I've just stepped out of the Management Consultancies Association's annual conference to pen a short blog update on the healthy state of the market - as reported by the keynote speakers.
Having attended (indeed sponsored) the Institute of Management Consultancy's annual conference a couple of weeks back, it's been interesting today to hear many of the same messages emerging:
* Consultancies are experiencing robust growth in client demand - and double-digit growth is again expected in the next year
* Attracting and retaining talent is now the number 1 challenge facing consulting Partners
* Having to get deals approved by Procurement departments as well as by client decision-makers is a more and more prevalent requirement. A successful deal agreed over lunch with the CEO is now only half the battle. Getting over the procurement hurdle is at least as difficult
* Experience rather than talent is what clients are demanding in today's market. They want consultants on the team that have detailed experience in their sector - and are less interested in the "bright young things" with an MBA but no sector-specific insights they can bring to the project
Overall the mood at both events has been buoyant, with consultants quietly confident about business prospects and expecting that 2006 will be a vintage year.
Glad we're back in a market where everyone's cheery again... :-) Tony