Hyderabad Once Again Welcomes Project Management National Conference
BY RAVI VURAKARANAM
Organizing events is a lot easier with the advent of technologies but to build rich content that can attract the target community is a challenge.
Hyderabad, the city of nawabs with a cosmopolitan culture, has always invited people warmly from all walks of life to come and work here. For the past five years, the city had gone through political turmoil over separate statehood. Now with the completion of the state’s bifurcation, we hope to see faster growth in times to come.
The state has seen tremendous growth in IT, IT enabled services, and pharmaceutical sectors, and is home to big names like Microsoft, GE, Tata Consultancy Services, Dr. Reddy’s, Shantha Biotechnics, and Apollo Hospitals. It has a host of premier educational institutes like Indian School of Business, Indian Institute of Technology- Hyderabad, International Institute of Information Technology, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Hyderabad, and National Academy of Legal Studies and Research. It is also a hub for sports such as badminton and shooting.
Hosting the conference for the second time
The Project Management National Conference has taken a full circle to come back to the city where it had all begun in September 2009. Five years is a considerable time to experience changes in the target audience. There has been a sea change in terms of expectations from delegates. The economic scenario is also changing constantly and we as project managers need to re-invent ourselves in order to be relevant and successful in bringing value to the organizations we work for.
In 2009, we had an experienced team that had worked on multiple conferences but the national conference was a bigger canvas and was challenging. This time, the conference project management office (PMO) has members who have organized national conferences earlier. The challenge is to make it a bigger success and a different experience for delegates.
The conference theme
With the changing economy, fortunes of companies are also changing. How do project management practices help in ensuring short-term achievement of goals as well as long-term, sustainable business results? The conference theme, “Project Management – The Mantra for Sustainable Growth”, has been identified in line with this concept and how it applies to multiple industries.
While approaching keynote speakers or selecting case studies, we have taken care to select success stories from varied industries. For registrations, we have identified volunteers from different industries so that we are successful in reaching to every segment.
Key highlights this year
The Hyderabad conference is going to be held in a convention center that is unique in this part of the world. We have adopted digital marketing and communication over physical interactions. We also see the advent of mobile technology in organizing conferences.
The earlier conferences were dominated by delegates from the IT world. Now, we see newer sectors getting drawn towards project management, with an increasing number of delegates from these sectors attending our conferences.
We have identified keynote speakers and case studies as the main attractions, and have started to work on these on higher priority. We have proactively reached out to different organizations and brought together a set of case studies that will surely be the star attraction at the conference.
Conference branding has always been the main driver to generate interest. We have utilized the digital branding channel extensively this time that comes with both advantages and challenges. We reached out to a large number of netizens and created an online buzz through social media to keep in touch with prospective delegates and those interested in attending the conference.
The conference will have content delivered in various formats like keynotes, case studies, technical papers, panel discussions, and quiz. We have an early bird program as well in the form of a workshop titled “PMO for Project, Program and Portfolio Management”. It has been carefully crafted to make it interactive.
Lessons learned from previous conferences
Activities for the conference started with a lessons learned meeting with previous conference PMOs. Templates, best practices, pitfalls, and artifacts were put to use. It was important to get the pricing for the conference right so that we can provide delegates a great experience at a reasonable price. Before finalizing the base price, we studied registration patterns from previous conferences.
PMI shared a set of templates for executing conferences, which we have used for our planning and communications. I’m confident these efforts will go to make it a great experience for delegates. I look forward to meeting you on 11 September 2014.
(Mr. Ravi Vurakaranam, PMP, is conference director, Project Management National Conference, India 2014.)
Five Reasons to Attend PMI’s National Conference
BY PRAVIR BAGRODIA
By now, most of you would have heard about Project Management National Conference, India 2014, to be held at Hyderabad from 11 to 13 September. Hosted by PMI Pearl City Chapter, this year’s convention is all set to offer some excellent sessions and great networking opportunities. The theme for this year is ‘Project Management - the Mantra for Sustainable Growth’.
Being there will give me an opportunity to meet so many project managers from across the country, and help me to get a pulse of the latest happenings in the project management community.
Will you, too, be at Pearl City during the event? Here are five reasons why I think you should attend the conference:
1. Case studies
‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’ is a proverb that many of us are familiar with. Case studies or actual project implementation examples are a great way to learn about how others have done it successfully. The conference has a dedicated track on six case studies across sectors. The ones that particularly interested me are ‘Gamification of project management’ and ‘Managing mergers and acquisitions in a projectized way’.
‘Learn from the gurus’ is a principle that we Indians know quite well. There are six keynote sessions during the 2.5 days. Interestingly, not all keynotes are project management experts. Eminent speakers include Alyque Padamsee, Indian theater personality and ad filmmaker (on leadership), Chinna Jeeyar Swamy, Vedic preacher, and the ‘very very special’ V. V. S. Laxman (on team building and motivation). These keynotes are surely worth looking forward to.
3. Technical papers
Perhaps not the most glamorous, but technical papers are really the knowledge sessions. They provide details that you have been wanting to know but did not know who to ask. The technical papers will be presented in three halls simultaneously. So you have to plan in advance which ones you want to attend.
4. Tips and future trends
The conference offers scope for you to get practical tips from experts; ‘10 commandments of project success’ and ‘Mantra to have happy workforce under software/IT project manager’ are good examples of this. In addition, there are sessions that are looking into the future. The two that I identified are: ‘Next generation project/program manager’ and ‘PM 3.0: What should the gen-next project manager focus on?’
5. Networking opportunities
Over a thousand project management professionals are expected to attend the conference. That gives you a great opportunity to network among your ilk. You can interact with people for gaining knowledge or for exploring a new job opportunity. The event has been structured in such a way that it gives you sufficient time to meet and greet people.
If you want to know more about the conference, visit:
(Mr. Pravir Bagrodia is editor, PMPlanet.)