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My Top 10 Things to Look Forward to at SCIP 2010

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10 Random Things I'm Looking Forward to at SCIP 2010 in Washington DC

Conferences are kind of expensive these days... and in more ways than one - aside from the registration fee, there's the opportunity cost of missing what you'd normally be doing back at the office, fighting the airlines to get your baggage back and avoid getting saddled with a middle seat, time away from family and friends, overpriced and underwhelming hotel room service, et cetera. Speaking of hotels, for a second, if you haven't booked your room yet for this meeting I'm about to talk about - SCIP 2010 in Washington DC - then considering all the snow the Capitol has been getting lately and how many events I've heard are being pushed back a month or so, that's probably motivation enough to recommend you get your room booked pronto or risk crashing in Baltimore! But I digress...

Point is, while in-person conferences have produced for me some of the most rewarding relationships and experiences of my professional life, I take it pretty seriously when I decide to attend, present or sponsor an event so I can plan ahead to get the most out of it... and you should too.

So it is with the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals 2010 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Washington DC coming up March 9-12. Whenever I've gone to SCIP meetings in the past (more than a dozen now), I've made a list of the things I most want to get out of my investment of time, energy and treasure to take back and put to work for my company and career.

About 30 days before SCIP 2009 in Chicago last year I made my regular Top Ten List of those 10 high-priority "things" (sessions, people, sights, experiences, restaurants, whatever) that I was most looking forward to bringing back from my annual trek to our flagship competitive intelligence meeting. At the time, the "25 Random Things About Me" tag-challenge was going around Facebook so I thought it might be fun to share my list online - you can find it here. Honestly, I was a little worried 25 things might be a bit TOO challenging, however, so I settled on only 10 as the challenge for fellow conference-goers to review and consider sharing their own.

This week as I prepared my 2010 agenda of can't-miss highlights, I decided to repeat the challenge listing my top 10 in reverse-order, countdown-style from this year's agenda below. Once again, I found many more than 10 that I didn't want to miss; in fact, I quit counting when I reached 25! However, in the interests of brevity, I'll list just my top 10 here with a link to my blog where you can see the rest. Enjoy and please share your own list if you're planning to join me at the meeting. You'll be glad you did.

10 Random Things I'm Looking Forward to at SCIP 2010

10.) I wouldn't be doing my job very well if I didn't mention that Aurora WDC will be highlighting updates to practically our entire range of professional services and we're excited to share all of that news with our valued clients. Stop by booth #121 in the exhibit hall to learn about the latest upgrades to Aurora's real-time monitoring, program planning, primary field research, systems consulting and counter-intelligence services.

9.) Bridging the Gap Between CI and MR with Anca Costea from Covidien & Nanette Bulger from Philips Healthcare - a perennial problem amid incredible opportunity... when done right.

8.) Integrating Web 2.0 Tools in Your Intelligence Process with Phil Britton from Best Buy - a hot topic delivered by top staff at a well-known company to show us the way.

7.) The Savvy Stakeholder: CI-Driven Decision-Making moderated by Scott Leeb from Prudential Retirement & panelists Patrick Sweeney, Samuel Arbel & Craig McHenry - a couple of good friends join with a couple of new ones to show us how to make CI more effective for internal clients.

6.) Creating and Using Dynamic Topic Maps to Visualize Your Business Environment with Jesper Martell & Daniel Thomasson from Aurora software partner Comintelli - the best taxonomy technologists in the world show how to make visualization more effective.

5.) Thursday Keynote - Business Models are Changing... and so Must CI with Ravi Parmeswar from Citigroup - a call to action for CI professionals to consider new methods to support changing intelligence needs, perspective from a top client in a hyper-turbulent industry.

4.) Ask the Experts Discussion on Competitive Strategy in the New Economy moderated by Tim Kindler from Eastman Kodak & joined by panelists Daniel Pascheles from Merck & Lloyd Babbitt from W.W. Grainger - my good friend Tim leads an expert discussion among a diverse panel of the savviest CI leaders.

