New Era, New Energy for NWCDC: Submit Your Session Proposal Now

Attention speakers! The National Workers' Compensation Conference is launching its 2020 show with fresh ideas and fresh leadership. Submit your proposal now to be a part of what's next and share your best ideas with NWCDC attendees.
By: | December 5, 2019

The National Workers’ Compensation Conference and Expo will return to Chicago, its original home, for 2020. It’s a homecoming that provides a fitting opportunity for us to look back at how the conference and the industry have grown, and to move into the best position for what comes next.

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The once-staid workers’ compensation industry is now evolving at a rapid pace, and our conference along with it.

NWCDC is now under the ownership of The Institutes, the leading provider of risk management and property-casualty insurance education for more than 100 years. The Institutes is committed to the long-term success of NWCDC and shares our mission of providing vital risk management and risk finance knowledge to the workers’ comp community.

Our conference will also benefit from the fresh perspective of new management, with the Risk & Insurance team taking the helm and driving new innovations and ideas.

All of these exciting changes are coalescing to bring attendees a conference experience that’s energized and modernized. We’re refocusing our content to give attendees more of the practical ideas and solutions they need, and to better align with today’s complex workers’ compensation challenges.

New Themes for 2020

To accomplish this, we’ve identified four meaningful themes we see impacting employers large and small, public and private. As we select educational presentations for 2020, we’re looking for these ideas infused throughout, strengthening the lens that will best focus the value NWCDC has to offer industry professionals.

1. The First Word in Workers’ Comp Is Workers. Across the spectrum from employers to service providers to brokers and carriers, what we all share is that we’re here to help injured people get better. Advocating the best for our valued human assets – not claimants – isn’t a passing fad; it’s why we’re here. Our 2020 educational content across the board will reflect the strong worker-centric ethos the industry needs to keep pushing forward.

2. Technology Is a Universal Tool. From AI to exoskeletons, advances in technology are driving improvements in worker outcomes, productivity and cost efficiencies. There’s incredible technology across every sector. That’s why we’re striving to infuse technology throughout our program offerings. As we evaluate educational session proposals for 2020 and beyond, we’re looking for proven solutions to the challenges employers face, and all of the technology and tools being used to solve them.

3. Our Industry Is Evolving. As our industry undergoes a period of rapid change, we’re focused on helping people advance their careers and navigate the industry’s changing roles. With this year’s programming, we want to facilitate more discussions about the industry’s future, about the influences reshaping the industry, and the skills workers’ comp professionals need to excel in those roles. As employers work to attract a diverse mix of talent, we seek to support their growth and offer the ideas and information they need to lead.

4. Insurance Is Vital. In an ideal world, there would never be a workplace injury. But the world we live and work in isn’t always ideal, and insurance provides the resilience and strength employers need for a thoughtful and complete risk management strategy. We believe there’s a need to connect with the insurance community on a different level in order to reach a more well-rounded perspective. Throughout the evolution of this conference, it’s been our mission to embrace the full range of risk mitigation from prevention through claims management through risk transfer strategies. But we feel we have drifted from that mission in recent years. We believe that insurance and the services that insurers can provide are vital pieces of a strong workers’ comp risk mitigation program.

New Tracks for 2020

As a key part of revitalizing our educational content, we’ve realigned our session tracks to better reflect the scope of the complex issues facing the industry now and moving forward. We’re eager to host presenters who can help attendees address challenges across these categories. NWCDC seeks a mixture of critical topics, hot-button issues and emerging challenges throughout these tracks.

Medical Management/Pharmaceuticals. Navigating a path to the best possible medical outcome has never been more challenging, with the array of advanced diagnostics and treatments available. Meanwhile, the evolving landscapes of pain management and specialty pharmaceuticals continue to leave the employer and payer communities with more questions than answers. Industry professionals need fresh ideas to help them secure high-quality care for injured workers, while also ensuring that care is appropriate for each individual and cost effective for the payer.

Legal/Regulatory. The legal and regulatory landscape impacting the industry seems to take on new wrinkles by the hour, from the recent surge in paid-leave legislation to key decisions on medical marijuana and the gig economy. Workers’ comp professionals need innovative strategies for limiting current exposures, and the latest intel on the trends that could impact them around the corner. We’re looking for content that meets these needs and can help employers get the most from their legal resources.

Claims/Return to Work. Administer benefits, get people better, get them back to work. Simple goals that are rarely simple to achieve. NWCDC attendees are continuously looking to add to the arsenal of tools and strategies to eliminate the obstacles that can delay or halt recovery and return to work, including biopsychosocial issues, provider communication gaps and worker education.

Insurance/Risk Finance. With the growing complexity of workers’ compensation risk exposures, employers can’t rely on cookie-cutter solutions to manage their insurance needs. We seek presentations highlighting ways employers can more effectively partner with brokers and insurers to enhance their risk mitigation as well as leverage the best risk transfer strategies to meet their needs.

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Injury Prevention. Of course, the best claim is the one that never happens. Nationwide, employers are making great strides in reducing injury frequency. But in order to keep moving the needle, they need the freshest ideas on mitigating injury risks, fostering a strong safety culture, measuring results and getting the executive buy-in they need to support their efforts.

Steal These Ideas! Inspired by our popular presentation of Teddy Award-winning workers’ comp programs, this track will feature real-world solutions employers are using right now and achieving measurable results, with peer-to-peer guidance on lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid.

Career and Industry. The oft-discussed talent gap has been felt as acutely across our industry as any other. That’s why it’s the right time to spark more conversations about recruitment and retention, about furthering diversity and about the skills and expertise an evolving industry needs. In addition, we seek educational presentations designed to provide attendees with the critical professional skills they need to advance and elevate their careers and take on larger leadership roles.

And a Brand-New Short-Form Educational Platform

This year, we’re making room in the expo hall for new energy, new ideas and a new venue for sharing and learning. We’re inviting speakers to help us launch a dynamic series of 25-minute talks. A short-form talk can on any topic that will benefit, enlighten or inspire attendees.

Our goal is to make room for content that is powerful and valuable for industry professionals, but might not be an ideal fit for a 60 or 75-minute session. Do you have a message or an idea you can deliver effectively in less than a half-hour? Tell us about it!

We’re open to ALL ideas across the rich spectrum of topics that matter to workers’ comp professionals. Claims management and injury prevention? Of course. Risk finance? Return to work? Yes! But we also want to help attendees succeed as leaders and advance their careers. Can you help your peers understand how to speak the language of a CEO? Do you have some killer tips that will help negotiate like a pro?

Think outside the box. Heck, break the box – we don’t mind. We’re open to all ideas. All we ask is that speakers abide by the Golden Rule: No selling of any kind.

Don’t Click this Red Button Just Yet!

Please take the time to read over NWCDC’s 2020 proposal requirements. We’ve also included some useful suggestions on crafting a dynamic proposal and thinking ahead to your presentation.

The submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2020. After the submission deadline, the conference speaker submissions review board will review each proposal, and select the ones we believe provide the best possible educational experience for attendees.

We aim to have all speakers confirmed by April 17th, 2019. Individual critiques of submissions not accepted are not possible.

PROPOSALS ARE BEING ACCEPTED UNTIL 11:59PM, JANUARY 31, 2020.

If you have any questions or problems submitting this form, please contact Michelle Kerr at [email protected] or 215-784-0910, ext. 6216.

Michelle Kerr is workers' comp editor for Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]