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5 Must-See Sessions at the 2017 Health and Benefits Leadership Conference

Heidi Erdmann-Sullivan on April 11, 2017 12:15 PM

We've all been there. Highlighter in hand, staring down a lengthy conference agenda, trying to pick the most relevant, helpful - and innovative - sessions that apply to our role and our organization.

It’s not easy. The pressure to maximize your time and overall value at any conference is always high. Plus, you’ve got to have plenty in your arsenal for next year when it comes time to convince leadership that it’s about more than just going to a fun destination city.

Good news, though – if you’re planning to attend the Health and Benefits Leadership Conference in Las Vegas this month, we’ve done some recon for you.  

And don't worry if you're not planning on attending this year.  We hope the short-list of major themes and key presentations below will give you a good sense of what the buzz will be in Las Vegas this April. 

In addition to healthcare, benefits and wellness will be the leading themes of this year’s conference.

Bearing in mind Deloitte’s newly released, “2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends: Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age,” which highlights the employee experience, diversity and inclusion, and the organization of the future among its top-trending areas this year, we assessed the conference’s offerings, and have anticipated which sessions might be bringing these hot topics to further light.

Here are our top five, “must-see” presentations:

  1.  Creating a Culture of Health: Challenges and Opportunities.
    Panelists from National Van Lines, Delta Air lines, Owens Corning, The Breakers and more will offer fresh-thinking to organizations as they build and support a culture of well-being, and look to affect overall business performance in profound ways. They’ll explore values-driven leadership, engagement through trained networks of employees, and integrated approaches to achieve long-term sustainability.
    (General Session, 4/19, 9:30-10:30 a.m.) 

  2. Thinking Like a Consumer Marketer at the University of Texas.
    We can’t wait to hear more about how the University donned their marketer hats, leveraging technology and the main tenets of consumer marketing, to dramatically transform their benefits communication strategy. They’ll provide tips for utilizing employee data and developing concrete steps to launch a personalized approach to employee benefits, and give an overview of the best communication tools and resources available to HR professionals to boost engagement rates. (Technology Session, 4/19, 1:45-2:45 p.m.)

  3. Ideas and Innovators General Session Panel, led by Steve Boese.
    An annual favorite, Steve will moderate this panel of innovative leaders who will challenge you to re-think your benefits programs and feel inspired to make the creative changes that will ensure their success. The best part: each participant only has five minutes to present their rapid-fire, timed slides! Our very own Al Zink, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at, will be presenting The Future of Work is Killing Your Employees as part of this session. (General Session, 4/19, 3-4 p.m.)

  4. Benefits by Generation: Tackling the Employer Implications.
    Get a look at the latest research from Willis Towers Watson and what it tells about the benefits needs and preferences of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Most important, they’ll help employers understand what this means for them and how to develop a strategy to improve employee engagement, productivity and well-being. (Innovation Session, 4/21, 9:15-10:15 a.m.)

    RELATED: Benefits Greatest Hits for Your Multi-Generational Mix Tape

  5. Transforming Health and Benefits by Rethinking Organizational Design.
    It’s all about the organization of the future in 2017, where success is dependent on providing benefits that improve the overall employee experience, leverage the best technology and echo corporate missions and goals. HR and benefits leaders from Walmart, Kellogg Company and Cantene Corporation (to name a few), will help us understand how rethinking and reshaping organizational structures can not only provide real value to employees, but allow teams to reach their highest potential and boost overall business performance. (General Session, 4/21, 10:30-11:30 a.m.)

Now, save that highlighter ink for your top restaurant picks. We’ve just bookmarked a great article from Forbes that has some off-the-beaten path, local insight on the best eats in town.

See you there!

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Heidi Erdmann-Sullivan

As Director, Sales and Marketing at, Heidi is responsible for developing innovative, results-driven programs for Care@Work – a consumer-centered portfolio of family care for employers and their diverse workforce. Passionate about helping HR professionals improve the lives of their employees, Heidi follows and writes about the top trends and research impacting both employees and employers in the workplace, including the future of work, consumerism and HR, building employer brands, pay equity and paid leave policy, and company culture. Prior to joining, Heidi led marketing teams at a variety of technology companies including Constant Contact. She lives north of Boston with her husband Brian and their “daughter” Lexi – a 10 lb. Shih-Tzu therapy dog.