3.) Say It and Sit Down: The 20/20 Communication Technique with Judith Leavitt from Rockwell Collins - though she may need more 6:40 to do it, my good friend Judy introduces the CI community to the breakthrough Japanese presentation phenomenon of Pecha Kucha.

2.) Perception Mapping and Contradiction Resolution of Voice of the Customer with our good friend and world-class innovation & TRIZ expert David Conley from Intel.

1.) And the number one thing I'm looking forward to lands Thursday night (March 11th) - after you've had a chance to grab dinner, all SCIP 2010 conference-goers are invited to join us back at the Marriott to celebrate Aurora WDC's 15th Anniversary Party, starting at 8:30 PM and running until around 11:30. Entertainment for the evening will be Atlanta's own Void Where Prohibited, cash bar will be available and news on what we've got planned to kick off Aurora's next 15 years.

And here's a link to the full post on where you can see the other 15 things I came up with. If this sounds like your kind of conference, as it is mine, learn more or register at:

I hope to see you there,

Arik Johnson

Founder & Chairman

Aurora WDC

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Replies to This Discussion

Hello Arik,

I think this is a good list of things you want to achieve and many other can relate too. Howeve,r ( here comes the bubble bust):

1) What about the job seekers who cannot attend the conference due to certain constraints...?
2) How are we able to network with those already in the professional...?
3) How can we help we find a a position ( even a contract position is a good start)...?
4) How about holding an event in the NY/NJ area...? ( even a mixer is will do)...?

Tough questions Upendra - I know in years past SCIP has had a limited number of assistant roles available for students and job seekers to participate, but not sure what the policy is now. Perhaps others here have some thoughts on how you could proceed with questions 1-3?

As for question 4, I think there are pretty active SCIP chapters in NY/NJ - I haven't been out to them as a speakers in a few years but have in years past and found them very active.

Anybody have thoughts for Upendra on this regarding SCIP?

- Arik
Thanks for your input,
I'd like to know everyones thoughts are on questions 1-3, and if they know anything...?

- Upendra

Here are some suggestions off the top of my head...

1) What about the job seekers who cannot attend the conference due to certain constraints...?

For the SCIP conference in 2011 you have two main options for free conference registration. One is to submit a proposal for a session. Individual speakers currently are given free registration for the conference. Choose your area of expertise that is of interest to other CI professionals and write a compelling proposal. The other option is to serve as a volunteer to help with the logistics of the sessions. Both of these opportunities are widely sought and there are limited opportunities available, so pay attention to announcements for opportunities for the 2011 session. The ship sailed long ago for the 2010 session.

2) How are we able to network with those already in the professional...?

You're on the Ning group, so that's a start. Look for opportunities to join the Intelligence Collaborative webinar events (they're free) and sign up for the SCIP group on LinedIn. Watch for local SCIP chapter activities, IntelCollab events or raise your hand to organize an event.

3) How can we help we find a a position ( even a contract position is a good start)...?

I have RSS feeds of jobs that mention "competitive intelligence" and related terms on multiple job boards. From time to time friends and colleagues reach out to me. Maybe a jobs forum on Ning would be a useful resource.

It's important to build and maintain a professional network. Professional networks require care and feeding BEFORE you need them. Recognize the need to give before you get. The people who maintain a positive karma balance are more likely to get help from the people in their network to someone who is running a bottomless line of karma credit.

I have done some of the steps you suggested, the linkedIn with SCIP and other related CI groups. However, there is not many announcement for positions. I will have a more interest in your RSS feeds for positions, as this is what I am seeking immediately.

But as you suggested, I will pursue all avenues.

Thank you for your reply and advice.

Upendra Topiwala
I'm on the same page as Jens for Washington DC and like the pitch and tone Jens. Will welcome following on #scip10. The primary driver for twitter came from not being present in Chicago....doh!


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