I hope you will join me for Compliance Week 2017, which will be held at the Mayflower Hotel from May 22 to May 24, 2017. Why should you consider attending an event one year out? It is because of the strength and character of Compliance Week 2016 that I believe you should block this time off and plan to attend next year.

The Compliance Week staff, led by Editor in Chief Bill Coffin and event organizer Maria Sonin made this year’s event most excellent, and I am certain they will do so again next year. One of the observations I had from this year’s conference was the number of first-time attendees at the event. Their energy and enthusiasm was infectious. There is a significant growth in the compliance profession as we move from Compliance 2.0 to Compliance 3.0 and beyond. Many of the speakers, not the least representatives from the Justice Department and SEC, spoke about the increased review of the chief compliance officer position and a company’s compliance program as a key element of a decision not to prosecute in the FCPA context.

When the government regulators begin to put such an emphasis on the actual doing of compliance, companies will finally get the message and respond in their own self-interest. This will drive greater focus on the compliance profession, its growth, and continued professionalism. It also means companies will have to put the resources in a compliance function; both in terms of budget and personnel.

As we move forward in the compliance profession and in response to anti-corruption laws such as the FCPA and U.K. Bribery Act, it will be the operationalization of compliance in companies that will be the key indicator of a best practices compliance program. The keynotes, sessions, conversations, and breakfasts held at Compliance Week all focused on this dynamic of doing compliance rather than simply talking about anti-corruption laws and their applications.

Of course, being around 600 of your peers always presents an opportunity for increased knowledge sharing, and this year was no exception. I hope that you will plan to join me at Compliance Week 2017, as I look forward to exploring where we have been and, more importantly, where we are headed in compliance.