I’m back in the office today after a marvellous week in Sydney, where I had the honour of presenting the opening keynote speech at the ‘Limitless’ conference. Organised by APMP’s ANZ chapter, this is the largest event of the year for bid and proposal specialists in the APAC region – and was outstandingly well organised.
As ever at these events, there were some fascinating quotes from presenters. Here are a couple from Emma Bannister of PresentationStudio: “a good presentation is usually sparse” and “you’re better off having no slides than bad slides”. Both very much echo our approach to pitching.
Belinda Coates of property and construction advisory company Slattery noted that “bid managers are the heartbeat of an organisation”. I enjoyed her provocative challenges on how important it is to keep abreast of industry developments. Complete the following sentences: “I commit to going to at least one networking event per _____” and “I look at my LinkedIn feed at least ___times per day.” (Her answers were ‘week’ and ‘three’).
And there was one stand-out session which I just know I’ll look back on in years to come and think: “That was the first time I heard about that.” Grant Butler gave a fascinating insight into the potential role of Artificial Intelligence in proposals. I hadn’t heard of the likes of Persado, Articoolo or Acrolinx – and I’m not sure from first sight I’d roll them out enterprise-wide just yet. But as indicators of a direction of travel that could bring real benefit, say, five years out, the session was fascinating. I need to read more about these – and, especially, about Salesforce Einstein: potentially a real game-changer.
Amidst the work (which included delivering an APMP Foundation course for a law firm in Hong Kong en route), there was some fun too. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our friends from BidWrite, the Aussie equivalent of Strategic Proposals. We share such similar outlooks on the world of bidding – and similar taste in wine. The Penfolds Bin 389 was rather wonderful.
And, perhaps most importantly, I got to stroke a koala…