Workers' Comp Conference

Vetting NWC&DC Speaker Proposals

By: | February 20, 2014

Roberto Ceniceros is a retired senior editor of Risk & Insurance® and the former chair of the National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo. Read more of his columns and features.

It’s an honor to be part of a team currently sifting through hundreds of proposals submitted by experts requesting to speak at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo taking place in November.

It’s also challenging, winnowing down the proposals that were due February 5, to fill 31 available conference breakout sessions. It’s a tough process because many of the proposals contain excellent ideas for session topics and they recommend speakers with impressive industry expertise.

Yet we have to make cuts, looking to select the ideas and speakers capable of holding an audience’s attention while imparting information workers’ comp professionals find valuable. You also have to take chances, in hopes some creative ideas will provide new strategies that help audience members in their professional endeavors.

The decision-making challenge is further complicated because several good proposals unavoidably seek to address similar current topics. Managing opioid prescribing, optimizing Medicare secondary payer strategies, and the efficacy of certain medical treatments are among the most popular topics submitted.

As someone selecting proposals, I must consider that while some speakers competing to present on a similar issue may suggest a different approach to the topic, the conference audience will dislike duplication.

So such factors influence the decision making.

Fortunately, the selection process is a team effort with several of us melding our many years of workers’ comp experience to find 31 great ideas that will make it to the conference to be held November 19-21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

I consider helping select conference session topics an honor because attendees rely on us to deliver robust content that will make it well worth their valuable time and money spent to attend.

It’s also an honor because I have seen our conference program co-chairs contribute hours of their time weighing which topics will prove most valuable to conference attendees.

As the selection process progresses, I will continue to let you know more about the decisions we make. The final decisions on how we will fill those 31 sessions will be available around the end of April.

For now, I can tell you that my colleagues with years of experience in selecting proposals for the conference say we have some strong contenders. The session ideas come from a wide range of entities, including large employers, workers’ comp service providers, disability management experts, medical providers and attorneys.

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