I've been talking to some colleagues recently about what makes a conference valuable and the overwhelming reaction has been: The audience and their participation. I've also spoken at several conferences (most recently at a national conference in the Netherlands) and the one thing that really made the event stand out to me was the quality of the questions and the feedback from the audience.
Whether you think that it's valuable or not, sometimes the 'easiest' questions are the ones that make us think the most. The definition of "why", "how" can really help others understand a unique viewpoint or difference of opinion.
As we start the ramp up to #PMICON18; there is one thing that I'd like to ask of you. Whether you are attending in person or following virtually; i'd encourage you to participate in the discussions and threads that are created. Actively discuss and question the presenters and keynote speakers with the information that you want to know and really try to share the knowledge that you have gained over the conference.
Throughout the conference, my fellow 'Ask the Experts' and I will be posting here as well as on social media (@Em_The_PM) on our experiences, how the conference is going and perhaps some insights/videos from the breakout sessions.
Is there anything that you'd like to see at the conference? Are you burning to know how the networking sessions look like? Do you want to see who the 'Ask the Experts' are? Let me know below and we can make sure that we try to cover it.
What a great few days it's been! I've been helping PMI with their social media for the EMEA conference alongside Karthik Ramamurthy and Priya Patra (both very well known individuals in their own right!). We were tasked with the aim of bringing the conference to those who couldn't attend in person so I made sure that I was tweeting (@Em_The_PM) as much as I could to bring you the different sessions that I attended and what a day at the conference looks like.
It's important to know that the PMI conferences are not just about the sessions that you attend or the PDUs that you can earn by attending. It's got so much more value! The opportunities to be able to speak to your peers and Subject Matter Professionals really gives you live advice and coaching (and all included in the conference price!). This is my first time at the EMEA conference and I've really learnt so much about how projects run (and also how they fail) in the EMEA conference area.
I decided to arrive a day early for the conference and took the time to spend the afternoon picking up my badge (a.k.a finding where the conference centre is and how long it'll take to walk in the morning) and then also enjoying the beautiful weather that we had in Berlin. We were really spoilt with high temperatures, beautiful sunshine and a relaxed environment.
The first day of the conference is ALWAYS jam-packed so I took the time to make sure I knew where everything was (including the lunch location!) and then making my way to the keynote session. The great thing about PMI conferences is that they tend to bring in some awesome keynote speakers and they didn't disappoint with Rowan Gibson (@RowanGibson)
He delivered a really motivating talk about his work with Caterpillar, Boeing, Airbus and so many other companies to help focus our mind through the upcoming days about what we need to be looking at.
You can read more about my Day 1 here but suffice to say that it was really enjoyable and they did have to kick us out at the end of the day because we couldn't stop talking to each other!
Day 2 (Tuesday) was another really great day. A full breakdown of my day is here but whilst others chose to go offsite to visit the central station or the airport, I decided to stay and attend the workshop: Winning Well. Becoming a more strategic Project Manager with the great Karin Hart (@letsgrowleaders) .
It was the first time that I've blown bubbles at the start of a session! This has to be one of my favourite sessions because not only was it very interactive and made you really think about how YOU can become more strategic but it was also about how we can constantly improve ourselves and always look for improvements.
In the afternoon, I presented my own topic "Dude, where's my control. Transitioning from Project Manager to Scrum Master" to a packed room of attendees. It was fantastic to see so many engaged people and be able to spend time afterwards to answer questions and help others with their issues. It was a really great day for me and I really enjoyed being able to present my thoughts to others.
My second day concluded by talking to others during Happy Hour. I managed to make a lot of great connections and really connect with them about what they were doing and where I could help.
Happy Hours are one of the best events for me because I'm able to really talk to other people in a more relaxed setting (as opposed to the formal session structure). It's great being able to talk to others over a drink and a few snacks to really get to know each other.
Day 3 was the final day of the main conference and I did a short summary here. Being able to connect with others on the PMI Events app was a great way to round off the entire conference because we ended up sharing a lot of contact details and information with each other that wouldn't have been possible with just exchanging business cards. By being able to message other attendees we could arrange to meet up for a coffee during the break or alternatively message about which session we were thinking of attending next.
What did I get out of the conference?
Is a PMI Conference for me?
I'd say yes ;-) But in all honesty, the PMI conferences are great for being able to get A LOT of information and knowledge in a very short period of time and to make new connections along the way. The conferences are 3 days in total and they're very intense days, but you're well taken of with food, drink and a great atmosphere.
