Business Events – why bother? Social junket or vital for career & business

As new business models supersede the old, and the fast pace of the entrepreneurial playground threatens to completely disrupt traditional modes of working, how then do we ensure that our competencies remain relevant?

The short answer – skills. No matter how ‘new’ the business model – all businesses need skilled practitioners – and as business processes change, so too does the diverse range of skills that we might require to ensure our ultimate ‘self-saleability’.

One of the interesting things about the ‘new business world’ is that skills go beyond what we might learn in an academic environment. Where once we were only required to bring knowledge into the room, we’re now expected to demonstrate emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and even business development skills at a level that few traditional learning institutions cover.

The new organisational order still needs people with a solid skill-base AND a rich and diverse toolkit to meet changing commercial demands and market influences, to remain relevant and provide increasing value in the development of your professional career.

But beyond that, it needs agile change-makers able to respond to changing business environments, to ensure that businesses themselves are keeping up with the trends, and not falling into a self-satisfied, non-competitive slump.

So how can a well-crafted business event help you to become more skilled, and more agile?

For most people, there are essentially two reasons to go to a business event;

1.       Professional development / social purpose / personal interest /

  • It’s good to be involved in a local community, to take ownership of, and feel pride in your industry and area in which you work.
  • It allows you to keep a pulse on local market trends, learn from peers and competitors
  • It benefits you to keep up-to-date on national and international future predictions and thinking and keep your ear to the ground for                   breaking news.
  • It keeps ongoing professional certifications and accreditations up to date
  • Find a job! It’s a great way to find those companies looking for your professional talent

2.       Business opportunities / research & development / recruitment / networking

  • It’s a source for prospective clients
  • It gets you ahead of the competition when you hear directly about leading research and future predictions to keep your R&D relevant
  • You will find a new pool of keen enthusiasts in your field of expertise, your next key employee might be sitting next to you
  • The biggest value your business has is your network, keeping it growing and keeping it relevant

So, in this issue of Partner & Prosper’s Business Events series, we’ll consider the first key stakeholder – the individual, number 1, you!

This one’s for those of you who are looking to find a job, looking to grow in their role, or looking for advancement opportunities.

At the end of the day, all humans ‘strive. To do more, earn more, be stronger, safer, healthier, happier, smarter than the average bear…

But on the road to career advancement are the obvious speedbumps – we don’t grow without learning, and we don’t learn without striving.

There will always be people who want to learn skills, people who want to improve skills and people who want to hire skills. BUT while not everyone necessarily wants to learn;  arguably everyone does want to achieve.

So, business events are evolving to capture the ‘striving’ learner. We’re broadening our offerings beyond basic networking opportunities, and into the areas of personal development and growth, covering areas which are less often learnt in the classroom, and more often learnt (and sometimes poorly) on the job. We’re bridging the gap between employer needs and employee skills – particularly in the socio-empathetic area.

Whether you are a business owner, freelancer or consultant, corporate professional, technical practitioner, recent graduate, tradie, foodie, or any other professional – your skills and your interpersonal abilities need constant evaluation and improvement to keep up with an ever evolving environment. What we learned yesterday may not be deployed in the same way tomorrow.

Equally, business events and conferences need to stay ahead of the pack to ensure you get what you need to adapt and achieve.

If its skills you’re after, seek out those events that will help you to achieve, whose speakers will make an actual impact, the ones that are there for your benefit, who will help you get to where you want to go.

Be brave, be bold and be open to new skills. It’s time to build new thinking into your toolkit to orchestrate teams with design thinking, collaboration, cross-silo cross-organisational coordination and innovation at their core – this is a brave new business world.

Hattip acknowledgements to Amy and Dave

So, why Project Management? Paris or Pisa?

It's not that important is it??

There are so many aspects to designing and delivering a conference or event, but project management is often confused with task management...... There are certainly plenty of tasks required to be delivered, and that’s no mean feat!

There are many skills and insights required to create and deliver an event, from theming to logistics, production to marketing, from contracts to registrations and much more.

But we believe there’s more required to run an event from concept to delivery. The PMI PMBOK® fifth edition refers to 10 knowledge areas, and we use all of them in our practice. Integration Management and Stakeholder Management are 2 of the business areas we believe are critical for successful delivery.

A conference or event, is not usually a single project, more often it is actually one project in a much bigger program of work. For example, an annual conference is not just a single event, it may be the major event in your calendar, but you will probably have many more events in that calendar, and each event regardless of size, is trying to achieve an organisations strategic initiative, or at least they should be….

Today I read the perfect article that articulates this common question waaaay better than I can, so I am going to quote word for word the article from one of my favourite blogs ‘Adventures in Project Management’, with minor tweaks for relevance only in our project world;

Having the right structure

My experience has shown that successful programs have a few critical things that need to be in place. These include the right people, well defined scope and having the right structure. For this posting I will focus on structure since I believe that it is foundational for success…

  • Structure defines roles, boundaries, expectations and accountabilities
  • Structure allows for work to be managed across teams and organizations
  • Structure sets the model for the way that work, teams, plans and reporting are organized
  • Structure allows the teams to scale and evolve as work changes

Without having a solid structure programs quickly fall apart, have quality issues, have increased cost and rework and have a very hard time meeting their goals. Think of this like a big game of Jenga in that without a strong foundation, all of the blocks will fall down…..and you will lose the game.

