Following last year’s Annual Conference & Expo and our exciting 100th Anniversary celebration, the Conference Planning Committee and IMA staff set out in the spirit of continuous improvement to explore ways to enhance the overall Conference experience for our members. We listened to member feedback, held numerous brainstorming sessions, and received input from a variety of sources. As a result, we’ve begun to reshape the Conference to address some of the challenges that come with the realities of our members’ busy professional lives and their need for relevant professional education.

Among the challenges for our members is finding the time and schedule flexibility to attend a live event like the Conference. So this year, we’re shortening the event by a day and will be holding all the main Conference events during the workweek. This year’s Conference begins Monday, June 22, 2020, and ends Wednesday afternoon, June 24, 2020. The pre-Conference activities like the Annual Meeting of Members, Student Case Competition, and welcome reception are being moved from Sunday morning to Sunday afternoon. Despite these changes, the Conference will still offer a comparable amount of CPE credits (24).

For the first time, we’ll also be offering special “deep-dive” sessions (at no additional cost) during the Conference. These sessions, which each run about three hours, will be limited to 50 participants and provide a more detailed, in-depth exploration of critical business topics, such as personal branding, data visualization techniques, and strategic planning using Hoshin Kanri.

One successful past innovation that will continue this year is the grouping of sessions into eight specialty tracks that map to the enhanced IMA Management Accounting Competency Framework. Based on the skills most in demand by today’s accounting and finance employers, the eight tracks include a stronger focus on technology and analytics; ethics; and strategy, planning, and performance. As before, participants can select their sessions along one track or choose sessions from multiple tracks to best suit their career needs and interests.

I do hope you’ll join us in Atlanta, Ga., to experience these improvements and enjoy what should be a relevant, valuable, and inspiring few days.

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