The procurement conference season approaches – please entertain me!

As you may have noticed, we’re getting into the first of the two conference seasons of the year; there's March–June and September–November.  I'm involved with both the BravoSolution Real World Sourcing briefing events and the SIG London Roundtable - both will of course be excellent!

But on what would seem to be a totally different note, I went to an excellent gig on Monday, with an eminent procurement colleague. We’ll tell you more about it tomorrow, but one support band were just brilliant live. The headliners, on the other hand, probably had stronger songs, but just weren’t performers.  I may buy the album from the support act, but would travel some distance to see them live again; I’ll definitely buy the new CD from the headliners. Two different sets of criteria - performance versus content.

You can have a great album (the fundamental content), but if you don’t engage, if you spend two minutes between songs tuning up, and just look uncomfortable on stage, then you will lose the audience.  And event speakers who exhibit the business equivalent of those flaws lose their audience, no matter how brilliant the material might be. Speaking at conferences, running workshops or even training sessions has a large performance element.

I sat through a panel discussion last year with three top CPOs, who I’m sure had lots of interesting knowledge to impart, but it was one of the dullest 45 minutes of my life. I’ve sat through provider presentations where I came out with no idea whether they were selling software, services or bananas. They just didn’t engage me.

So, a message to anyone involved in organising events, choosing speakers, or actually being in front of people – remember, you need decent content, but it’s also a performance.

Anyway, we’ll have the gig review tomorrow, but here a clue...

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