The power of networking [July/August print edition]

The benefits of a handful of business cards

September 7, 2012
by Michael Power

Just as much as attending education sessions, it’s the networking opportunities during conferences that I appreciate. Invariably, I return to the office post-conference with pockets full of business cards and a head swimming with ideas on how to stay in touch with the fascinating professionals I’ve met. The networking opportunities during industry conferences are among the best I encounter on the job.

The 2012 PMAC National Conference, held in Moncton in June, was no exception. It was perhaps the busiest conference I’ve attended to date as editor of Purchasingb2b, as I spent much of my time either making new contacts or catching up with those I’ve made over the past few years.

Networking and finding ways to stay in touch with members was also on the minds of PMAC’s executive, as evident during an education session entitled You Voice Member Dialogue. It consisted of a brainstorming session for PMAC to ask members how the organization could move forward and what members and non-members alike want to see from the organization. Members of the national board of directors, as well as PMAC president and CEO Cheryl Paradowski, attended and participated in the discussion.

The session’s breakout groups reported that with Canada being such a large country, actually holding meetings could be a challenge. And since not all members can attend the national conference, more local meetings would be of benefit. This seems to me a good idea, as such opportunities to meet and speak with others is one of the best ways I know to stay in touch with developments in the industry. I try to read as many press releases, white papers and other documents regarding procurement and supply chain management as possible. But I still find that meeting people—whether at PMAC’s national conference or smaller, locally focused events—remains the best way to stay in touch with what’s going on (for a few upcoming local events, take a look at the events listings we’ve included on page 10).

As well, session participants suggested PMAC get involved in more marketing to companies by letting employers know about the association. Note that Cheryl Paradowski has been involved in a tour across Canada to raise awareness of PMAC and highlight to companies what the organization is all about. That kind of networking is bound to benefit the organization, as it would members of the profession.

While I try to stay in touch with readers as much as possible, I would also invite you to reach out to us. Is there an issue you’d like to see covered in Purchasingb2b that’s not getting attention? What are we doing well? What should we do better? Feel free to reach out, as I welcome any feedback. I’m at