For finance and accounting professionals, the Association for Finance Professionals (AFP) Annual Conference provides a unique mix of networking and educational opportunities. This year, the conference will be held October 27-30 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV and will bring together more than 6,500 treasury and finance professionals over the three day event. Brian Kalish, finance practice lead for the AFP shares with us why finance and accounting professionals should attend this event and what he believes are the best sessions this year.
Why attend the 2013 AFP Annual Conference?
One of the biggest differences between finance and treasury and other industries is that these professionals often have more in common with people outside of their organization than those within. The finance department within each organization is typically very small, so connecting with other people who are doing similar things in other organizations is key to growing professionally and thinking in new ways.
The AFP Annual Conference allows professionals to connect with close to 7,000 of their peers over the three and a half day conference, while also attending unique educational sessions that have been designed with their needs in mind. It is a truly unique experience for the finance, accounting and treasury professional, and one that should not be missed.
How can attendees make the most of their attendance?
Because the conference is not a single-track conference, I think it’s important for attendees to take some time and look over the program prior to attendance. Really think about what is going to be a priority for you and then plan your time accordingly. One of the comments we often hear from attendees is that the conference is so big that sessions will overlap. So it’s important to decide what is important to you before you arrive.
If you are traveling with a team, I think it’s also important to disperse to ensure that you are covering as many topics as possible. Then, once you return back to your home office, take the time to debrief and educate others on the team.
What are the must-see sessions this year?
With eight different tracks and 140 educational sessions, there is truly something for everyone at this year’s conference. However, I would highly recommend everyone attend the keynote speeches. This year we will be hearing from General Colin Powell, as well as Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com, Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight.com, and Stephen Few, founder and principal of Perceptual Edge. This year has the potential to be the largest conference we have ever had and we are truly excited to bring everyone together to connect and learn about what’s happening in the industry.
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