Compliance Week fans, it is that time of year again! We are launching the Compliance Week 2013 annual conference, and calling for speakers, advisers, and all other hangers-on who want to help with one of the compliance community's premiere events.

First, the particulars about the conference itself. The event will run from Monday, May 20 through noon Wednesday, May 22, in Washington, D.C., at the Mayflower Hotel as usual. We still expect to bring together 450-500 risk, audit, and compliance professionals from corporations across the globe; we still plan to bring you keynote speakers who will offer the latest thinking about how corporate governance and compliance should work; and we still plan to craft an agenda filled with your corporate peers talking about how corporate governance and compliance really does work. Our registration page is now open, and our early-bird price of $1,545 per person is in effect from today until Jan. 31.

I'm also pleased to announce that we're expanding our agenda this year in several ways. First, we'll be including many more sessions about privacy and data management. Veterans of the Compliance Week annual conference will recall that we typically have three concurrent sessions at any given time, exploring a wide range of subjects. Well, this year we are expanding to four concurrent sessions, exploring an even wider range of subjects. Our usual fare of internal controls, anti-corruption programs, risk assessments, and the like will all still be there, rest assured. But the plain truth is that data management and all its accompanying issues—social media, mobile devices, digital forensics and more—are quickly becoming the dominant concern for corporate compliance. So we'll be moving with the times to reflect that.

Last year we also introduced our “Global Track” of small-room breakout sessions, where attendees could talk in-depth about compliance concerns in specific regions: Brazil, China, India, Europe, and the Middle East. This year we'll expand that to include Russia and the rest of Latin America, and possibly even more if demand is there.

                                          

Speaking of audience demand—this is where I need your help. The success of the Compliance Week annual conference always rests on us here working closely with you, the compliance professional there on the front lines. We need ideas, speakers, and advisers, so if you like to spend time thinking about our profession and how to make it work well, I want to hear from you.

First, we need a few more people willing to serve on our annual conference advisory board. Half of the board is selected in advance by me, and we have several outstanding executives from Airbus, LinkedIn and American Express already participating. The other half of the board comes from volunteers, so I'm calling for help. Yes, there will be conference calls, but only two of them; advisers also get recognition on our conference materials, and ultra-low pricing to attend the event itself in exchange for their service.  

Second, we need compliance executives willing to speak at our conference. Are you especially proud of one particular achievement or process at your company? Do you have great policy management? Have you handled a deferred-prosecution agreement so skillfully regulators ended it early? Maybe drafted the perfect bring-your-own-device policy, or rooted out fraud in your travel-and-entertainment budget down to the penny? Overhauled your whistleblower hotline function so that it's a model of effectiveness?

The Compliance Week conference is famed for putting real, live compliance executives on stage to talk frankly about their challenges, triumphs, and even the occasional misstep—so if you've done anything like what I outlined above, or anything else worthy of discussion among your peers, we want to hear from you. The bad news: We do restrict speaking opportunities to in-house corporate executives only (no offense meant to vendors or service providers, who do great work too). The good news: registration fees are waived for speakers. You do need to cover your own travel and lodging, but otherwise can attend the entire conference at no charge.

Finally, we need ideas, and lots of them. You can see our preliminary agenda on our conference website, including the first 10 specific sessions we plan to offer. What else do you want to see? What do you not want to see? What should we treat as a panel discussion, and what should we treat as a case-study? What keynote speakers would really knock your socks off? Which speakers from foreign jurisdictions would be valuable to hear? What academic research have you always wondered about, that we can find the right person to present the latest thinking?

The good news is that Compliance Week does not have any formal process for submitting ideas. Just email me directly at mkelly@complianceweek.com, and I'll respond within 24 hours to get that conversation started. This conference exists to serve you, so speak up as often as you'd like. And check back in this space often, since we'll be bringing you many more details in the next six months!