By Kate Baxter

For those of you who have not heard of it, IAMC (Industrial Asset Management Council) has been formed in the wake of Corenet getting just too big.  On September 7-10 I attended my third IAMC conference.  This was only the third conference for this organization, and each one gets better.  We have been following IAMC from its inception in our search for educational, networked organizations in which our clients participate.

As you may know, Corenet has become home to high cost suites, with organizations spending big bucks to get attendees to visit their event.  Often, the crowd centers at the booth with the most free giveaways. Corenet is an example of a great place to network, if you are a machine.  With attendance in the thousands, it is hard to bump into the same person twice. So creating a relationship, or even just being remembered, can be a feat.

IAMC is set up quite differently, and has created a few interesting rules to avoid becoming another Corenet.  The number of corporate members to service providers is capped.  Networking functions are set up at IAMC so everyone is at the same function, not segregated in little groups.  All three conferences provided wonderful opportunities to meet people, get to know them and their organizations, and then bump into them again the next day.  Dinner is still up to each individual, but there are gatherings set up before and after that everyone can attend.  Each day, lunch is provided, so you don’t have people coming and going at different times. Everyone is at IAMC to network, friendly and ready to meet new people, so there is not the “seat saving” I have noted at other conferences.

Recreating the Beast?  The IAMC board likely feels some pressure not to recreate the beast, a.k.a. Corenet.  The feedback I have heard so far about IAMC is that the numbers need to remain capped.  If there is a waiting list, so be it–half the appeal is that the ratio will be favorable for all. If that goes, so may many members. 

The bottom line is that you can actually meet and talk to more people at IAMC, you don’t have to pay big bucks to do it, and pretty much everyone you meet is willing to talk.  IAMC has the market right now on a conference that is entertaining, educational, and still perfect for business.