eWorld Purchasing and Supply – a good day except for the catering!

I checked out e-World at the QEII Conference Centre on Tuesday this week. It got around 150-200 (the organisers tell me over 300) delegates I would estimate actually attending, although as always it is difficult to know how many of those were “real” procurement practitioners and how many from consulting firms, other solution providers and so on.  But it felt comfortably busy, which was a good sign.

Here are a few random observations:

- In terms of sponsors / exhibitors, there was a good mixture of the big boys (SAP, Basware, Ariba) and the up and coming – (Coupa, Market Dojo, Onventis). We’ll have more of what we picked up from our chats in a subsequent post.

- Most of the sponsors I spoke to were pretty satisfied with the event. The delegates were in general mid-level folk I would say (category management, senior procurement managers were the sort of titles I observed a lot on name badges)  - not many CPOs, but a lot of people who probably have some influence over the technology or other solutions that their organisation might use.

- I attended 4 of the sessions (speeches) and they all fell into the pretty good  – very good range. And none of the vendor presenters did too much “selling” – there was a genuine desire to educate and inform which was good to see.

- But having 5 parallel streams on occasion seemed a little OTT – almost too much choice for the delegates, too much dilution for sponsors?

- And one of the presentation “rooms” was just a partitioned off  area in the main exhibition space – even with the microphone, it was hard to hear the speaker over the general hubbub – very distracting. If you’re looking to speak next year, insist you’re not allocated that option!

- The exhibition room is a little cramped though actually that does force the delegates to talk to sponsors! The building itself is the most confusing place imaginable, but most people seemed to find their way around ... except me....

- I would suggest that the organisers should provide lunch free of charge. It seems to be a well-supported event in terms of sponsors so I find it hard to believe they can’t find a couple of grand to provide a few free sandwiches. £7.50 for Shepherd’s Pie, and £2 for really poor cup of tea....  It drives delegates outside to get lunch which isn’t good for sponsors.

But all in all, a good event - and more to follow.

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