By: Charlene Lamprecht
PURCO 2014 Mindshift annual conference was certainly a memorable event. The venue this year, the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg which took place from Wednesday 22nd – Friday 24th of October 2014.
I wonder who enjoyed it more, the Suppliers or the Buyers (as we were categorized) and yet never segregated from each other. The three day event was well organized and professionally executed, with the common goal to ensure valuable interaction between the buyers and sellers – not your average Expo focus. It was all about networking, interaction and collaboration between the 350 delegates who attended, even the food was strategically designed as “take-aways” so that the members could grab something and spend some time on the exhibitor’s stands and have a bite together. Right from the start it was clear that this conference was going to be a Mind shifting, collaborative, educational, and insightful experience with a huge FUN factor. To start with, on Wednesday the 21st Oct “Online e-procurement” training workshop for suppliers presented by MyMarket which happened before setting up of the stands. The set-up team showed their worth that afternoon with the effort they put in setting up the Seartec stand as they showcased a striking and powerful product.
The official start of the Conference kicked off at 9:00 on the 22nd Oct with a registration followed by Newcomers welcome, the day was filled with keynote speakers such as Prof. Narend Baijnath: PVC UNISA, Xolani Mkhize: tranxend, KK Diaz: author, entrepreneur, and businessman, Walter Pike: Strategist to name a few, and of course to end-off a busy day we were spoilt with “dinner under the stars” on the lawns.
Thursday was undoubtedly the most exciting day as we listened to Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice Chancellor and Rector: University of the Free State’s – Be the Change, then came the speed dating, sessions where buyers had to spend 5 minutes on each of the exhibitor’s stands, one of the highlights and caused quite a buzz in the conference hall. The buzz continued into the evening as it was time for the Craft Beer and Dinner Market. The speakers, content and activities were relevant and I’m sure all attendees walked away richer in friendships, knowledge and experience.