Picking the Best PSX Sessions for a Great Conference Experience

Even though PSX 2022 is just a couple of months away, it's never too early to talk about what sessions you should attend. Daniel Hagerty, CPPS, CHMM, member of the Conference Proposal Committee, gave us a few insights as to what goes into picking great sessions for the conference so that attendees like you can tailor the event to your professional needs.

How important is speaker expertise when considering sessions for PSX?

When looking at conference sessions, speaker experience is something I consider. However, it is not the most critical decision-making factor for me. I am more interested in the topic or issue the session covers. And, obviously, sometimes I have to decide what session to attend depending on if there are any conflicting sessions I would like to attend. So, sometimes speaker expertise may factor into my decision, but overall, it is not the most important thing that I look for when I choose sessions.

I think speaker experience or expertise is definitely of value to people attending a webinar or conference, particularly those who may not be familiar with how the conference functions and may be attending for the first time. They may look for somebody who does have a high level of experience or expertise to ensure they’re getting the most out of the experience.

As a member of the Conference Proposal Committee, the team that reviews proposals for conference educational sessions, what are some of the subjects or themes attendees can find at this year's PSX?

One of the things that I am particularly interested in, from a product stewardship perspective, is the concept of sustainability or, as we call it now, ESG or economic, social, and governance. I would like to see more emphasis on the topic of sustainability and ESG, moving forward.

I would also like to see the Product Stewardship Society take more consideration, especially for the upcoming conference in October, of the fact that attendees have varying levels of experience. I think that somebody who is newer to the field shouldn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that everybody at the conference is going to be experienced or familiar with each particular topic. So, I’d like to see PSX have a little bit more focus on some of the people who are newer to the overall product stewardship field.

Often, attendees get ideas for sessions that they could present in the future. Do you have any advice for those considering sending in a proposal for future PSS events?

My advice for people who are unsure whether to submit a proposal is that they should go ahead and submit it. I think there are two reasons for that. One, the worst that could happen is that the Conference Proposal Committee will say no, and if that's the case, you can try again. Two, if you submit a proposal and it is accepted, I think that provides you incredible value and gives you more experience.

I have presented at a number of conferences and, for me, personally, getting up in front of a large number of people isn't the most comfortable feeling in the world. But, at least from my perspective, if you have an opportunity to present, it allows you to get more comfortable with it. And I am also a huge advocate of networking. I think by having the opportunity to submit the proposal and present it, you get a great opportunity to network with your peers and colleagues.

I also want to emphasize that you should be creative when submitting a proposal, in terms of what topics you think are interesting to attendees. You’d be amazed how putting a twist on a topic can interest attendees in a particular conference session.

And if you submit a proposal and it isn't approved, seek some feedback as to why. Then, maybe, you can submit another proposal or just redo the original proposal, and hopefully, it will get approved.

Ready to take your career experience to the next level? There's still time to register to attend PSX 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky. Join your product stewardship peers for three days of quality education and topic discussions, networking opportunities, and to hear two great keynotes: Fabien Cousteau (grandson of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau) and Joel Makower, a well-respected voice on business, sustainability, and innovation.


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