Live, in-person events are finally back on the board, and we can’t wait for CFMA’s annual conference. We’re so excited we hosted a whole pregame!
Briq Executive VP of Marketing & Industry Pam Hummel was joined by CFMA VP of Operations Brian Summers, and Pepper Construction Assistant Controller Jen Haub. They discussed:
Let’s dig in:
(~4:45) Scouting Report
“CFMA is the only organization dedicated to construction financial professionals. We have more than 8,300 members and 99 chapters. We're going to hopefully get 100 soon and get that elusive 100th chapter coming on board very soon.” -BS
“In addition to the value Jen and I will speak about today in regards to the annual conference, there's three main benefits you get from CFMA membership. First is our flagship publication, CFMA Building Profits that comes to you six times a year. Some people say it's worth the price of the membership alone. Our monthly webinars you get as part of the membership. We had 21 last year basically because of the PPP and everything that happened with the pandemic. One specific webinar we had on PPP had over 1,200 attendees, which was phenomenal. And the last area is the Connection Cafe, which is our online member forum where you can post questions that get answers to all your construction financial challenges.
We also have the Benchmarker report, peer groups you can join, and a certification specific for the construction financial professionals. So, as you can see, a lot of value in CFMA. If you're not a member and you're interested, please dive a little deeper, ask us any questions that you want about CFMA membership.” -BS
“We came up with a hybrid conference approach (this year).You have the virtual attendees who can attend the conference completely from their home or office, and then you can have those who can go on site, in one of our hub cities.
The four hub cities are Phoenix, Atlanta, DC, and Dallas. They'll be on the first two days of the conference which are July 19th and 20th. And the rest of the conference is that week, July 19th to the 23rd. So, again, you get the same experience and we'll do a lot of great things on site. We have a 40th anniversary celebration Monday night, and we're really looking forward to it.”
(~8:30) Draft Day
“We also have a new Task Force this year- what we call the Advisory Task Force. We reached out to some members who tend to go to a lot of industry conferences throughout the year. Pam was a part of that. They gave us some feedback in terms of what they see in other conferences, what we might like to include in ours, and so we often took their suggestions back to the Committee. It really was a different perspective this year but I think it was great, we've got a lot of great feedback and hopefully everyone is pleased with the selections that we've made.” -JH
“Attendees get a lot of CPE. We've got the CCIFP credential folks, we've got folks continuing education for their CPA and for risk and for other things. There's an enormous amount of CPE that's available to attendees. And, of course, each of the sessions have to comply with the requirements for CPE. So, Jen makes it sound like it's a pretty easy job for the Committee, she makes it look easy as the Committee Chairman, but there's a lot that goes into the selections of speakers and the topics.” -PH
(~12:45) Player Profiles
“Neil Pasricha. Now, Neil is our motivational speaker. And I do equate him to Pete Carroll from USC. I just love his energy, love his positiveness, he's fantastic. What Neil is going to do is pitch us how to instill happiness in our lives. He had one of the top 10 most inspirational TED Talks of all time. He's authored many books. We can't think of a better inspirational speaker to have at our conference than Neil, because he's going to give us what we all need. We've just been through a year's worth of pandemic and I think that's going to be a great session.” -BS
“I want to touch on the panel for diversity and inclusion, led by Victor Sturgis. It's going to be a really exciting panel, it's definitely a topic CFMA wants to tackle, we have a Diversity and Inclusion Committee set up now. And we figured we could take away some real practical areas in this important topic.” -BS
(~20:00) Past Highlights
“The Committee does a really good job of measuring which of the general session speakers are best for which point in the conference. And they typically put somebody who's highly inspirational or highly energetic right out the gate and set the stage for everybody to feel inspired and energetic about the rest of the conference.” -PH
(~25:00) Tips for the Rookies
“The first thing that I would suggest is before you go, don't wait until you get there, go through the whole agenda. Read through it. See what peaks your interest. Everybody here has mentioned that there is a great diversity of the topics that are offered, from HR to leadership to risk to finance and accounting. All of those things impact financial professionals.
Be intentional, look at the agenda, pick out some courses that really resonate with you. Know that you can watch others after the fact. Try to get connected with folks in your chapter, whether it's virtual or in person. Another thing that I would really suggest is absolutely, without question, attend the round-table sessions on Friday. Those will all be virtual, these are peer-to-peer networking with contractors that are similar in size to you. These are general members only. So you don't have to worry about any of us associates coming in and trying to eavesdrop or trying to pitch you our products. These are general contractors, subcontractors, specialty contractors, contractors networking with each other. ” -PH
“For every session I attend, I try to write down two or three things that I would want to bring back to my manager or one of the operation guys or just something that resonated for me in each session. It's nice to, at the end of the conference, say, ‘Oh, I have these 12 things that I'd like to go back and talk to people at work with.” -JH
(~36:00) Tech Spotlight
“It's on Wednesday, depending on where you are, in the afternoon. And again you should go through the agenda, it's got the entire list of the IT providers who will be participating. Typically this would be a live format, they each have a room and they set it up physically or virtually how they see fit. Sometimes folks just want to host a lunch and have free-flowing discussions. Other providers want to make it an actual product demo and roll out new products. Other folks round-table it and have topics. But it's a great opportunity for CFMA members- all of whom use some sort of construction technology, whether the ERP or it's project management or finance or whatever might be- to chat with your software vendors.” -PH
(~42:00) Wrap-Up + Q&A
“I think overall the ROI on this conference is great, you're definitely going to exceed your ROI that you put into it just with a few of the KPI sessions that are going to be in there and the Benchmarker, they're huge sessions that are just really going to give you a lot of value for your company moving forward.” -BS
The Briq team would like to thank CFMA, as well as Jen Haub and Brian Summers. If you have any questions about the CFMA conference or CFMA in general you can head here.
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