It seems that every conference builds its own theme. Now, I don't mean the announced theme such as "Progress through Sharing" or "The Right Audit at the Right Time" or "We Will Conduct No Audit Before Its Time" or any of the myriad other themes the marketing people develop. No, I am speaking of the underlying theme that develops because of the types of topics that are included.
Before going on, a caveat. It can be a fool's game identifying trends based on attendance at a conference; each individual's interpretation of such events is predicated on the concurrent sessions that are attended. At this conference, there are 35 concurrent session of which attendees will only attend seven. So my perception of what is going on during a conference will be different from that of someone who attended seven different sessions, which will be different from that of someone who attended seven completely different sessions, which will be different from that of someone who attended none because they were busy losing it all at the tables due to an obsession that hitting soft 18 against a 6 was a good idea. (But, perhaps I've shared too much.)
But there is an interesting trend I've noticed at GAM this year.
There seems to be a lot going on (and a lot of interest) about talent – about how to find talent, about how to measure talent, about how to retain talent, about the growing demand for internal audit talent.
And here's the other part of the story. These sessions have been well attended. These sessions have been very well attended – including a general session on the subject.
So, if these sessions represent a bellwether, I think it is that the demand for us as professionals is growing. In fact, that very fact came up in more than one presentation; the demand for auditors is going up and the supply is going down.
Dang it feels good to be an auditor.