The FCSI The Americas 2018 Conference is coming to Denver, Colorado next week (19-21 April) and is expected to attract 400 attendees, with the majority being consultants.

FCSI The Americas’ executive director Wade Koehler CAE and his team have a few new tricks up their sleeves to set this year’s event apart from even the best of the bunch in years past.

“Because it’s a non-NAFEM year, this year’s event will be a great networking opportunity for all consultants, and a fun way to spend more time together,” says Koehler. “As our industry is seeing more partnerships, the conference has become an important event where MAS and design consultants have a chance to come together and build relationships. If you don’t attend, you’ll definitely miss out on some fun, and some important job leads.”

Booming tourism scene

So, why Denver? The Mile-High City was proposed as an up-and-coming, food-centric destination in a move to the Old West after Nashville. “Wade has a knack for proposing cities that are relevant and growing in popularity, so by the time we get there, two years after a contract is signed, the city’s tourism scene is booming,” says Penny Price, director of member services for FCSI The Americas and Forte Association Management.

Kimberly Kissel, director of education for FCSI The Americas and Forte, was also thrilled about the location. “The Hilton Denver City Center is downtown, right where all the action is,” she says. “The city offers a convenient and affordable new train service from the airport to the hotel, and most anything you need is within walking distance, including convenience stores, pubs, entertainment, restaurants and shopping.” Transportation will be provided to and from nightly events.

Interactive and engaging

A more interactive experience is expected this year, with a keynote motivational speaker in Chip Eichelberger, founder of Get Switched On!, who says he’s looking to engage audience members in different ways, along with expanded break-out sessions, a speed-dating-like roundtable, and a brand new pop-up session program where conference goers will be able to use the mobile app to make up their own sessions and recruit attendees on the fly.

Additional speakers include Beth Ziesenis, aka ‘Your Nerdy Best Friend’, who will deliver some key ideas for upping your technology and efficiency game, and Terri Moreman, associate director of food and nutrition services for the United States Olympic Committee, will speak about what it takes to fuel an athlete today. Comedian Tom Papa will also deliver a one-hour stand-up special.

“We want people to be able to engage and share ideas, rather than sit in front of talking heads,” says Koehler.

Expanding horizons

This year’s conference planning committee was headed up by FCSI associate Tara Bliss of Brailsford & Dunlavey, Inc, in Washington, DC. “The conference planning committee (CPC) this year has been an extraordinary representation of the depth and breadth of FCSI’s membership expertise and energy,” says Bliss. “As a group, we have thoughtfully approached the programming and events to appeal to every FCSI member and expand horizons whether you’ve been in the industry for two years or two decades.”

Throughout the general sessions, FCSI plans to give out a variety of awards as well as announce the induction of two members to the FCSI’s Council of Fellows: Edmeston Bernard FFCSI and Edwin Norman FFCSI (PP).

Koehler and his team extend huge thanks to this year’s sponsors, who make events like this possible. “Without our sponsors, we couldn’t put on the great conference that we do. We are indebted to them and thankful for their support.

Related feature on the FCSI website

Going the extra mile: FCSI The Americas 2018 Conference