Yep, that pretty much says it all :)

How does your conference / event or program stack up on structure, are they sitting on a good strong foundation like the infamous tower or more of a leaning tower of Pisa....

If you’re interested in project management and the profession, subscribe to Kerrys blog one of the few I read because it’s relevant no matter the project you’re working on and it’s bite-sized and digestible :)

Image by Andrew Caffery


Your projects, your colleagues, your 'new family'

A few weeks ago, we lost a colleague, and April became a blur.

There were a lot of firsts and the shock and awe of the impacts felt was a massive surprise to everyone involved.

Were we besties or close mates?, no we weren’t, we ‘hung out’ once only, but in terms of the project we were working on, then yes we were pretty close colleagues on the journey of bringing our project to fruition.

This set us all back by quite a few weeks, the shock of it all, conversing with this incredibly strong family for the first time and sharing sad news, telling people involved in the project the same news, receiving many heartfelt wishes for our friend, the regard for the project and the incredible work of the team was acknowledged by many, we were rocked to the core.

Then there was the steady realisation of how such tragedies have affected so many people, in many different ways. The more you openly discuss these events, the more you realise how pervasive depression is at any age in our society.

So, are the anti-depressants doing the job? They’ve been around in our society for quite some time, have they made a difference? Is there such diversity in the illness that sometimes these pills cannot crack the problem? Are they too easy to prescribe? Who benefits in the long run?

I have no idea, I have so many questions, but this is a brilliant perspective discussing the most critical important public safety issue on the planet today. You decide

So, now we move into recovering as a project team, trying to identify the gaps we knew were previously all covered, picking up the pieces and taking care of each other, all stepping up a notch to make sure the project is intact. Yet on a daily basis we face many project artefacts with comments and photos as a constant reminder.

When we’re so deeply involved in a project, we become like family, we don’t realise it, but we’re often connected at a level that’s similar yet so different from family. We spend a lot of time with our teams, we share our frustrations and our achievements, we high-five virtually and physically, we bond, and often our families know nothing of us and who we are in this world.

In our respective worlds of work we have a responsibility to look out for each other, I believe. As a team of friendly, caring, professionals, in any project, why wouldn’t you? We can only do what we can do, but we do what we can and we know that we did.

At Partner&Prosper, we have the immense pleasure of working with many people we respect and care about, and I use my intuition to guide me, we eventually learn to trust this sense. My screaming intuition has been my lesson. When you have a sense of knowing, when you hear those words and feel that feeling, then pay close attention, because it’s important.

So beware, we might just ask a question of you to see how you are, or to double check your answer, if we do, you know that we care.

So, next month, we'll be back on point, and on time. For now, take good care.


And finally!!!! Our new website has arrived :)

Photo by Maksim Shebeko/Hemera / Getty Images

Photo by Maksim Shebeko/Hemera / Getty Images

God bless our Nadine, she did the work on this site, a brilliant job, I was just on the side really!

So, this site is not your typical website, there’s not really much about the long list of stuff we can do, capability is not the issue, there’s lots we do. But insight, opportunity and adaptability are a few of our key strengths and we want our project work to really stand out and speak for itself. We’ll explain what we did in each case, click on any of those projects to find out more.

We’re a portfolio company, which means we get to showcase the capabilities and strengths of our business as a collection of products, services and achievements.

We’ve been around for a while, and we’ve delivered all sorts of amazing projects and events. We’ll keep growing the site, there’s no point waiting till everything is perfectly published!

Project Management is our foundation, we’re proud of that, we’re qualified and we’re agile.

We’re based in Perth, but we work nationally, so don’t knock us out of the park if we’re not local to you, it’s a virtual world and we use many tools, techniques and technology to achieve your goals.

We’re not going to bombard you with lots of stuff, but we want to connect you with insights and resources that we think are critical in running businesses, projects and events.

So, grab a cuppa, sit back, and let us entertain and enlighten you……..

#Businessbiz – Are you a trader of human potential, or a creator of human potential, check out Umair Haque’s brilliant article here

#Projectperfection – We use lots of tools to manage our projects, from Basecamp, Accelo, Asana, Trello and Dropbox to Excel! We’ll talk lots more about these in the future, which ones do you use? Maybe some of these are new to you?

#Eventx – I’m interested in the origin of words, let’s start with the very word ‘event’;

“1570s, from Latin eventus "occurrence, accident,event, fortune, fate, lot,  issue," from past participle stem of evenire "to come out, happen, result," from ex- "out" + venire "to come". Event horizon in astrophysics is from 1969.”