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Another Successful ConFab

Thursday, November 18, 2010   (0 Comments)
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By Susan Dodia, PMP

ConFab was started in 1978 by Richard Pinsker CMC, FIMC, and several peers as a forum for small consulting firms and sole proprietorships to share in-the-trenches, actionable information, by consultants and for consultants. From that earliest event with just 22 attendees, the focus of the event has remained on tactics and practical applications.

In October, 150 consulting professionals convened in Reno, Nevada for ConFab 2010, the 33rd conference of IMC USA.

The weekend started off with a golf outing on Saturday morning for members, exhibitors, speakers, and guests. Attendees then had the option of attending one of two pre-conference workshops to gain insight on building and promoting a consulting business. The day ended with a cocktail reception that let attendees meet and mingle.

In the Thick of Things

Sunday morning started bright and early with a 7:00 AM continental breakfast, followed by an energetic Alice Heiman, who taught the group how to maximize networking efforts and results through a BizTalk Blender®. Participants finished the exercise with a stack of business cards and a challenge from Alice to follow up with people after the conference.

In addition to General Sessions, attendees could chose to attend presentations that focused on marketing and sales, mastering consulting skills, and best practices for managing a consulting practice.

"Using Blue Ocean Strategy to Improve Your Business” was the topic of the Keynote Address, delivered by Dr. Sarah Layton, CMC, who talked about strategies to build competitive advantage and illustrated her points with examples from her numerous successful client engagements.

Saturday night’s dinner and awards ceremony saw lots of familiar faces receiving awards, including Dr. Layton, who was inducted as a Fellow in the Institute. With so much excitement recently about the recent ISO accreditation for the CMC credential, two chapters were recognized for their contribution to CMC Accelerator Program: Georgia and the Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Monday’s activities included roundtable discussions over breakfast, more General Sessions, and a "talk show” style program during lunch, where participants were able to get their consulting questions answered by their peer group.

New Ideas

Mostly every practicing consultant thinks about the challenges and opportunities presented by social media, and ConFab offered insightful content on this topic. Attorney Lauren Bloom, who serves on the IMC USA Governance Board, presented a talk on "Ethics and Professionalism in the Digital Age,” and offered insights on recognizing ethical risks in this new digital environment. Jennifer Beever CMC, coached attendees on how to plan and execute a practical social media system in her presentation, "Social Media Marketing Machine”.

Looking Forward to Next Year

This year’s attendees left ConFab with new ideas to think about, new skills to use, and new friends to follow up with, until next year, when it starts all over again.