Tuesday, November 13th
8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
DSA President Joseph N. Mariano and industry legend John Fleming kick off the event, which is designed to help direct selling leaders sharpen their competitive edge for 2019. They’ll share the latest innovations and most disruptive market forces relative to the channel, and provide an overview of the notable authors, researchers, speakers, and peers featured in the general sessions and workshops.
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
The Future of the U.S. Workforce as Seen from the U.S. Department of Labor
With independent contractors projected to comprise as much as half of the American workforce within a decade*, United States Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta knows direct selling and understands how our distributors are helping to shape tomorrow’s American labor force. Hear from Secretary Acosta about how the Trump Administration and Department of Labor are working to improve the labor market and protect independent contractors.
United States Secretary of Labor
Department of Labor
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Leveraging Disruption to Transform Your Business for the 21st Century
Companies built to withstand disruptive market forces don’t achieve success by accident; they are a result of deliberate business design decisions that today’s smartest leaders make every day. Through ongoing research on the world’s most innovative companies, our speaker has organized these decisions into seven strategic priorities that he will explore with you as a roadmap for your own agility strategy.
In this keynote, you will gain a clear understanding of the megatrends shaping the future of business and consumer behaviors, and the lessons learned from successful Fortune 500 companies on leveraging disruptive innovation, adopting a data-driven mindset and leading change through digital transformation.
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Next Generation Direct Selling: Building the Enterprise to Compete in Today’s Brave New Competitive and Disruptive World
Direct selling’s greatest competitive challenges no longer originate from within our community. The emergence of technology-laden, cash infused gig economy players is a new breed of competitor unlike any we’ve ever before seen. As marketing and sales channels converge in new ways, companies are rethinking who they are and how they operate from the ground up. In this session, Darren Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, LifeVantage will share how he and his team are addressing the convergence of channels to create the next generation direct selling enterprise. In addition to exploring new thinking for ensuring distributors’ early wins, increasing average market basket size and ensuring increasingly regularized purchases, this session will new strategies for developing distributor leadership, driving increased engagement and maintaining long-term loyalty.
President and Chief Executive Officer
1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Building a Brand that Engages Customers in the Wild New World of Marketing
Conventional marketing strategies are built upon predictability, stability and the comfort in knowing that we can “understand” our customer yesterday, today and tomorrow. We love to put people into categories, often into super-neat dichotomies – and call it a day.
But now many of these categories are crumbling: today’s customer is part of the “postmodern” era that rejects traditional boundaries and labels, and direct selling marketers and distributors need to get in front of these changes.
This session – led by a thought-leader who literally wrote the book on understanding consumers – will help you get inside your customers’ heads so you can anticipate and satisfy their deepest and most pressing needs – today and tomorrow. Explore what it means to tear down long-standing walls that separate you from your customers, including:
- Me vs. We
- Offline vs. Online
- Producer vs. Consumer
- Work vs. Play
- Body vs. Things
Professor of Marketing
Saint Joseph's University
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Three Biggest Challenges and Three Biggest Successes Panel Discussion
2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Our Competitive Advantage
In 2017, some 18.6 million people were involved in direct selling in some capacity. Of that 5.6 million are full- or part-time business builders. Yes, times they are a-changing, but one thing is clear: smart entrepreneurs and businesspeople are embracing our direct selling model as the go-to pathway for success. In the words of Roger Barnet (Shaklee), we offer everyone the opportunity to engage in a noble profession – we inspire, empower, educate and encourage people so that they can achieve their full human potential. We face unprecedented disruption from online retailers and emerging gig economy players, which is why we must do what we do best: empower our people with the greatest competitive advantages and the latest automation and technology innovations to ensure their success as America’s Original Entrepreneurs.
5:00 p.m. - 6:16 p.m.
