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PAIMA conference 2017

Dec 14, 2017
The 33rd annual PAIMA conference took place in October, a few days before IAM, at the Hyatt in Long Beach. It really is one of the friendliest conferences on the circuit and the PAIMA bunch always seem to have a fabulous time. By Steve Jordan

In common with most groups, PAIMA has taken to starting off its conference with a golf tournament which is great fun for those who enjoy it and, of course, totally baffling for those not of the persuasion.  That said, the PAIMA golfers do take a somewhat relaxed view of proceedings, welcoming golfers of all standards (and no standard at all), to have a walk in the sunshine and swing at a few balls.  There are some star players, but having fun is by far more important than sporting prowess.  

As well as having a good time there’s a lot of business going on at PAIMA during the formal part of the proceedings; though I never know why it’s necessary to have a roll-call at any conference and PAIMA do like to have one at the start of each day, which seems a little excessive.  For the first time PAIMA included a half-day, IMC-style one-on-one networking session which was very well attended.  The tradition is to have half-hour meetings with each person which, if you have a lot to talk about flies by, but if you don’t, can be hard work.  Maybe 20 minutes might be enough and then continue in the bar afterwards if necessary?  


Don Snyder, Director of Business Development at the Port of Long Beach, was the guest speaker and, as it turned out, a very good choice.  The subject matter was relevant, interesting and Don was an excellent speaker who managed to mix information with humour in a very engaging way.    

PAIMA had a recreational disaster looming with its Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt event held on the Saturday afternoon.  This required executives to run around the streets of Long Beach getting total strangers to do silly things and filming them in the process.  For many groups this would have been a non-starter but PAIMA is different.  Everyone joined in.  It was a hoot!  The great California public entered into the spirit too and I even saw one group enlist the help of a passing policeman to drop his guard long enough to join in the game.  Next time you are around your home town, try asking a bunch of passers-by to join you in dancing The Nutcracker while someone else takes movies: see what reaction you get!    


The PAIMA conference is a fun, relaxed, gentle, annual get-together that is greatly enjoyed by all who attend and still gets the business job done.  It’s also a great networking opportunity with a relatively small number of people, most of whom know each other and are keen to welcome those they do not.  It’s always held immediately before IAM to keep travelling costs down for everyone.  If you are a PAIMA member, and don’t go to the conference, maybe you should.  Next year it’s in Washington DC, so take a jumper. 


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