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Navigating and Networking at the Conference

ISM's 93rd Annual International Supply Management Conference

St. Louis, MO
May 2008


Sharon L. Hauht C.P.M., Quality Assurance Administrator, Purchasing & Contracts, City of Las Vegas

Julia E. Hubbel, President, The Hubbel Group, Inc.

With a wide selection of workshops, events and destinations, choosing how to spend the day at ISM's annual Conference can be an overwhelming process for first-time attendees. For this reason, the ISM Conference Leadership Committee today kicked off the day with this special session devoted especially to helping these newcomers make the most of their experience.

"Your first activity is to get excited!" began presenter Sharon Hauht, C.P.M., quality assurance administrator of purchasing and contracts for the City of Las Vegas. "The educational content here is foremost."

Hauht led attendees through the diverse collection of workshops and educational tracks at this year's conference, and reminded them about the Cyber Café and exhibit hall, where they can keep in touch with their offices back home, network and peruse new and innovative products and services.

Hauht then shared Conference navigation tips — "lessons learned" — including registering early, making the most out of the site map and pocket guide, and how Conference volunteers can help in a pinch. She also urged attendees to visit and sit with people they don't know during meal times to maximize their networking opportunities, and that attendees from the same organization attend different sessions to leverage their educational ROI.

The second half of the session — devoted to networking — was led by Julia Hubbel, president of The Hubbel Group, Inc. Hubbel, a consistently high-rated presenter, led attendees through "The Hub Factor," teaching them new, authentic ways to connect with each other.

"It's a fact: About seventy-five percent of people are a little uncomfortable networking," Hubbel said of the number-one social anxiety in the United States. "It means we're taking a chance for rejection." However, she added, the most successful people in the world spend more than half their time networking.

Hubbel's approach is decidedly anti-"all about me"; instead, she believes networking is about mutual benefit. "It's all about leaving people larger," she said. "Today, when we network, we'll all be our real selves." As Hubbel explained, charisma — how other people feel about themselves when they walk away from you — is the foundation, and asking good questions is the key to charisma.

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