to bring some energy to the gig. Or not. That would really help decide where to go and increase delegate satisfaction I think.

4.  The other thing that might help on that would be a little more detail on the content in the programme. That starts with the Keynote – “Purchasing Visibility and Risk Management” from Vivien Ryan of PWC would have been more accurately titled “Managing Multi-Tiered Services Outsourcing Contracts”. As such, it was a decent enough fairly technical session – but not the uplifting, inspiring keynote that ideally sets the day off on the right track.

5.  Other sessions had such generic titles you really couldn’t get any sense of what they were about. and please, if you are going to use the word “innovation” or “innovative” in your title, it better be at least a little bit ... well, innovative! I won’t name names this time (but this is a final warning ...)

6.  Well done to Tania Seary, founder of Procurious, who had to cope with this first question to her, from a very articulate and well-informed chap. “I just don’t get what Procurious is all about”!   She handled it very well and it actually led into a good discussion about what the procurement profession wants from social media, networking and collaboration platforms (like Procurious).

7.  Ultimately, there is considerable value to delegates in eWorld, particularly if you are smart / lucky enough to choose the right sessions, and you make the effort to talk to vendors. Based on my sample of Market Dojo, Statess, b-pack and a couple of other exhibitors, they seemed happy with the level and quantity of interest they had through the day. And the free breakfast bacon sandwich – gammon, to be precise - is “historic” as the late lamented Michael Winner would have said!

As a bi-annual event, eWorld will be back again before you know it – September 22nd to be precise.

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Voices (3)

  1. Anya@MarketDojo:

    Hi Lydia.

    As it is eWorld’s 30th birthday, does that mean there will be cake as well as breakfast rolls?

    The Market Dojo team will be very excited indeed!


  2. Lydia Ginsbury:

    Thank you for your blog and for sharing your experience of the day Peter, it was indeed a very busy day with 330 delegates attending, 39 sponsors and over 30 seminar sessions.

    64% of our delegates intend to source procurement solutions or services within the next 12 months so they definitely mean business.

    It is a shame some of the key vendors were not present at this event we hope your feedback and by highlighting these comments from our delegates too that they will look to return to the UK’s leading procurement event.

    We like your idea of asking our speakers to provide a short video of what their session is about and the key benefits of attending for delegates, we plan to implement this for the September event. Unfortunately some sponsors still get in front of the audience and present a sales pitch which is frustrating as it’s not what delegates expect, the best and most memorable presentations are the ones that are thought provoking and educational.

    We have some great ideas up our sleeve for the opening keynote for our next event (did we mention it will be eWorld’s 30th Birthday)!

    In order for delegates to have the most productive day at eWorld we always recommend that they view the full programme in advance, they then have the opportunity to read the full session description, look at the speaker credentials and then book into the sessions of their choice.

    We hope to see you again on 22nd September!

  3. Anya@MarketDojo:

    Fantastic points here, Peter. Thanks for the read (and for providing me with an opportunity to leave my first comment as a new employee of Market Dojo)!

    It was a shame that a lot of the other software firms (especially e-sourcing) weren’t there. Market Dojo definitely had a great day and met a lot of fantastic people!

    Having only attended the session with Tania Seary from Procurious, I was fortunate enough not to experience any lethargy. And she certainly did handle the borderline interrogation in an excellent manner!

    Personally, as a newbie to Market Dojo and the world of Procurement, I found the whole experience very exciting and it was a great opportunity to to be introduced to some of the key people in the industry.

    Looking forward to eWorld in September! Hopefully see you there.

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