During 27th to 29th October 2019, I was fortunate enough to attend the IR Global Annual Conference which was held in the beautiful city of Amsterdam and attended by approximately 380 legal and accounting professionals from all around the world. I was part of the IR Global Rising Stars group with 25 other young professionals.
The conference started off on the Sunday night with welcome drinks at the Hotel Grand Krasnapolsky where I got to meet some of the attendees before the formal conference started early the next day.
The conference itself was held in the historic Beurs Van Berlage building located in the centre of Amsterdam which was the former stock exchange building built in 1896. Monday commenced with a Business Networking Skills workshop run by Una McSorley in which the Rising Stars learnt how to develop our networking skills which are essential for both professional and business development. The session was highly interactive and I found it very practical and useful.
I then attended a working women’s lunch with fellow female members of IR Global in which each table discussed the problems and challenges we have faced in our own career development and how we overcome these, different leadership styles that we have been exposed to and what younger professionals are looking for in their leaders. The discussion was very insightful and it was interesting to hear stories from fellow women professionals from all over the world.
The afternoon session consisted of an mBraining and Leadership presentation by Wilbert Molenaar in which we learnt that we have a head, heart and gut brain and how Neuroscience research has found that leaders who listen to all three of their ‘brains’ together tend to make better decisions and be a better leader. This session was highly informative and something I had not come across before. After learning about my three brains, I then attended an interactive session on Public Speaking and Posture in which I learnt daily exercises that we can do at our desks to help improve posture.
On Monday evening I attended a dinner at the National Maritime Museum which was a fun evening of networking in a spectacular setting.
Tuesday started off with a presentation by a TED Talks presenter Julian Treasure on how to speak so that people want to listen. The presentation was highly engaging and I learnt some great tips of effective speaking and how to be a good listener. I then attended another table discussion in which we spoke about effective communication and managing different personalities in the office. Tuesday afternoon consisted of learning about the magical science of storytelling and then an IR Global update where the Member of the Year 2019 was announced finished off with closing drinks.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Amsterdam for the conference and being given the opportunity to meet so many people in my profession from all around the world. I look forward to the next conference and meeting up again with everyone that I met.
Carly Hanson is a Senior Associate at James Conomos Lawyers where she practices in the areas of insolvency, bankruptcy and commercial litigation. If you or your business needs assistance navigating a legal dispute, please do not hesitate to contact her.