From the Desk of the Executive Director

February 13th 2018

by Vicki Reich

Conference planning is in full swing. I know it seems like we just said goodbye at the last conference and October seems like a lifetime from now, but there are good things starting to coalesce for 2018.

The board came up with a great theme for this year’s conference: Minding Our Mission, Finding Our Future. I’m currently in negotiations with two inspiring Keynote Speakers and a really exciting Intensive lineup. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all the details next month once the contracts are signed.

There are already a few workshops lined up and a long list of potential presenters to go through. If you’ve got something you want to teach and share with the Provender Community, there is still time to submit your proposal here.

In our January In-Person board meeting, the board and I brainstormed some ways to improve on our already pretty bad ass conference and you’ll see some of those ideas come to fruition this year.

One of the improvements I’m most excited about is we are moving Meet Your Maker to the Gorge Room and extending the hours. This move will give manufacturers more room, more time and fewer stairs! Meet Your Makers will still be on Thursday afternoon and we are working to gear more of the workshops that day toward the needs of our manufacturer members. The space will still be limited to 32 tables so that we can all have those in-depth conversations with each other that have come to exemplify Meet Your Makers. Tables will be available on a first come first serve basis. If you are a manufacturer who knows they want a table, send me an email and I’ll get you on the list.

We are also planning on hosting our own version of TED talks. We’re calling it ProvX. On Wednesday night, we’ll invite anyone in attendance to get on stage for 10 minutes and tell us about something they are passionate about that they think we should know. Workshop presenters can use the time to preview their workshops. You can tell your peers about a cool program you’ve created or about your latest product. I’m already planning my talk about all the ways you can connect with other members through our new membership software. This will be a great way to polish up your public speaking skills in a safe and friendly environment. I hope you’ll start thinking about what you want to present.

There are more improvements in the works as well as new ways we can stay connected all year long. I promise to keep you posted as all the new ideas solidify. Until then, mark your calendars for October 3-5.