Greetings from bonnie Scotland. This week finds me hard at work at the PCMA Global Corporate Summit, which is being hosted by Visit Scotland. As you can imagine their generous hospitality means that I’ve already put on several pounds in weight and it’s only the start of the week! But I am looking forward to some stimulating debates and discussions over the next few days, which I hope will inform our thinking about key issues facing the industry.
Talking of which, did you make it to the ‘How to do business with the BRIC economies’ session last Monday? Sadly the day job got in the way of me attending, but I’ve heard enthusiastic feedback from those that went. Many thanks to John Hooker for sharing his experience and expertise. If you’re wondering why we’re throwing out so many opportunities to learn and extend your knowledge recently, please remember that funny Olympics thing which is rolling into London town. The rather busy schedule of late will ease up as we pause during the Games, but normal service will be resumed later in the summer (what summer? Ed.).
The Olympic effect hit me rather forcibly last Tuesday when the Bakerloo line failed and I resorted to a cab from Waterloo to get up to an event in Mayfair. Time passed. The meter kept ticking. I’d swear that the traffic lights in Trafalgar Square are now phased for 5 seconds, except that the swearing by my cab driver was making me blush. The words happy and bunny did not appear to be in his mind on that journey. Ho bloody hum.
Tracy and the team were also enduring the vagaries of London travel last week as they rushed around attending a number of meetings – the awards, the event task force and the tech event all getting their attention. I landed in a meeting with Rob Allen and Brian Kirsch on Thursday to review progress with our IVCA proposal. Hosted by DRP we had the odd experience of Dale joining us by Skype from his office in the Midlands. Just when we were pondering whether in fact we were watching a pre-recorded tape of him sitting nodding, he snatched up his laptop and showed us the sandwich van arriving in the car park. It really was live – marvellous. Sadly I then got carried away and ordered a cheese and pickle sandwich, a can of Coke and an apple. What an idiot.
We’ve had quite a few useful comments from members on the feedback email set up for the merger proposal and I would again ask you to let us know what you think of the plan in principle if you’ve not done so yet. Your views are absolutely essential as there is a good deal of hard work yet to be done and getting a feel for your appetite to help create a new organisation for the industry is critical.
You may also have noticed a bit of flick flack in the trade press (if you actually have time to get to that!) about Eventia offering to assist the Government Procurement Service as they try and unmuddle the muddle they have created. I want to be very clear about this – personally this feels a bit like a cat eating its own fur ball. But several of our members have quite legitimately pointed out that having been told there would be an opportunity to tender for future work in the public sector, only to then find that this has changed but not been communicated to them is frankly very annoying.
In fact the press release we issued – sticking to our mantra of being the voice for the industry – was partly inspired by an ex member – who had taken such a hit when public sector work dried up that they’d cancelled all their professional association memberships to cut costs. To suddenly find that a potential route to get back some business opportunities was being curtailed without any warning left them and I’m sure many others fuming. So we have offered to help – but let’s see if they really embrace that offer.
Now it’s time for a little Alanis Morissette*moment (as in ironic). One of the big topics that the corporate global summit is going to be tackling this week is outsourcing, a major issue that the PCMA task force designing the event identified as being a key challenge facing the global heads of events attending the summit. Outsourcing I thought – now what recent example could I use of a major organisation outsourcing a mission critical key function to a third party supplier? And oddly enough a three item acronym crept into my head. Any ideas? Be safe.
(*nice way of working Canada into the blog – good job! Ed.)