All entries for May 2019

Forum Event in D.C. Offered HR, Training, Talent Acquisition and Contact Center Solutions, Best Practices (and Fun)!

By Chris Ceplenski | Managing Editor, Simplify Compliance

Just as the renowned cherry blossom season was tailing off in Washington D.C., we were kicking off our HR & Benefits, Training & Development, Talent Acquisition & Retention, and Contact Center & Customer Service Forum Events, held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park April 14 to 16.

We began with a Sunday night cocktail networking reception for all 4 events, which allowed travelers to relax, unwind and make new acquaintances.

Keynote presenter Lisa Rueth, CEO of Cultivate Leadership, began our Monday morning by explaining the shifting and emerging role of organizational leaders in these fast-changing times dominated by technological advances—and in a world with increasingly complex environmental and social challenges.

The day continued with the true heart of these Forum events- the one-on-one meetings between company executives and solution providers. We had 24 solution providers present, and 44 company executives from such companies as Johnson & Johnson, Staples, United Healthcare, Warner Music Group, Nordstrom, Getty Images, Blackboard, Associa, Suffolk University, and the University of Maryland.

Throughout the event, there were also 12 HR, Training, Talent Acquisition and Contact Center workshops in addition to the one-on-one meetings. These provided the opportunity for delegate executives to learn more about a specific topic and arm themselves with best practices and knowledge they could use to benefit their organizations.

Some of the workshop sessions included:

  • "Emotional Intelligence and Well-Being in the Workplace," which explored the importance of emotional intelligence's influenced on leadership and the correlation between healthy emotional cultures and both turnover and quality of work, presented by Christy Davidson, DNP, RNC-OB Capella University Interim Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences.
  • "Achieving Workplace Health: Why the Conversation Gap is Impacting Your Employees and How Confidential Coaching Can Help," in which Alex Schulte, Director of Revenue Strategy at Bravely, explained that 7 out of 10 employees are currently avoiding a difficult conversation with their boss, peer or direct report; outlined the negative ramifications in terms of productivity, cost, and culture when employees stay silent; and provided details as to how confidential coaching can bridge the gap.          
  • " 2019 Recruiting Trends and Best Practices," which provided the latest findings of a survey on employer recruiting practices and trends, supplemented by tips and expert advice from thought leaders, presented by Chris Ceplenski, a Managing Editor at BLR.
  • "Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast", in which organizational Design consultant Lisa Rueth explored organizational culture, illustrated a five-part cultural model and showed how most organizations unknowingly design an unwanted culture into their most important structures.
  • "What if Everything You Know About Personality Styles Training is Wrong," a discussion on DISC training, and how to refocus it from awareness to results and sustained behavioral change, presented by Kerry Bayles, M.Ed., Vice President, Learning & Development, Take Flight Learning.
  • “Empower and Engage Employees to Deliver Great Service,” presented by Dee Nilles, Consulting Director of Contact Center Operations for Gameffective, which illustrated how by using gamification, micro-learning and data-driven real-time feedback, you can drive your agents to adopt desired behaviors, build proficiencies and become enthusiastic about your brand and services.
  •  “Unlocking the Potential of Data to Enhance the Customer Experience,” a session detailing how by analyzing your existing data, you can enhance the overall brand experience by implementing some easy tweaks in processes and leveraging readily-available technology presented by Mike Morrison, Senior Vice President of Global Sales for the Merchant Group.

Aside from the all-important meetings and educational workshops, there was also lots of general networking and fun to be had! On the night of day 1 at the Forum Events is the staple Casino Night, which included a cocktail reception, full catered dinner (and dessert!) followed by casino games.

Day 2 closed the event with additional meetings and workshops and a prize drawing for all participants.

According to our post-event survey, we had extremely positive feedback from our attendees:

“I was pleasantly surprised. I am leaving with a wealth of information and new relationships.”

“Great way to have informal, no-pressure talks with useful solution providers for a variety of needs.”

“All the staff was extremely helpful and accessible.  Great job!!”

“The event was great.  The food was excellent. I like that the sessions were specific to each company’s needs.

Sad you missed out? No worries, our next Forum Events in the HR, Training, and Contact Center markets are just around the corner! Our next ones will be held on October 14 & 15 in sunny San Diego- come join us! If you are a manager, director, or executive with decision-making power and are seeking service or product solutions, these events are a perfect opportunity to meet with solution providers and network with peers to share best practices. We hope to see you there!

Interested in attending? Contact for more information, or visit




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