32nd Annual Conference
March 10-12, 2020
Minneapolis Convention Center, Minnesota
Frequently Asked Questions
In 2019, over 400 different companies attended The Forum’s Annual Conference. For more stats on this global conference, click here to see our “By The Numbers” for 2019.
How many people attend The Forum each year?
In 2019, we had 1,426 people participate from 39 US states and 15 countries.
Why commit and why attend The Forum?
The role of the DEI professional is evolving. People look to others to make decisive, informed decisions. Attending The Forum’s Annual Conference is a way to support DEI work and advance your personal and professional growth. The Forum provides vital connections to industry experts and leaders. You will not only develop your skills and knowledge, but be a part of the ongoing, relevant conversation.
If you are not a DEI professional, creating an inclusive workplace is a vital function of every employee. There are multiple opportunities at the conference to learn how to be an inclusive leader, no matter your role in the organization.
What companies have attended The Forum in the past?
426 unique organizations attended The Forum in 2019! To see a list by industry, click here.
Convince Your Manager
How can I convince my manager that I should attend?
Here are a few tips for talking with your manager:
- Present how your entire team and company will benefit from these insights and information.
- Discuss how The Forum is the largest DEI conference in the world! Benefits include networking, interactive sessions and discussion, inspiring keynote speakers (see website for past speakers), and active discussion that forges new approaches and best practices for DEI work.
- Choose a mix of sessions and workshops that map out your customized conference agenda. Present those topics as part of your personal development goals.
- Don’t forget about the one hour of complimentary professional coaching! Click here for details about this unique offering that has received rave reviews and continues to be a valued part of our curriculum each year.
- Pick the right time and have your talking points ready. If you’d like to share some videos about the event, click here.
Worried your manager will say it’s too expensive?
Here are a few more talking points:
- Certain industries have an opportunity to receive a discount on attendance:
- Government: 25%
- Non-profit: 40%
- Small business (< 5 million in annual budget): 40%
- The Forum is not just a three-day experience – benefits extend all year. We make it easy for you to capture notes and extend the learning to the rest of your team.
- If the concern is that you’ll be away for too long? No worries – we have breaks built into the conference agenda for you to check in and stay in touch.
- Be sure to schedule a time for a download when you return and spend some time pulling together a great presentation for others to learn and discuss some key DEI topics that relate to your company’s business goals.
Plan Your Conference Experience
Where do I stay? I’m not familiar with Minneapolis?
Click here for more info on hotel and travel.
Do I pre-register for workshops and seminars?
- You pre-register for the 3-hour seminars on Day 1. This guarantees a seat in that seminar.
- For the workshops, we ask that you share those that you plan to attend or are of high interest to you. Why? Because we use this data to help plan room spaces at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Workshops with highest interest are given the most room space. Because you are only sharing your interest, we recommend arriving early to the workshops you plan to attend, noting they fill up and seats are not guaranteed once rooms have reached capacity. We do the best we can to anticipate and plan around this.
Why are there so many things happening at the same time?
We respect that everyone has their own learning style. Some prefer active discussions on issues. Others want more intimate discussions. Some want a variety of topics and information. Others are focused on networking. We also have three levels of learning, and nine different topic tracks. Taking all of this into account, we build our content around these parameters, offering longer sessions for those that wish to deep dive (3-hour seminars), and shorter sessions for those that want a speedier review of topics (20-minute Spotlight presentations in the Marketplace). For those that want a little activity built into their day, we offer 60-minute workshops. With all of this variety, it’s necessary to design the conference with many things happening at once. We have a concierge in the Marketplace ready to help you plan your experience. Finally, there are over a hundred volunteers that can help you – don’t hesitate to ask for help!
What are Levels of Learning?
The Forum offers learning opportunities at any stage of depending on where participants are at on their learning journey. Conference sessions are grouped into one of three Levels of Learning:
- Introductory: Introduces basic building blocks and tactical applications
- Intermediate: Presents a more strategic application of the building blocks. Attendees should have experience with the challenges of a diverse workplace and the skills and tools needed to work within it.
