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Differences, Math and Grow!

Posted By David T. Norman FIMC CMC-AF, Friday, June 22, 2012

I am currently sitting in the mountains of North Carolina awaiting the festivities and celebrations associated with a niece’s wedding, answering emails.

I just read an email trail regarding the Grow!, our national conference in October. Please allow me two minutes and into your home or office to share a couple thoughts about it, please.

The email trail started with an active member expressing surprise at the registration cost, $750* (early registration until the end of July) especially, as the individual noted, that it might stretch the budget for training. Then I read the subsequent email in the trail, from an IMC USA Board member, and it said, in part, "… I appreciate the challenges of cash flow and expense of the conference. We made a very conscious decision – supported by the Board – to build a program and conference that was high in quality in a different venue and that we would do our best to keep costs in line with other quality events.” [Emphasis added]

I thought I'd address this, from my perspective.

Grow! Is different from Confab.

First, as is obvious, the venue is different. IMC has moved the conference to another facility (note: I’ve seen the Buena Vista Palace at Orlando myself), and the organizing team has negotiated excellent room rates for our registrants ($99/night). Being on the Disney grounds, you also have access to all the amenities/events by being registered at the hotel. Bring your family, if you can; could be quite an experience [See:]

Second, Orlando is different; it is truly a destination that is (1) easy to get to, typically with non-stop flights, and, since it is a destination location, (2) very affordable in airfare costs.

Third, the audience (profession of management consultants) is different this year, for two reasons:

(1) ICMCI (our "parent”) has decided to hold their annual conference (which this year is their 25th anniversary celebration) in conjunction with Grow! Consultants from around the world (remembering that there are 48 constituent Institutes around the world) will be in attendance, bringing a totally global feel to this event.

(2) All management consultants, whether they practice in very small firms (of one consultant, like me), boutiques, or large regional, national and international firms.

Fourth, the speakers and workshops will be different. Grow! has been designed, from the beginning, to be different -- a conference for the profession of management consulting. [Note: a previous blog had a list of speakers, but the full schedule can be found at:

You can do your own math in two ways:

One way is to estimate your total, all-in cost as compared to previous years (conference + hotel + airfare [all of which the organizing committee took into serious consideration]); and, the other way is adding up the differences: venue + city location + audience + speakers and workshops. The sum of both (costs + experience) is an outstanding value for your personal and professional growth.

We strongly believe that the nature of this conference will far outweigh any perceived out-of-pocket cost difference (unless, of course, you live in vicinity of Reno). * BTW, the early bird registration of $750 is only $145 more than Confab last year and you get so much more, especially considering the differences.

Register now, please. The room block (at $99) at the Buena Vista Palace is already approaching 50%.

Register now for Grow! and be part of a national conference for the profession of management consulting.

Thank you for your two minutes and into your life.

Stay tuned,

My best,


Tags:  CMC  consultant  Grow  ICMCI  IMC USA  management consultant  management consulting 

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Comments on this post...

Jim W. Soudriette CMC. FIMC says...
Posted Friday, June 22, 2012

I have commitments elsewhere and never planned to attend Orlando
It is the "getting there" and "staying there" for western US participants.

I believe you that it is a worth investment.

Jim Soudriette CMC FIMC
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D. Kevin Berchelmann CMC says...
Posted Saturday, June 23, 2012

I've certainly had discussions with you and others about the association's value and such; I'm hardly a blind-following-lemming (much, I'm sure, to your and Gail's chagrin at times). This conference, however, seems a slam dunk to me. Finally, a truly clear piece of value that I can see, touch, and feel.

Kudos to Todd, Gayle, and their team (would name them all individually, but I don't know who them all).

To be frank, if $750 is a strain for a successful consultant, I'd suggest their need for attending this is huge, and he/she should borrow, beg, or steal (not literally, calm down...) to get there.

And if anyone views this as simply "training," well, they are truly missing the bigger picture. I have the utmost respect for those who managed and led Confab for all those years, but the location (Reno) was sometimes difficult to get to, and the lineup/agenda seemed to be--my opinion only--a bit too familiar; if we continue to just be "us speaking to us," we lose the opportunity to grow from really new, divergent thinking.

But even then, attending Confab was generally worthwhile regardless of session content; networking, meeting, discussions, debate over drinks... all were incredibly helpful and invigorating, particularly for those of us who go it alone. Reconnecting with folks I hadn't seen in some time has value to me.

This networking and interaction will be present in Orlando, of course, and has the added value of a really robust conference agenda, renowned, dynamite speakers, and a venue that I'm happy to take my family along, extending our stay on both ends of the event. A hit from all directions.

...and though I love Orlando (and not to be critical at all), I'd hope over time that we might focus less on the "corners and coasts" of the country and move toward the middle, making it a bit easier for all to attend w/o buying into a near-full day of travel.

Again, great job to the conference team, and I'm excited about the longer-term prospects that this may herald.

But that's just me...

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David T. Norman FIMC CMC-AF says...
Posted Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thank you both for your comments and your perspectives; they are appreciated.

We did, indeed, seriously consider the 'inside' of US, but alas, the costs for the timeframe in either Chicago-area or Dallas-area were higher than the excellent rate negotiated for this year's event. We are always striving to produce the best program, at the most convenient/best value location, at the most attractive 'all-in' cost for consultants.

My thanks also goes to Todd and Gayle for their efforts in creating Grow!

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