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An estimated 330 Contract Management practitioners attending IACCM’s 16th annual Americas conference October 11-13 in Toronto gave it rave reviews in an end-of-event survey – saying things like “Outstanding!” “Best Ever!” and “…can’t wait for next year’s conference…!” 

Stakeholders in all trading agreements and relationships -- lawyers, project managers, contracts and commercial and procurement professionals – participated in or led workshops and speaking events to absorb challenges presented through the conference theme:  Becoming a 'Commercial Powerhouse': Outsight, Innovation & Smart Contracting. 

In three successive articles in the Commitment Matters blog, Tim Cummins, CEO, and Sally Hughes, COO, described several emerging themes that proved most thought provoking. Here is a summary of each (complete articles can be accessed by clicking on titles below.)

Tim Cummins CEO of IACCM

Collaborating across boundaries - October 16, 2017

“The spirit of collaboration was palpable. Newcomers especially were amazed at the openness and inclusive behaviors, commenting on the positive, ‘can-do’ atmosphere.”

What made the difference? For an event to succeed, it requires a shared sense of purpose that goes beyond simple networking. The IACCM conference enables conversations between people who would not normally meet each other outside a negotiation. With its focus on ‘trading relationships’, they rapidly find a uniting topic, something that all of them care about and consider important.

GDPR: Is Europe crazy? - October 20, 2017

Many delegates were stunned by what they learned during our IACCM Americas Conference in Toronto about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the data privacy regulations that the European Union plans to impose from May next year. One observed that this is ‘another example of the law operating contrary to reality’.

It isn’t just the scale of fines that matter (up to 4% of annual revenue), but the extent of what will be deemed ‘private data’. As Apple’s head of litigation observed at a conference this week: “The challenge is that it applies to all personal data, meaning any data that can be used, ultimately, to identify who you are. So, it’s far beyond your name, your Social Security, your bank account. It’s your IP address, or your device ID, or a reference number to a customer, or a complaint or question that you brought in. For any organization, beyond tech, it just covers just about anything.” 

Sally Hughes COO of IACCM

Change, Risk & Integration - October 17, 2017

Change is a constant enigma to us all.  While one executive presenter told us to embrace change, to “make change your best friend”, another observed that in reality change is reacted to by one of two things – complacency or terror!

Risk - Everyone ran out of the conference room following a presentation on GDPR, terrified of the potential impact of a regulatory fine – 4% of annual revenue.   But one observed, “…why are we so worried about 4% of annual revenue when it might not happen?  Why don’t we worry about the 9.2% value erosion that is already happening as a result of weaknesses in contracting…!”

Integration - I think the real output was the need to focus on integration. And that brings me back full circle to our opening remarks on Wednesday where we talked about the inclusiveness and diversity of the IACCM Membership, one of the great strengths of IACCM.

Comments from participants and speakers!

Here are a few of the most typical comments from participants throughout the event. 

Kai Jacob , Global VP Legal Information Management, Lawyer, SAP Deutschland – Speaker and panelist – The end of Precedents & Templates: Emerging Contract Standards & the Impact on Trading Relationships

“IACCM conferences are a must! There is simply no other place where you get such profound insights, networking opportunities and benchmarks of your own approach. Amongst the many things I like at IACCM, there is no other conference that creates that spirit of trust and openness. Keep up the good work!”

Jason Smith Apptus Attorney and Legal Technology Visionary, Apttus, Houston, Texas – Workshop presenter on Contract Technology

“Thank you for an incredibly informative, professional and entertaining week in Toronto.  I’m excited to see Apttus’ commitment to forging a stronger relationship with IACCM.” 

Ross J. Altman, Dykema, Member, Chicago – Keynote panel: Complex Projects – Challenges, Opportunities & Lessons Learned 

“I very much enjoyed participating in the Americas Conference just held in Toronto.  It was a terrific event with many thought provoking presentations.”  

Buddy Broussard BP, Houston, Texas

“The benefits of the conference were networking, sharing contracting best practices; understanding how others use technology for contract lifecycle management and having an opportunity to collectively influence software providers.”

Listen to our debrief recording – Tim debriefed IACCM’s Editorial Board meeting Tuesday, Oct 24 about his reflections on the conference. To listen, click on below


Register for 2018 IACCM Annual Americas Conference - St Petersburg, Florida

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