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Conference packs four days into two

13 Oct 2009

The recession might have hit contact centres and IT helpdesks, but it has helped make two annual conferences “more action packed” according to organisers.This year sees both the NZ Help Desks and ITSM and the 13th Annual Contact Centre conferences scaled back from two days each, to one.According Paula Cleghorn, director of conferences and training at Bright Star, the economic downtown hasn’t removed the need for conferences – it has just meant they have to think harder about how to make the conferences more attractive to delegates.One of these points was to cut down the time required.“A lot of managers don’t have the time to take two days off for a conference, so we thought we’d condense a lot of the conference into one day,” she said. “So we’re only covering the hottest topics in It help desks and call centres.”The conferences have also been marketed together to give “economies of scale”, which has, in turn, allowed Bright Star to cut back on overall costs and offer the customer a much more competitive price – while still offer key learning experiences.On Wednesday October 21, the New Zealand Help Desks and ITSM takes place, with the emphasis placed on “transforming service delivery for optimized customer experience”.The forum will discuss critical industry issues; such as the effective management of operations and service delivery, consciously contributing to the business bottom line at lower costs, and leveraging IT innovation to release business potential.Speakers for the conference include Shubha Raniga, consultant, HB Solutions, Chong Looi, Central Managed Services Manager, Axon, Sunit Prakash, IT Service Management Consultant, VOCO, Simon Gould-Thorpe, CIO, Honda, Jenny Ellwood-Wade, IT Service Management Consultant, Bowood Ltd, David Gandar, director, Delta Software, Amit Luis, IS Infrastructure Operations Manager, The Warehouse, and Scott Higham-Lee, Senior Manager, Service Desk and Operations, ANZ National.On Thursday 22, the Rendezvous Hotel becomes the location for the 13th Annual Contact Centres conference, where the focus will be on “turning tough times into opportunities”.The day will start by looking at market trends for contact centres in the current challenging environment, focusing on doing more with less, turning contact centres into SBUs, dealing with potential options of off-shoring, and maintaining staff morale. The presentation will be undertaken by Hunter Dean, director at Human Performance Specialists.Later in the morning, Giles Potter, director of Great Outcomes Ltd, will look at translating strategy into operational execution for contact centres, focusing on; matching strategy’s feature to contact centre operations, operational execution skills to deliver strategy, and key pitfalls for avoid.Staff turnover is the focus of a presentation by Marilyn Garth, head of customer services at Palmerston North City Council. The talk will look at holding on to star performers and how staff turnover its resulting impact on ROI.In the afternoon, delegates will be able to selected from a number of sessions covering a range of topics – from ‘Keeping it simple – Ensuring Quality Customer Experience’, ‘Public Sector – The Pathway to Improve Operations’, ‘Leveraging Data to Improve Your Customer Service and Operational Metrics, ‘Private Sector – Doing More With Less’.These will be followed by sessions in enhanced efficiency and productivity, looking at ‘Avalanche Call Management’ and ‘Knowing Your Voice – Speech Recognition’. The conference concludes with a Champagne roundtable discussion, with the topic being ‘Dealing With The Unpredictable’.