Procura successfully host virtual Procurement Conference in midst of Pandemic
Procurement Conference 2020.
Procura recently hosted the 4-day virtual conference which brought together over 90 global participants from 10 different client sites over 16 countries.
Procura is currently working with a global manufacturer to transform their procurement function.
The project launched in July 2020 and necessitated the participation of team members spread across five different sites worldwide. Whilst using a variety of communication platforms (Microsoft Teams, Share Point etc.) to ensure effective teamwork and collaboration, Procura were keen to bring everyone together in order to further enhance programme momentum.
The Procurement Conference was designed to gain insight into global procurement best practice, develop the procurement network, share insights, meet new people, and learn new skills.
The initial plan was to host the Procurement Conference in Prague to allow easy access for key project sponsors, however, with COVID-19 still far from over and serious concerns over travel restrictions as well as health and safety – planning was brought to a temporary halt.
As Procura operates internationally and has consultants based around the globe, virtual meetings and events have always been a part of normal business.
With the ever-growing need to bring the whole project team together, it was decided that the Procurement Conference 2020 would take place – virtually. The decision to move the whole event ‘online’ came only weeks before the planned conference date, and it was indeed a race to the finish to create an engaging virtual event for 90+ attendees.
Through the use of existing technology, the format of the event was changed, activities were added, and all Welcome Packs and Conference materials were shipped internationally ahead of the event. In addition, with the cost and risk of travel now no longer an issue, it was possible to invite additional attendees and senior stakeholders to the Conference sessions which were run across several different time zones to ensure maximum accessibility.
The Conference took place over 4 days with 17 different sessions, each lasting 60 to 90 minutes.
The agenda was packed full of presentations, an exciting line up of external guest speakers, webinars, training sessions and workshops.
The main objectives at the beginning of the week were:
- develop global team collaboration,
- work together to identify Group procurement synergies,
- share best practice from across the sites,
- learn from each other and meet new team members.
The online Procurement Conference managed to achieve this and much more!
During 3 separate Guest Speaker sessions, the procurement team heard from the likes of McKinsey and others about future procurement trends, digitisation and the changing logistics market. The Negotiation and eAuction training sessions provided the team with interactive skills for future virtual supplier negotiations as well as online sourcing techniques.
And although it was virtual, that did not stop the team from getting social and having fun as ‘speed networking’ sessions, quizzes and ‘virtual bridge’ building were also weaved into the agenda.
100% of attendees found the sessions useful
The Conference successfully put the spotlight on procurement and the great work being done as part of the Procura project.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it has taught us how to adapt to challenging and frequently changing circumstances.
Procura succeeded in creating an online conference that was just as effective as being face-to-face, whilst ensuring that it was a safe, fun and, as a result, cheap event. It also succeeded in bringing together the entire global team and provided invaluable insight into current procurement trends and best practices.
In my 31-year procurement career, this was the first virtual conference that I have participated in. I can only image how difficult it was to manage, moderate and organise. To connect people from 4 different continents and keep over 90 attendees engaged, you’ve done an incredible job! The last 4 days have been really excellent. Thank you!
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