AMR International prepares for 2018 edition of Transform USA

25 January 2018

International consulting firm AMR has confirmed that planning for its second Transform USA conference is under way. Following a successful debut last year, the organisers have announced plans for a follow-up instalment in 2018.

Having been in business for over 25 years, AMR International has accrued a quarter century of experience in the events industry. AMR works with clients in the event sector to support all facets of strategy, operating model, event lifecycle, data and digital, operational and transaction support. Today, as the events industry accelerates along its evolutionary path, and begins to feel the impact of digital disruption, AMR has made it its mission to assist in the transformation of the industry.

One of the ways the consultancy has gone about this, is via the creation of the Transform conference series. In recent years, this has seen AMR host two successful events in Europe – hosted in London each December – as well as the inaugural Transform USA in 2017. Transform USA is the only conference exclusively focusing on the data, analytics and digital strategy revolution of the exhibition industry. It provides critical insight to senior leaders and up-and-coming data and digital managers of association, for-profit and corporate exhibitions and venues.AMR International prepares for 2018 edition of Transform USA

On 20 July 2017, 125 key industry professionals including C-level executives from some of the USA's largest exhibitions and convention organisers, gathered at Transform USA to discuss the future of data, analytics and digital in the events industry. Taking place at the Marriott at Metro Center in Washington. Following the success of the first Transform USA, AMR has announced that planning for its 2018 sequel is already well under way – with a new venue for the event to be announced in coming weeks, while registration is expected to open in March.

The Washington DC-based conference will be the Transform series’ fourth global outing, with numerous enhancements in the pipeline to build on last year’s campaign. The format of Transform USA 2018 will be altered from the previous year, so that now, while presenters will provide an overview of the most pressing technology trends as before, participants will also be encouraged to have deeper discussions on the tactics and real-world applications of the topics with subject matter experts and peers in small groups.

According to AMR, delegates at the Transform conferences are thirsty for insight into how to embrace new opportunities created by data, digital and analytics – but also keen to interact and engage in discussions, in order to deepen their understanding. Many are struggling with the organisational, product and implementation challenges of realising the potential benefits, and so are looking for practical insights through peer discussion and case studies. The changes to the conference’s structure will allow for this.

Structural changes

On top of the changes to format, meanwhile, Nancy Walsh, now of Nancy P. Walsh Xpert Consulting, has been appointed to work with AMR International in order to deliver Transform USA II. Walsh brings three decades of experience to the project, having worked for 30 years to expand global events company, Reed Exhibitions, throughout North America. While at Reed Exhibitions she contributed to the Reed brand in the areas of business growth, customer attraction and retention, digital innovations, the pop culture events explosion and sales restructuring.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nancy Walsh to the Transform USA team and look forward to her innovation and leadership to make Transform USA an even more important event for anyone concerned with the successful development of their events, as the technology revolution accelerates,” said Denzil Rankine, Executive Chairman, AMR International.

Nancy Walsh added, “I am delighted to be consulting with AMR on such an important event. Not long ago I was in the same position as our attendees thinking about how to prevent the opportunities of data and digital from passing my organisation by. I look forward to developing an event that doesn’t only give attendees food for thought, but provides them with learnings they can put immediately to work.”

In 2017, AMR International further prepared to cater to demand for transformation in the events space, by hiring a new Head for the firm’s Digital Practice. Ailis McKernan, a former Credo consulting employee, joined from Nectar UK, where she was most recently a Strategy and Product Director.

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Event explores the future of project management

03 April 2019

Dada Enterprises, a business consultancy based in London, recently featured on a panel of speakers to explore the key forces impacting on future projects and organisations at the University of West London (UWL) Claude Littner Business School. This was as part of a special evening organised by AK Optimize to commemorate the inaugural West London Project Hub. 

This packed event pulled together dynamic speakers who explored topics facing the future of project management in the UK. The diverse topics included artificial intelligence, project management apprenticeships and future talent management, how to deliver a major project like Thames Tideway, PMOs delivering strategic value, project leadership and Brexit and its implications for project managers.

The event kicked off with an opening address from Amerjit Walia, Director of Project Programs at AK Optimize, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Association of Project Management (APM). Walia explained that the inaugural event was part of a strategy which aims to make the UWL Claude Littner Business School a centre of excellence for project management. 

Jonathan Norman, Knowledge Hub Manager at the Major Projects Association, then introduced the Major Project Knowledge Hub. This Knowledge Hub aims to improve major project initiation, delivery and innovation through the sharing of knowledge and best practices as defined by an active, global user community. It is an open access source of insight, activities and events designed to encourage knowledge-sharing, collaboration and better planning, initiation and execution of major projects within the UK.

Event explores the future of project management

Sachin Melwani, Managing Director of Dada Enterprises, author of ‘How to Brexit Proof Your Project Strategy’, gave an overview of the constantly shifting Brexit timeline, the various Brexit options available and the potential project delivery impacts. Sachin then shed light on the operational impacts of Brexit, and the practical measures that firms can take to mitigate them. He argued that impact assessments are a major priority, and companies should seek to push ahead on them sooner rather than later. Failure to do so could also leave firms exposed to heightened contingency planning and transition costs as they scramble to be ready – and the cost of contingency planning at the last minute inevitably comes with a sizeable premium.

The event, which coincided with the National Apprenticeship Week 2019, was set-up by Caspar Bartington, Education Manager at the Association for Project Management (APM) – Europe’s largest professional body for project management. 

Steve Wells, acclaimed futurologist, was also on hand to explain the core question of how humanity can be kept at the centre of the AI story in the face of powerful technological shifts reshaping the world and straining the old social fabric. Steve put AI in the context of the other highly disruptive changes happening in parallel which are creating a more complex and multi-faceted business world (e.g. trade tensions, data security, war, terrorism, natural disasters).

Richard Lewis, Client Programme Manager at Tideway London, provided a dose of reality by explaining how topics like apprenticeships, Brexit and AI were not just theories but ‘real’ issues that had to be dealt with at Tideway London to secure the resource base and improve safety management and construction planning. As Client Representative for the Tideway programme (valued at £3.4 billion), Richard reports to the COO and is responsible for the performance of the Programme Management Contractor. Acting as the key client representative to programme-wide external stakeholders, Richard chairs the Alliance Management team consisting of three joint ventures. Richard gave an overview of the Tideway programme, outlining its pioneering engineering initiatives and value for London.

Finally, Stuart Easton, CEO of Transparent Choice, an expert in project prioritisation, explained how companies should constantly measure strategic alignment. This enables businesses to eliminate waste from their supply chains and eliminate the subsequent costs they incur, while allowing for heightened focus on key projects. Easton explained that an AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) is "the way" forward, and no shortcut will work in its place.

Related: Dada Enterprises event explores Brexit impact on project delivery.