BPC Europe 2023 Takeaways

BPC Europe 2023 gathered bid & proposal professionals from all over Europe to learn new strategies, make new connections, and chat with old friends. BPC Europe 2023 is presented by the only professional association in the industry with the size, depth, resources, and expertise to motivate winners in the business-winning community – the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP). This year’s European Bid & Proposal Con was hosted at Amsterdam’s Beurs Van Berlage and these were some of the key takeaways.


Day One

Neha Lagoo Ratnakar, CPTD® helped us understand that there are J.O.A.T.s (Jack/Jill of All Trades). When you are trying to find yourself — try it all. Make life work for you. Trying many things helps you grow as a professional and as a person. Adding other interests will improve your professional life. Ms. Ratnakar’s sister is a Bid and Proposal Proposal professional. She believes that all bid and proposal pros are JOATS. JOATS make our lives better. She is a brand new speaker to APMP and she is excellent. Want to know more or to buy her book? Go to https://lnkd.in/gNBgWCjx.


Sally Clarke shared that burnout is real and usually impacts high performers. It’s not the individual’s thought. It is not a result of Personal weakness or failure. To prevent burnout is to focus on self-compassion, self-knowledge, or self-awareness. You need to breathe, restore, nourish, and talk. Most important though is to recognize your value and work on your resilience. Early signs of burnout are no rest, a roller coaster of emotions, and you think about work all the time. Want to know more? Go to www.salcla.com.

John Ingve Eielsen delivered a presentation about AI in Xait ‘s session and these were some key takeaways:

  • There are no sources with using AI
  • AI is better at facial recognition with white, middle-aged men (because it’s primarily developed by the same)
  • Generative AI is still in development and we need to have caution when using it
  • AI can’t write proposals – yet!

Andy Jeffs, APMP, Darrell Woodward CP APMP, and Nicole de Dewit did a deep dive on Best Content Management Practices. The key is to update, update, and update. Also trusting in your colleagues is the best recipe for great content. Consistent formatting trumps your branding. Content across languages is a challenge — the most tricky is UK English vs. US English. Side-by-side languages in columns is the easiest to read. Hire a translator first. You need them. Also, engage the users as early as possible. Bringing team members early gives users an opportunity to be comfortable and own the content management. Three top tips for content management:

  • Be pragmatic in your processes. This helps people want to use it.
  • Focus on the tech so the content is easiest to get to and the users can get to it quickly.
  • People are key to Content Management. Successful automation is as good as what the people know and how well the content is maintained.

Vicky Hampson talked about Transformational Leadership at BPC Europe 2023. She urged the audience to figure out why they have chosen the profession they have and whether they are happy. She says putting the right people in the right places at the right time, and enabling them to focus is magic! Humans can’t predict the future but we can help them navigate. We can best navigate with pace and purpose. She encourages you to think differently because that is when CHANGE HAPPENS. Beware! The best people and talent in your organization will start looking for new challenges if there is not change. People want to be challenged. Transformational leadership characteristics include these six current things to do: 1) Transformational Leadership 2) Managing Well Being 3) Creating a Culture of Openness 4) Customer Focused Leadership 5) Optimize Productivity 6) Designing Risk Management.


Day 2 

David Beckett started out Day Two with the Best Three Minutes and the basis of any great pitch is 1) Identifying the audience 2) Identifying what we want these people to do because we want action. 3) Identify the pain and the problem you can solve. Our brains are wired to look for problems to solve. 4) Your goal when pitching is getting them to the next level. 5) The most frequent pitch is introducing yourself. The handshake pitch to “What Do You Do”. Think it through by telling them what you do, the kinds of customers you have and learn the problems they face. When you are in the early stage of a pitch, get help. When you ask for help ask 1) What stood out? 2) what stood out 3) Friendly advice for improvement. If you want more information go to www.best3minutes.com.

Graham Ablett presented on all things Pricing. He talked about relationship engagement, corporate responsibilities, and social value. He warned the audience to be aware of market volatility and how to navigate through it. You have to know your customer in terms of going to market, their value and their pricing. Other factors are to gather data, assess your influence, price it competitively, and get to the win. The villain in completing the winning journey is time, so make sure to consistently consider time. Make sure to define what your company values. Customers want greater benefits than the cost. He also walked us through the Winning Price Window which leads you to bottom-up pricing. This gives you confidence that you will have a competitive price.

Dr Joyce Carols gave us tips on How to Increase Your Performance in a Competitive World. She said to focus on the technical, tactical, physical and mental of your job. The physical part is the most important in that you need proper health, food and endurance. The mental side lends itself to joy, self-confidence and resilience. You can help your staff by focusing on the physical and mental. We all crave balance. The Triple Perspective is 7 hours of sleep, 7 glasses of water and 7 minutes of exercise. Try this for 90 days and watch the positive results.

Dina-Perla Portnaar specializes in Integrity. Her advice on how to win new work includes: 1) Never bending the truth because you will be found out. 2) Competing with what you have — your own tools. 3) Doing business is with people and people expect transparency and trust. 4) There is a need for processes and for forms, but it is all about the people. This is a collaborative approach. 5) You have to find a balance between personal interaction and process. Disagreements should NEVER drive mistrust or lack of integrity. It should forge Innovation.

APMP South African Chapter Chair Kate Moshoadiba talked about A Team’s Unconcious Bias at BPC Europe 2023. It’s the big elephant in the room. The biases in the workplace can be certain behaviors with unintended or negative behavior. The 5 key concepts of rowing simultaneously include 1) Strategies that start with a vision/ qualification 2) Remembering the adage that there is no I in team 3) Finding the swing in Storytelling 4) Planning, executing, and monitoring. 5) Win more! Biases are usually revealed when things are different than you expect — understand that.

Suki Bains, asked “How Do You Feel?” and how to optimize your feelings in work and life. She explained how to live with yourself and work your inner world. The key is being true to yourself and then how to work with yourself. To do this ask 1) “who am I?” From that, you forge your path in life. 2) Am I aligned with my truth? 3) What is happening to you mentally— take frequent stock to improve. An exercise is to mentally clear your mind at night and to release negative energy 4) what is happening physically, what is your pattern? She encourages us to observe ourselves to understand why we do things 5) what is happening psychically — find the energy that connects us to life. When your mind is cluttered, quiet your mind with music, quiet and clearing. 6) Do I see myself? 6) Do I understand myself? Find your inner child and reconnect to the person who knew who you were 7) How do I break through old parts of me?

Thank you to all those who participated in BPC Europe 2023! We’d also like to thank this year’s sponsors!

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