Setting Sights on Seattle, Celebrating World Congress’ 25th Year!

By Samantha Williams, NCMA Senior Director, Learning

Each year, World Congress convenes contract management professionals from all corners of government, industry, academia and beyond! A true celebration of our profession, World Congress will be marking its 25th year this July 21-26 in Seattle.

Twenty-five years of buyers and sellers learning side-by-side has driven powerful learning and problem solving across the profession.

This year’s theme is: 25 Years Strong: Better Contracting, Better Outcomes.

NCMA’s longstanding neutral forum is a complement to the Biden-Harris Administration’s recent Better Contracting Initiative. (1) Contract managers are at the center of every acquisition team, uniquely placed to lead teams to work faster and smarter with the ability to forge a pathway through a compliance-driven acquisition environment to innovation and outcomes.

This year is all about leveraging the experience gained over the last 25 years to build our strategy for the next 25 years. Impacted by a rapid pace of change, new policy priorities, and interconnected workplaces, contracting professionals will need to build and flex new skillsets. Here are some of the future-ready themes on our minds:

Building strategic partnerships – As new technology, artificial intelligence, cloud services, etc. shift and change, buyers will need to build strategic partnerships and flexible solutions that have room to grow, react, and reshape.

Data management – Increasingly, our ability to compete and leverage innovative solutions will rely on the quality and cleanliness of available data. 

  Embracing uncertainty – Yes, it’s a skill that can be learned and flexed! Reframed perspectives on the unknown and leveraging opportunities amid seeming chaos will serve us well in the years to come.

Finding harmony – Work and personal lives are intertwined in our connected workplaces. Managing the ebb and flow of workload alongside other important priorities is essential to avoiding burnout, career longevity and the overall health of our contract management workforce.

Compliance – New compliance requirements are trending up. This means that contract managers will have more to contend with and need new tools for managing and prioritizing risk.

Contract Lifecycle – As always, lifecycle skills are an essential foundation for new and not-so-new buyers and sellers to learn, discuss and innovate around our core competencies.

Sharing Innovation – Innovation does not occur in a vacuum. World Congress will continue to bring forward interactive demos of new innovations in our profession to inspire and give you ideas to bring back to your organization.

What else will shape our next 25 years? Join us at World Congress to be a part of our collective brainstorming and planning of our future, together. CM