This year’s conference was held at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada. Once again, the AACEI staff put on a great conference in a great venue in a great city. For those that haven’t spent time in Toronto (especially in the summer), I highly recommend you find some time to enjoy the city.
The conference seemed to draw fewer cost estimating vendors than in previous years. I’m not sure if this is a trend, but I’m keeping tabs on it. There were plenty of cost management vendors along with project controls services consultants—perhaps more than in prior years. It was interesting to note how competitive vendors now openly attend the software showcases. One in particular had the audacity to ask the presenter detailed questions about their technical solution in front of the audience. It’s disheartening to see this level of unprofessional behavior and I hope AACEI considers taking action against those vendors who use this educational event as an opportunistic venue to extract competitive information. A “one strike and you’re out” policy works for me.
I was pleased to see steady attendee traffic in the exhibit area given that the meeting rooms were spread out on the floors above. The attendees seemed to have a better idea of what they’re looking for instead of just kicking tires and seeking basic education. Attendees have certainly matured in their inquiries over the years, so our domain expertise and partners’ knowledge require continuous investment to keep up with the market trends.
We had a chance to share an early alpha of our next-generation benchmarking platform called Cortex. The first module, Project History, will be released in mid-2017 and we are starting to present it to select clients and prospects this summer. It’s exciting to see their reactions—it reminds me of the early days of Eos Advisor some 12 years ago. We received some excellent ideas and guidance for improvement from some of the best minds in the business, Conquest Consulting Group.
I’ve attended these conferences for 25 years and it’s great to see old faces along with new ones. We already signed up for the 2017 conference in Orlando and I hope to see you there.