Procurement: Yup, there’s an App for that
As procurement professionals make increasing use of social media and online collaboration, the associations we belong to are doing the same. Search for procurement in your Apple or Android app store and you’ll come up with more results than you might expect. Some of the best uses of the app format are companions to the conferences that take place throughout the year. Angry Birds they are not, but they provide access to location information and (more importantly) presentation materials whether you attended the event or not.
Sourcing Interests Group has recently started a series of Symposiums – one day events that are a combination of their Global Summits and Regional Roundtables. Their Symposium Program App allows you to view the schedule, speaker biographies, Watch the event twitter feed, and best of all access the descriptions and handouts for each presentation in PDF format.
For example, on January 17th (at 1:45 Eastern if you want to get really specific), IBM presented ‘The Modern Chief Procurement Officer: A Source for True Corporate Value’. I click on the handouts button, get the option to download to my iPhone or email it to myself and in less than ten seconds I have a link in my inbox so I can download the presentation to my laptop. If I had attended live, there is also a spot built in to take notes during the session and save and email them to myself. Very cool indeed.
Attending an event like a SIG Symposium in person is obviously the way to maximize learning and networking, but if attending is impossible, this is a pretty good alternative. You don’t have to be a SIG member to install the app or to download the materials. As these apps become more popular I can see further potential that includes video and audio from the event – whether entire sessions or interviews that take place on site. For now they are being developed as attendee aides, but there is significant potential for organizations like SIG to reach larger audiences with this material through a channel they have already created.
Look for more events to offer these apps (ISM and Procurement Leaders already do) and for the apps to increase what they offer attendees and bystanders alike.