It’s hard to believe that it’s already been three weeks since the 2012 APMP Bid & Proposal Con wrapped up. It’s the one time each year that I’m surrounded by people who know exactly what I do every day as a proposal professional. My people…..your people. I call it, My Promised Land. We talk about fonts, punctuation, point out all the misspellings on speaker slides (you know you do), and give tips on how to deal with SMEs and sales reps. This is exciting stuff, people!
This year, the whole vibe was different. It felt more exciting (must have been the bright lights and music at the opening of every day), energetic, more relaxed, and more inclusive of the commercial proposal professionals which included our very own session track! Yes! And there was a new “Awards Dinner” that included food, drinks and dancing. And let me tell you, Charlie Divine (Director of Accreditation) can cut a rug! More importantly, I got to know fellow members on a more personal level. Building these relationships is invaluable! We played a little game at our table where people tell three things about themselves – two true, one false – and everybody else tries to guess which one is false. It was after a couple drinks, so, you can just imagine the things I now know about these people!
There were close to 600 attendees, with about 200 of those being first timers. I talked to old-timers and first-timers and got a consistent message – “I’m meeting so many people and learning so much!” This might sound like an advertisement for the conference, and that’s ok. I cannot express to you how important , impactful and inspiring this has been for me AND my career over the years. If you’re a proposal professional, you need to find a way to go. And if you’re not a member of APMP yet, you need to sign up here www.apmp.org – right now, today!
So, now it’s back to the real world and the five proposals I’m working on. The good news is that my batteries have been recharged and I’m desperately holding on to that ethereal feeling I get when I’m amongst my people. This is what I do and this is what I love.
Carry on, warriors. And remember, “people reach out, to people who reach out(1).”
(1) Keynote speaker, Vicki Hitzges (www.vickihitzges.com).