Building the 2016 Annual Conference Line-up

Around this time each year, as the dust has settled on another successful Industry & Economic Outlook Conference, we make a big push to put together the program for the NFPA Annual Conference, in particular the speaker line-up.

Our goal is to build a line-up of thought-provoking speakers with a dynamic presence who bring a mix of new ideas and practical take-aways for our audience.

We approach the task from two ends of an equation…on the one end, thinking of possible themes and looking for speakers who fit those themes; and on the other end, looking for solid speakers with interesting content and working back toward a theme. But it’s not necessarily a balanced equation.  We would rather have great speakers and great content with no particular theme than a great overall theme and program full of dud speakers.

At this early stage, our theme for the 2016 Annual Conference is something about drivers of change.  Heard that one before?  Yup.  Me too.  But it works for what we have, and we think we have something good in the works.

We’re building around four areas of change;

Economic change – Sarah Hunter of Oxford Economics is going to give us something more than an economic update or forecast.  She’s going to talk through various scenarios Oxford sees playing out with the economy and around the world and the types of things business leaders should be thinking about with each.

Political change – Amy Walter, widely known political analyst and national editor for the Cook Political Report, will provide insight into the presidential and congressional races, and the political changes in store…and with the conference taking place in March, the presidential race should be narrowed to two, or at most a few, candidates.

Workforce/leadership change – Mark Thompson of Decision Processes International is going to talk about how to groom millennials to be the leaders of the future, with the help of some mental toughness concepts.

Technological change – More about this one later.  We have some ideas in the works, but nothing yet nailed down.

As always, the conference will include excellent numerous opportunities to network with business peers and partners, and side activities in the San Antonio area.

Watch for more details as the weeks move forward.  We plan to have full information and registration ready at the NFPA Events website by early November.

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