DSEF Wine and Cheese Reception
Wednesday, November 14th
8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Top Five Things to Know about Direct Selling’s Ethics Program
The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council will be a revolution for direct selling in 2019. Learn about the new third-party approach to ethics and self-regulation and how its monitoring and enforcement efforts will ensure high levels of consumer protection on an industry-wide basis, provide a venue for additional oversight, and nurture confidence in our companies and salespeople.
9:00 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.
Insights from the Federal Trade Commission
Consumer protection is a shared responsibility. As expectations for transparency and corporate responsibility continue to evolve, so too must the approaches industries use to improve the marketplace for the ultimate benefit of consumers. A key staffer from the Federal Trade Commission will address conference attendees and provide guidance to the industry on how to ensure continued compliance with legal and regulatory standards, and offer insights on the interplay between the Commission, direct selling firms and marketplace standards. Explore the elements for self-regulation excellence and discuss strategies to ensure effective consumer protection and education as well as rigorous accountabilities for companies.
Associate Director in the Division of Marketing Practices
Federal Trade Commission
9:25 a.m. - 10:25 a.m.
Salesforce Development in an Increasingly Competitive Economy
Join DSA Industry Research Committee members as they present key findings from two new studies: DSA’s 2018 National Salesforce Study and Evolving Marketplace Study on Salesforce Development. This new research will provide you with actionable insights into the following:
- The Socioeconomic Environment: Recap of external trends that compete with direct selling
- Salesforce Demographics: Better understand who direct sellers are today and how they’ve changed since the last salesforce study in 2016
- The 3 life stages of an independent representative:
- Enrollment: Improve your company recruitment messaging during a time of full employment to compete for sellers in the gig economy
- Selling and Sponsoring: Better understand what motivates representatives to join and stay involved in direct selling and how you can tailor your distributor programs to meet the specific needs of the salesforce
- Renewal: Focus on metrics and programs that drive retention
- Segmentation – A Sneak Preview
- Key takeaways & insights
Vice President, Global Consumer and Member Insights
DSA Industry Research Committee Chair and Director, Customer and Field Insights
National Field Development Director
WFDSA Research Committee Chair
10:25 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.
Lessons from Retail
National Retail Federation is reporting overall traditional retailers are set to see an increase in sales for 2018 – 2019. This session will take a deep dive on what is driving that growth – from e-commerce pop-up shops and destination malls to retailers finding ways to stay relevant and top of mind for their customers – to understand what’s really behind today’s retail market.
Vice President of Research Development and Industry Analysis
National Retail Federation
10:40 p.m. – 11:00 a.m.
The Future is Yours: Using Artificial Intelligence to Disrupt the Disruptors
Machine learning is driving change: over the next decade, artificial intelligence (AI) won’t replace managers, but managers who use AI will replace those who don’t know how to make it work for their organization.
As one of DSA’s most requested speakers, Dr. Haya Ajjan, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems, Elon University is back by popular demand to explore how the sales industry is on the brink of transformation by AI.
During this session, Dr. Ajjan will lead attendees into the future by helping them understand how AI can provide social selling insights, serve as a digital administrative assistant, optimize conversations with customers to streamline CRM and more!
This is a can’t-miss session that will make your company and salesforce a sales disruptor in this era of disruption.
Noon - 12:45 p.m.
The Direct Selling Self-Regulation Council (DS-SRC): Direct Selling’s Game Changing New Normal, and What it Means for Your Company
The new Direct Selling Self-Regulation Council (DS-SRC) marks a major revolution for direct selling: while it will do so much to protect consumers and make direct selling more competitive than ever before, it also presents a new business context that that will impact every company that uses the direct selling channel as a go to market strategy. Join as Cindy Monroe, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thirty-One Gifts explores what this game-changing new normal means for her company and for the industry. Be a part of this presentation that will help reveal DS-SRC’s implications for protecting the independent contractors who are our businesses’ lifeblood, as well as explore how this will impact the the future of competition for direct selling companies everywhere.
Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer