Conventional Wisdom would counsel against spitting into the wind.
Unemployment in construction has reached 25%, perhaps even higher in many parts of the U.S. and global economy.
And yet signs of optimism are emerging. PMI’s College of Scheduling is holding our 7th Annual Conference in Calgary this coming May 2-5. (As V.P. Education and Track Leader for R&D, I am still looking for a couple of presentations. You may send your abstracts to email@example.com.) Let’s look at who else are guaranteeing attendees will come to support hotel minimums:
• CMAA (Construction Management Association of America) will be holding its Owner’s Forum in Atlanta from May 2-4, and its National Conference in San Diego from October 3-5.
• DBIA (Design Build Industry Association) will be holding its Annual Conference in Las Vegas, also from October 3-5, and its Transportation and Water/Wastewater conferences in Dallas from April 19-23.
• The ABA Forum for Construction will be holding its Annual Conference in Austin, also from April 22-23, and a Fall Meeting in Miami from September 2-3.
• PMI’s College of Performance Management is holding its Annual EVM World Conference in Naples from June 2-4, and co-hosting its 22nd International Integrated Program Management Conference in Bethesda from November 8-10.
• Global Association of Productivity & Efficiency Professionals (IIE) are holding its Annual Conference in Cancun from June 5-9.
• AACEi (Association for Advancement of Cost Engineering) will be holding our 53rd Annual Meeting in Atlanta from June 27-30.
• The Oracle Open World Conference in San Francisco, including a track for Primavera products, will be held September 19-23.
• The PMI Global Conference North America will be held in Washington, DC, from October 9-12.
I will be attending and/or speaking at several of these conferences (occasionally taking time off to return to my consulting practice,) but more importantly, YOU and your colleagues and employers are supporting this myriad of conferences, so much that two or more may be scheduled for the same dates. This speaks to an optimism that the economy will return for we construction professionals.
We go to these conferences to hone our skills and network with other attendees. And yet, over the past few years, many have complained that these conferences often do not focus enough on the special problems of construction professionals. And so, as discussed in this blog’s January 14th post, I am taking up the call to have a Construction CPM Conference, this coming January 12-15, 2011, at the Swan Resort, Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida.
Conventional wisdom may counsel against personally taking on the risks of running such a conference that only these large organizations can afford. But while the risk is mine alone, this is a group effort, supported by individuals at Oracle, Deltek, Microsoft and other software vendors, and by officers of both PMICOS and AACEi and other organizations. (Please note that this statement does not indicate an official endorsement by any organization although such are being discussed.)
The point to be made is that I, (an otherwise financially conservative individual), and many of my friends and colleagues in our construction industry, are supporting this conference with the expectation that the economy is improving. I’d like to hear from others taking on risks that the economy will improve. Perhaps if enough people agree and take on risk, we can make this a self fulfilling prophesy.
Oh, yeah. And please put OUR Construction CPM Conference, Swan Resort, Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida, January 12-15, 2011 on your calendar.