As I sit down to write this letter to you, my dear friends and students, my heart is full of different feelings. The upcoming dates of the APMP Orlando conference are like a siren call, reminding me of the fun, the friendship, and the life-changing events we’ve shared over the years. And yet, I can’t be there with you in person this year, which makes me miss you so much that I can’t find the words to describe it.
There are a lot of different talks at the conference—about 50 – 60. People say that there’s something for everyone. Still, you might go to a class called “Best Practises,” only to find out it’s just a “personal experience talk.” I want you to keep an open mind in times like these. You never know when a diversion you didn’t plan on taking could lead you to a valuable idea.
I’ve been to enough Bid Cons to know that the sheer number of different ones can be both good and bad. On one side, you’ll find talks that will excite you, pique your interest, and feed your professional curiosity. But on the other hand, there are a lot of sponsored classes, and this is where we need to be careful.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do think that sponsored talks (nearly half this year if we read the synopsis carefully) can be useful. They often bring attention to new ideas or ways of doing things. But, let’s be honest, they also have a chance of becoming sales pitches. So, my friends, keep this in mind as you move through the maze of sessions: be picky. Remember that there’s a thin but important line between giving information and selling something, and it’s up to us to walk it carefully.
Choose the sponsored talks that really speak to you and make you want to learn more. Don’t be swayed by big claims or impressive presentations. You spent a lot of money on this conference, so it’s important that you get the most out of it.
My friends, the point of these meetings isn’t just to get knowledge. It’s to build relationships, find inspiration, and gain a broader view of things.
So, when you walk into the conference halls or communal areas, I encourage you to make new friends, reconnect with old ones, and soak up the ideas that are all around you. Listen to the stories, take part in the debates, question the status quo, and, most importantly, stay true to your career path.
As I wrap up, the fact that I’m not here weighs heavily on me. Even though I can’t be there in person, I am with you all in mind and heart. Even though I’m not there, I’m still rooting for you as you try to figure out APMP Orlando. I can’t wait to hear your stories, what you’ve been through, and what you’ve done well.
To all my wonderful friends in the proposal world, I hope that your conference is full of not only interesting talks and workshops, but also lots of laughter, smiles, and pure fun. Have an absolutely wonderful conference !
Until we meet again, remember that it’s not just what we learn that matters, but also what we remember.