- Advanced: Offers discussions of strategic challenges, next practices and innovative applications of the building blocks. Attendees should have subject matter expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion. Prerequisites may be required.
How do I sign up for the free hour of DEI coaching?
The best way is to sign up when you register. Our coaching team will contact you for more information and set you up with a coach that is going to work best for what you would like to discuss. If you forget or don’t sign up during registration, you can visit the DEI Coaching Center’s “Ask-An-Expert” program for a 15-minute walk-in session! This is an incredible free benefit! Click here for more information.
Is the coaching confidential?
Absolutely. We want this to be a great experience where you can be fully transparent with your questions and discussion.
What’s available to guide me once I arrive?
We have a program book that is highly informative and can help you map and plan your experience from start to finish. Are you more comfortable online? Our app, CrowdCompass, is fantastic! It uses the latest technology from our event management software, CVENT. And finally, if you just want to talk to someone, our concierge desk is staffed the whole time with plenty of people who know the conference inside out and can help you with whatever questions you have.
Are there options if I have food allergies?
Yes, those questions will be addressed when you register. Please be sure to indicate these choices when you register as we won’t have flexibility to change your special meal option once you arrive.
What if I need assistance with special accommodations during the conference?
We are able to provide a number of accommodations as part of our service to attendees, including ASL interpretation, mobility assistance (guides, mobility scooters), language interpreters, and more! You can indicate any accommodations you need in your conference registration, or call us directly at 612-373-5994 to inquire.
What’s the weather like in Minneapolis in March?
It’s a good idea to plan for a cold climate – March is still winter! It may be 30 degrees and snowy, or 50 degrees and sunny. Temperatures can vary inside the Minneapolis Convention Center, so layering is important. If you book your stay at one of our recommended hotels, you can enjoy the warmth of indoors via the downtown Minneapolis Skyway System – everything is connected by a heated indoor skyway! In fact, you can enjoy much of downtown Minneapolis by walking through the skyway – 9.5 miles of pathways connecting 80 city blocks, including shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
Fees and Expenses
How can I receive a scholarship?
Scholarships will be available again in 2020! Click here for details and please note specific deadlines for registration and review of eligibility. Act fast – these are first come, first served for qualified attendees.
Are discounts available? What about group pricing? Can I attend just some of the days?
Absolutely. To view our pricing options, click here.
Can I share a single registration?
No, this is not something that we offer. Each individual attending any part of the conference must have their own individual registration at applicable rates.
What meals and snacks are included with my registration fees?
Complimentary meals and snacks include a grab-and-go style breakfast on Days 2 and 3 in our Marketplace of Ideas. We also provide lunches on Days 2 and 3, and snacks and beverage breaks throughout the event. Because Day 1 begins mid-afternoon, no food is provided unless you are specifically registered for an event that includes food. Our Day 1 Evening Welcome Reception does include light refreshments. Visit our Marketplace of Ideas page for more details on food!
How can I become a presenter in 2021?
The Call for Proposals begins in spring 2020. Please subscribe to our emailing list to be notified as soon as we open our Call for Proposals. Even with 90-95 different seminars and workshops, we generally receive two times the number of entries that we can accept each year. We’d love to hear from you!
Is the conference Recorded? Can I watch things later that I missed?
Can I receive copies of the seminar and workshop handouts?
Yes, we make these available to you a few weeks prior to the conference, so you can print what you want prior to arriving, and leave the links on the website for a few months afterward as well. Visit our resources page for archived handouts.
Media and Sponsorships
Do you have media partnerships available?
Yes. We do not have a paid media budget, so we welcome trades that offer The Forum relevant visibility and advertising in exchange for attendance or sponsorships. Contact our Assistant Director of Business Development Amy Perez Ortiz at (612) 373-5992 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How do I get a press pass?
Why do companies sponsor The Forum?
The Forum on Workplace Inclusion is one of the largest DEI conference in the world! Sponsoring allows organizations to tell their story, advise, and collaborate on this important work. There’s a large variety of levels and branding opportunities that’s right for your organization. Amy Perez Ortiz would love to hear from you! Click here for her contact information.