Greetings, fellow bid, and proposal professionals! Larissa and I recently attended the APMP’s BPC Europe 2023 conference in Amsterdam, and it was an incredible experience. But before we get into the conference, let’s talk about the beautiful cities we visited before arriving in Amsterdam – Paris, Brussels, and Brugge were all breathtaking and filled with history and culture. Well worth a visit.
Now, let’s talk about the conference itself. The venue, Beurs van Berlage, was a great space with much history and character.
The conference started with a musical performance from Strategic Proposals that challenged traditional best practices in the bid and proposal world, suggesting that these practices have evolved, which is excellent.
We had the privilege of hearing from some incredible speakers throughout the conference. A few of the many memorable ones were:
- Neha Lagoo Ratnakar‘s presentation on JOATs (Jack/Jill of All Trades) encouraged us to try different things to grow as professionals and people.
- Sally Clarke‘s presentation on burnout shed light on the fact that it’s a real issue that can impact high performers. She emphasised the importance of self-compassion, self-knowledge, and self-awareness to prevent it.
- John Ingve Eielsen’s from Xait’s presentation on AI gave us some key takeaways, such as that AI is better at facial recognition with white, middle-aged men and that AI can’t write proposals – yet!
- Graham Ablett’s presentation on all things pricing was also enlightening. He discussed the importance of understanding your customer’s value proposition and pricing, gathering data, assessing your influence, pricing competitively, and getting to the win. He also walked us through the Winning Price Window, which leads to bottom-up pricing, giving you confidence that your price is competitive.
- Dr Joyce Carols gave us tips on increasing our performance in a competitive world. She emphasised the importance of focusing on our jobs’ technical, tactical, physical, and mental aspects. The physical part is vital, requiring proper health, food, and endurance. She recommended focusing on your staff’s physical and mental health to help them achieve balance. The Triple Perspective of seven hours of sleep, seven glasses of water, and seven minutes of exercise daily can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
- Our very own APMP South African Chapter Chair, Kate Moshoadiba, talked about the unconscious biases that exist in the workplace. She highlighted that biases could manifest as certain behaviours with unintended or negative consequences. The five key concepts of rowing simultaneously include starting with a vision or qualification, remembering that there is no ‘I’ in team, finding the swing in storytelling, planning, executing, monitoring, and ultimately, winning more.
- But the highlight of the conference was the very insightful presentation by Loopio about the immense benefits of building and maintaining proposal content libraries. It was great to hear how content libraries can save time, improve quality, and reduce stress.
In conclusion, the APMP’s BPC Europe 2023 conference was an extremely useful experience filled with insightful presentations and strategies that can help us improve our personal and professional lives.