Bloggers Sound Off: Congress Takeaways

By Voices Team

In this Voices on Project Management roundtable, two bloggers discuss their top takeaway from PMI® Global Congress — from the perspective of an attendee and a presenter.
Every time I attend a PMI Global Congress, I am ready to discover exciting learning opportunities. Congress gives me the opportunity to interact with peers, discuss best practices, common issues and the latest trends in project management. But my biggest takeaway is the networking. 
But networking opportunities do not start at the congress — you can start contacting attendees in advance and use the congress as a venue to meet them and interact with project management practitioners from all over the planet. Many of them stand out from the crowd with ribbons color-coded to their credential, so you can network more easily with targeted groups (for example, PgMPs have a specific ribbon). 
Attending pre-sessions also provides the opportunity to support and recognize peers, such as the awards gala on Saturday night (of North America congress) or attend Sunday morning workshops where the state of project management is discussed. Here, I’ve found inspiration from fellow project managers to continue engaging in volunteer opportunities.
Even the Exhibit Hall is a great opportunity to network with vendors and educational institutions and learn more about the products and services they offer. And you never know, from those interactions you may find potential job opportunities.
In conclusion: Network, network, network! That’s my advice for getting the most value from congress. 
Your value as a project professional is determined by how much value you can create for others. This value is a function of two factors. The first is your personal capability to supply a need. The second is your ability to reach people. That increased reach would increase your ability to create value. 
PMI Global Congress is about increasing our ability to create value by increasing along both of those dimensions. Each of us brings to congress the value of our own experiences, our own learning, our own knowledge. So one of the most valuable things we can do is to share that with others. When we share what we know with others, we are creating value for them. Likewise, when they share what they know with us, they are creating value for us.
Certainly, there is much value to be created from participating at congress as an attendee in terms of increasing personal capability as you learn from others and as others learn from you. But participating as a presenter provides the possibility to create considerably more value because you are able to reach so many more people.
For me, the top takeaway at Congress isn’t what I can take away, but rather what I can give away! And as a presenter, I can increase my reach and share the value of my experiences with many more people.
What was your top takeaway from congress? Did you attend as an attendee or presenter?

The views expressed within the PMI Voices on Project Management blog are contributed from external sources and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of PMI.

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