Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Business Convention = Party!

At the risk of sounding like I am making fun of an industry, please allow me to make fun of an industry. Or at least their annual convention.

I am in LA this week on business, and staying at the relatively nice Marriott Marina Del Rey near where Washington Blvd meets the Pacific ocean.

The widely known and storied National Association of Purchasing and Payables (known affectionately and sleepily as NAPP) annual convention is tearing up the meeting rooms, lounges and hallways of this respectable hotel.

I have seen literealy dozens and, well, maybe a dozen, of the attendees partying hardy in the lounge with their ties scandilously loosened and ladies with buttoned-to-the-neck blouses with absolutely no frilly collars with O'Douls in hand and hoot'n and holl'rn about how Mr. Ferguson had played a trick on the association's best-practices committee chairman.

He had mentioned that his department routinely padded procurement prices with a 5% "transaction fee" to pay for their departments Christmas party in Aruba (also attended by their vendors who matched the 5% fee with a year-end kickback rebate). Apparently the chairman turned red and stammered before realizing it was a joke.