Guten Tag, PMI world!
Thirty-one days ago…
A totally unexpected email popped into my Inbox. An email that really made my day!
As a long-time PMI volunteer, leader and speaker, I attended several PMI events in many countries. Every one of them gave me valuable opportunities to learn, share, network, and indeed grow in the profession.
Allow me to rewind another 30 days…
Online information on the PMI EMEA Congress was very inviting and exciting. Historic Berlin, the venue, was even more enticing. However, with no direct volunteer role to play here, I was resigned to follow the event over social media.
The surprise email changed all that. PMI was inviting me to cover the EMEA Congress onon Soci Media, to interact with peers and provide live social media updates. Here was a chance to let the entire PMI community get a taste of the conference virtually!
Tamil, my mother tongue and the oldest living language, has a famous phrase that roughly translates to “Will you refuse a reward to eat sweet, delicious sugarcane?”
Of course, you wouldn’t. Neither would I!
A hectic few weeks required collating documentation and applying for my Schengen visa, buying flight tickets, and booking a hotel room.
Landing at the Tegel airport, I was impressed with three well-known German traits put into practice: Speed, efficiency, and thoroughness. Immigration processing, baggage collection, and the taxi lines were a breeze. Traveling to the hotel, I couldn’t help notice the clean roads, plus the quaint mixture of modern skyscrapers and historic buildings.
Let me fast forward back to the present.
Here it is. Day One of the big event! I’m really excited!
I really look forward to joining my able team members, Priya Patra and Emily Luijbregts in taking you, our valued PMI community member in front of, and behind the scenes of PMI EMEA Congress 2018.
We will cover the key points made by speakers in all key sessions, interview speakers, chat with your peers, and maybe even post a quiz/trivia question or two.
We will do this over Social Media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, as well as through this blog.
Stay tuned to get continuous updates all through the day!
Meanwhile, have a great day, or as they say in German, “Ich wünsche ihnen einen wunderbaren Tag!”
Today, I plan to attend and cover these great sessions:
Preparing for PMIEMEA18
Human Aspects of PM,
New to Project Management,
PM & the Economy,
PM Think About It,
Reflections on the PM Life,
Categories: Communication, Communication, Generational PM, Human Aspects of PM, Leadership, Leadership, Mentoring, New to Project Management, PM & the Economy, PM Think About It, PMI, Project Delivery, Project Planning, Project Requirements, Reflections on the PM Life, Stakeholder, Strategy, Talent Management, Teams, Tools
#PMIEMEA18 is coming up very soon and there are a lot of preparations going on in advance. As someone who will be speaking at the conference for the first time, I'm really excited to be able to present my topic to the audience but I'm also extremely excited to be presenting alongside some absolutely fantastic speakers and knowledgeable experts there!
I'll also be there as part of the Social Media crew helping to bring the conference to those who are unable to be there in person. I'll be sharing my personal experience and highlights from the sessions that I'll be attending and allowing you to follow the conference online.
Before you come to Berlin:
Make sure that you've read through the entire conference schedule so that you've got an idea of what you're looking to attend. I'd also recommend bringing enough Business cards to share out with people at the networking events.
The conference doesn’t end there. Please don’t forget to check out the evening networking opportunities. The evening events are not only a great way for you to mingle with your other Project Management counterparts but they’ll also be a great way to learn more about Berlin’s fascinating history!
Tuesday is going to be a packed day but it'll be a busy one for sure!
Wednesday morning kicks off and it’ll be a packed final day of the main #PMIEMEA18 conference!
#PMIEMEA18 has a packed program that will definitely give you the advantage. It’ll give you the tools to develop your skills and broaden your mindset. Moreover, it’ll give you the opportunity to meet other Project Management colleagues and enable you to widen your network.
So, which sessions are you looking forward to?
I have been contacted by a colleague who has a friend that is pursuing the SP-PMI certification. Is there anybody out there that has the cert that is willing to answer questions for a perspective candidate. If so, please email me at email@example.com.
I would also ask that you put a brief summary of the test content on here, so I can talk a little more intelligently on the topic. I can talk constraint, critical path, slack, lag, float and other rudimentary terminology, but I cannot get into the level of detail that I would expect to be needed to obtain the credential.
I do know one of the biggest challenges in my group is optimizing multiple schedules across projects. Things such as analyzing change across projects, determining impact to benefits realization when schedule slips, and models are opportunities for my education.