(IPMA) x (Event Management) x (People) = A Brilliant IPMA 2010 Congress

PM Commentary by Stacy Goff

A successful formula requires all parts of the equation shown above; especially when they are all multipliers. The 2010 IPMA World Congress certainly did have its challenges. The venue was moved up from 2011 at a late date. Speakers were surprised by changes. The final program took far too much time to go out. The Project Manager resigned. The Prime Minister’s schedule had a conflict.

On the other hand, the inspirations were numerous. The video trailer was outstanding. The theme was appropriate and relevant. The venue and setting was outstanding. The engagement of Turkey’s Prime Minister in the lead-off keynote was unprecedented.

Isn’t it something, how the vision, heroics, tenacity and everything else in-between, brings off yet another stellar IPMA World Congress? Certainly, there are things to do better in our next Congresses, but let us focus for a bit on this just-completed event, in early November, in Istanbul Turkey.

Look at the formula in the title of this posting: IPMA always brings something very special and unique to the world of PM events. While we have used the word Congress for many years, others have adopted this word for their major events, in hopes of capturing some of the magic. IPMA Congresses (Congressei?) are unique in the World for their breadth of coverage, their blend of different cultures, the perspectives and wide variety of types of projects and programs (And the evening events are unparalleled).

We admit that we are relative newcomers to IPMA Congresses, our first being Delhi and Shanghai in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Because of the comparisons between those events and our several decades of USA PM-related conferences (we still love the events of Dick Rutledge, ProjectWorld and ProjectSummit), we dedicated ourselves to making the IPMA Congresses our most-important International event of the year. Rome, (we missed Crakow) Helsinki and Istanbul were our reward.

On the Event Management side, TRPMA, IPMA’s Turkish Member Association, started promotion with an inspirational video and theme. As often happens in large-scale events, there were Challenges and Opportunities along the way, an interesting affirmation of the Congress theme. Among those we praise for the success of the 2010 event are Cetin Elmas, Congress Chair and the President of TRPMA, and Oguz Gurkan Uysal, one of the most-impressive heroes of this event. IPMA’s firm hand of support, including the Executive Board Chair Miles Shepherd (an IPMA-USA member), together our most-popular Emcee Tom Taylor, helped pull together the final touches (and then some).

People: Of course, all the above-cited people qualify here, but there are also many more. Rarely has the top Executive of an entire country addressed a Project Management Congress. 3000 Turks reveled in the IPMA Congress Opening Ceremony—in addition to the IPMA attendees. And the speech by His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Prime Minister of Republic of Turkey, was not only incredibly powerful, it was insightfully relevant. Just as with Chile President Sebastian Pinera from Chile, mentioned in our previous posting, His Excellency gets it about the purposes and power of competent and performing Project Management for societal change–For society’s benefits.

More People: David Pells’ great presentation in the Member Association Workshop (David is editor of PMForum.org) about the benefits of Press Releases. Fahri Akdemir and Estuardo Calderon Scheel’s CreACTivity sessions in the scintillating Young Crew Workshop. Adesh Jain’s most-inspiring (of his many, in his career) Keynote left us wondering who will inspire us now that he is graduating from IPMA’s Executive Board. The IPMA Project Excellence Award Winners, basking in the limelight onstage before exiting through the StarGate (a nice touch!). The presentation in the closing ceremony for those who have supported our new IPMA Member Nepal, and honoring our newest International Young Project Manager of the Year, Mr. Shailesh Nepal (Congratulations Shailesh!), was absolutely fantastic!

Even More People: Of course, the inimitable part of an IPMA Congress is the IPMA Family. The fact that one cannot get across the huge welcoming-event room without stopping two dozen times to engage in a spirited dialogue with a friend you have not seen since last year. The chance encounters that turn into an hour-long networking and brainstorming session, causing you to miss the next stream you planned to attend. The open questions of strangers, who assume that you might have an insight into which of four compelling presentations to participate in … And yet, as great as the days’ interpersonal contact is, it always pales in the evenings, as the unmatched evening events celebrate the joy and camaraderie of the IPMA Family.

And now, we turn the page. AIPM, the Australian Member Association of IPMA, will host the 2011 IPMA World Congress on October 10-12, with the Young Crew Workshop preceding the Congress on October 8-9. The Aussies regularly draw almost a thousand participants to their annual event—well known throughout the Pacific Rim. THIS will be an IPMA World Congress to remember, bringing together the best of the last half-dozen IPMA events, compounded by an organization that has been performing for over 20 years.

So thank you to TRPMA and Cetin for IPMA World Congress 2010, and for a great experience! And we invite you all to Brisbane October 2011 for yet another Brilliant IPMA World Congress!