This year my colleague Steve Maples and I were fortunate enough to attend the 57th Annual IAM convention in Chicago, Illinois. We had an excellent time; it was a great to see old friends within the industry and a fantastic chance to meet some new clients. The Conference was located at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, a mammoth scale venue that was able to accommodate the needs of 3000 attendees, with a constant rotation of free tea, coffees, lunches (and very importantly, bars). Our stay was comfortable and conductive to the building of new business. As an IAM convention veteran, I found the event followed a familiar format.
Steve and I are based in the UK and made our journey to the convention with the objective of catching up with contacts old and new – building on those all-important face to face relationships. A part of the convention was based within a large exhibition hall where different clients had booths set up, so we were able to wander over to meet them. Organising numerous company booths in this way gave us a great networking opportunity to meet potential clients and offer our global talent services, whilst getting to learn about client organisations in a purpose-built forum setting.
Over the course of events at the convention, there was a great variety of functions on the agenda. These ranged from educational ‘learning labs’ to my highlight; the IAM YP event. At this event, industry professionals within the young professional group could meet for a well-deserved social mixer. This evening event was a pleasantly relaxed occasion. Professionals came together to discuss the industry and their own professional experience and development – a topic of conversation which is of interest to me as a provider of experienced talent to the moving industry. Laughter was abundant and useful contacts were gained.
Like last year, Brexit was a hot topic of discussion throughout the convention. The consensus from our UK moving contacts is that a downturn has been noted…However perhaps not so severe a downturn as had been expected. The industry continues to move, albeit at a slower and more cautious pace. Of course, the ‘Brexit mood’ at the convention was all very ‘up in the air’ as there remains a general vibe of uncertainty. The 31st October deadline was discussed and dismissed – and rightfully so, as at the time of this blog, any final ‘leaving date’ remains shrouded in mystery.
In contrast to this, it was refreshing and uplifting to liaise with contacts based in both Canada and the US. We were pleased that our global market research appeared to be accurate in that these geographies appear largely unaffected by the trials and tribulations of the UK and Europe. We were assured that both the Canadian and US industries have been progressing at a strong pace and we were pleased to find high levels of optimism regarding the availability of business opportunities across the moving sector in these regions.
Reflecting on the Event
We are now back home in the UK, and as we work through the contacts and new opportunities generated at the convention, I feel confident that we will be able to call our attendance a roaring success over the coming weeks and months. From a personal perspective, I can say with certainty that I had a brilliant time; we were left with positive, productive and lasting experiences with clients. We caught up with our old friends across the industry as well as having the opportunity to meet interesting new people that we are keen to work with in the future! I look forward to hopefully attending the 58th convention next year and (fingers crossed) finding a decent karaoke bar!
Written by Ray Inskip – Head of Global Moving Services at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions.