March 31 was a tough day for FPI staff. Why? This was the day we announced the cancellation of our spring 2020 conference due to COVID-19. Our mid-May dates were unfortunately still in the “danger zone” as far as lockdowns and inability to gather in large groups.
On the date this blog was posted, FPI staff would be in Naples, Florida, hard at work preparing for the arrival of our members and prospective members. Well, this conference isn’t happening, but we can sure talk about how enjoyable our conferences are – ranked by our members as the number one benefit of FPI!
FPI has two conferences per year – one in the spring and one in the fall. The spring conference dates can land anywhere from mid-April through early June. The fall conference dates are typically anywhere from early October to early November. We do our best to avoid other industry events, which is one of our biggest challenges! We plan our conferences approximately 1.5-2 years out and announce our dates as soon as possible. This doesn’t always avoid another industry-related group booking over our dates, but we try! In fact, we keep a calendar of industry events in addition to our own. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view.) If you see one that isn’t listed and should be, let us know!
Our spring conference is a slightly longer event than the fall conference, and features a golf tournament – one of our best networking events! It begins with an opening reception on Wednesday, and typically ends around noon on Friday.
Our fall conference is typically held in city/downtown locations, beginning Thursday with a lunch, and ending Friday at noon. The locations are chosen, keeping in mind convenience to the airport for this shorter event. Though the fall conference is shorter, it still has many great networking opportunities!
How do we determine content for our events? FPI staff works with the Board to identify relevant topics and speakers. Content is usually more educational in nature, addressing topics relevant to the entire industry. These may include things like market trends, environmental issues, material updates, the economy, etc. We’re always looking for suggestions, so if you have one (or two!), please pass them along.
If an FPI member is unable to attend one of our conferences, they can still get access to the presentations on FPI’s website. Members must log into the website to view (if you forgot your login, simply click the login button and click the prompt to send your password).
All this said, we are very much looking forward to our fall conference, scheduled for October 29-30 at the Royal Sonesta in New Orleans. It’s hard to say what the future holds in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are hopeful that we will be able to move forward with this one, and we are going to give it all we’ve got! For updates on the fall conference, stay tuned to FPI’s website.
We hope to see you soon!