September 15, 2020

The 2020 Fall Forum Is in the Books

Today we wrapped up our 2020 Fall ESOP Forum, and I want to take a moment to thank the sponsors, speakers, attendees, well-wishers, and staff who helped make it a success.

As with everything this year, the Forum was surrounded by uncertainty, and it was a risk to try out this relatively young format in a virtual setting, but we took our lessons from the annual conference; the results exceeded our expectations. Judging from the comments we've received so far (and the fact that we had over 1,600 conversations just on day 1 and day 2), people who attended were enthusiastic.

Led by Events Director Jordan Boone, the Forum brought over 40 sessions to more than 600 attendees, which is the most we have ever had for our fall meeting, and more than double the attendance in our original planning. Those 600 came literally from around the world -- people joined us from all six habitable continents to learn about the latest in employee ownership.

We also really took advantage of the virtual platform to bring some of the fun of the Forum to attendees at home. This included an opening trivia night (congratulations to the winning team, the Six Smart Senoritas), a break for meditative yoga and stretching, and a virtual exhibitor booth game, with the winner receiving wine courtesy of ESOP-owned Oliver's Winery.

Looking back on it, I'm grateful for the lessons and stories shared and for the sense of togetherness we created in our current predicament. Thank you all for making the 2020 Fall ESOP Forum, and the NCEO community, so very rewarding.

A special thank you to our Platform sponsor, Ti-Trust, Inc., for making this possible. Thank you to our exhibit hall game sponsor Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc., our trivia sponsor Faegre Drinker, our yoga and stretching sponsor McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and all of our other sponsors for their support of the Forum and employee ownership community.