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How to get the most out of a conference: go with questions and objectives

Peter Drucker, legendary analyst and consultant, believed that there are three different dimensions to the economic task:

  1. the present business must be made effective;
  2. its potential must be identified and realised; and
  3. it must be made into different businesses for a different future.

Understanding how to go about the tasks in corporate treasury, all starts with questions, such as: 

  • what does the department really do?
  • who are the customers for the department’s treasury services and what do they really need?

At the moment though, the many corporate treasurers around the world who are planning to attend the AFP annual conference and/or the Euro Finance conference in Vienna have much more detailed questions, for example:

  • how will treasury measure “success”? (According to an AFP survey only 50% of treasury’s have success metrics.)
  • given the likely rise in rate in 2017 (in the USA), is my company over borrowed, under invested or over exposed? 
  • how can liquidity and risk goals like CAPEX or M&A decisions be integrated into my company's into company’s profit objectives?
  • can compliance to the many new rules be used to create a competitive advantage? 
  • are there any new fintech practical solutions that our department can use right now?
  • what practical block chain solutions are available that we could use today?
  • what new products and services to current suppliers have to offer me?
  • what new freebies can I bring back for my kids?

How to get the most out of a conference 

Harvard Business Review, July 2015 had an article by Rebecca Knight on 'How to get the most out of a conference’ in which she highlighted the Dos and Don’ts:

  • DO:
    • shift your mindset by focusing on how networking is good for your career 
    • when choosing which sessions to attend, consider whether you'll learn something or meet someone new
    • take the initiative to create networking situations where you feel comfortable
  • DON’T:
    • spend all your time with co-workers you see every day – draw clear boundaries
    • burnout – give yourself time to rest and rejuvenate during the conference
    • trying to be some other person, it is stressful and tiring.

CTMfile take: We hope you have a productive time at AFP and/or EuroFinance conferences. Remember mine is a large dry red wine.

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