Tuesday, November 13th

8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Our Competitive Advantage

In 2017, 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.

Joseph Mariano


Direct Selling Association

8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Illuminating the Path to a New Gold Standard in Self-Regulation: An Address by 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. The newly appointed Federal Trade Commission Chair 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 rigorous accountabilities for companies.

Tuesday, November 13th

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 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.

Mike Walsh CEO of Tomorrow Headshot

Mike Walsh



Tuesday, November 13th

10:00 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

Meeting Today’s Biggest Challenges Head-On to Thrive

Darren Jensen President and CEO of LifeVantage Headshot

Darren Jensen

President and CEO


1:00 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.

View from the U.S. Department of Labor

Hear from the from the United States Department of Labor as they discuss the policies that impact direct selling’s most important asset: our independent, entrepreneurial salesforces.  Learn first-hand from Trump Administration officials what is being done to improve and protect the labor market in the United States and what polices mean for this lynchpin issue, its impact on America’s Original Entrepreneurs and on direct selling.

Tuesday, November 13

2:40 p.m. - 3:00 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

Michael R. Solomon Ph.D and Professor of Marketing from Saint Joseph's University Headshot

Michael R. Solomon

Ph.D., Professor of Marketing

Saint Joseph's University

Tuesday, November 13th

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Traditional Retailers Launch Social Selling Initiatives

Traditional brick and mortar retailers are not immune to the Amazon effect and other disruptive market forces.  Relying on customers to visit your store is no longer a given in today’s market, and one of America’s most venerable retailers is now embracing direct selling as a high-touch relationship-driven marketing channel that will help increase market share. This session will explore Macy’s and other retailers’ choices for adopting certain direct selling attributes as well as their decisions to leave others on the table.

Tuesday, November 13th

3:30 p.m. - 3:55 p.m.

Seizing Our Competitive Advantage through Social Selling

Social selling on Facebook, through Messenger, on Instagram and beyond: it’s here, but things are changing quickly as these platforms evolve their privacy and compliance rules.   While social media platforms accommodate what we do in new ways,  recent changes will have an impact on direct selling.  This session will explore the newest features and their impact on companies and their field representatives, as well as discuss the:

  • Proper management of profiles, business page, groups, advertising and messenger
  • How now is our “make or break” moment for ensuring that social media can live up to its promise for the direct selling channel
  • What our companies must do to make sure that social selling is accepted by the technology platforms and consumers alike

Scott Kramer

President and Chief Executive Officer


Tuesday, November 13th

5:10 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Trade Wars

The impact of the recent tariffs is on the minds of industry executives from established and emerging companies alike. With an executive branch that has an unprecedented understanding of the direct selling channel, our companies are in a unique position to engage with government officials and share our concerns. This is your opportunity to receive a first-hand update on these evolving trade policies directly from a Trump administration leader.

Tuesday, November 13th

5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

The State of American Business and Today’s Evolving Labor Force

The rise of the so-called “gig economy” and the increasing use of independent contractors has captured the attention of business leaders and policymakers alike. As more American workers are choosing to work independently, American businesses are finding new ways to accommodate these shifting demands.  But recent decisions are bringing new complications – worker classification issues, in particular – that can be burdensome to business. Does this new era of work need to be accompanied by a new compliance framework, or can clear tests simple tests be the solution for all.

Wednesday, November 14th

8:45 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Salesforce Development in an Increasingly Competitive Economy

Join DSA Industry Research Committee members as they present key findings from two new salesforce 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 stages:

Prospecting and enrollment

  • Improve your recruitment messaging during a time of full employment to compete for sellers in the gig economy

Onboarding/training & motivation

  • Better understand who direct sellers are (e.g. how they’re segmented, demographics, what motivates them to join and stay involved in direct selling) and how you can tailor your new distributor programs to meet the specific needs of the salesforce


  • ROI of focusing on retention and recognition
  • Recommendations that drive commitment

Wednesday, November 14th

9:45 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.

Retail Apocalypse: Fact or Fiction

The “retail apocalypse” seems to be in full force in 2018: CNBC reported a CoStar Group study revealing that  2018 could see more retail space open up than any previous year.  With retailers like Toys “R” Us and Bon-Ton already closed, more seem sure to follow  Yet, the National Retail Federation is reporting that 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.

Wednesday, November 14th

10:10 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

Top Five Things to Know about Direct Selling’s Ethics Program

Joseph Mariano


Direct Selling Association

Wednesday, November 14th

10:20 a.m. - 11:15 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.

Dr. Haya Ajjan

Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems

Elon University

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

What Keeps Us Up At Night Panel


Registration is now open!