The big shift: economies, business models and markets

Taking place October 22 to 24 at Loew’s Chicago O’Hare Hotel, this year’s ECIA 2017 Executive Conference offers attendees a strategic template needed to adapt and thrive in an increasingly volatile economy.

The electronic components industry is experiencing unprecedented disruption in an increasingly volatile global macroeconomy. This industry has always had to respond to rapid change, but this isn’t the same old shift. These changes are shaking the fundamental business relationships of the global component supply chain. New players, new customer-facing technology and new go-to-market strategies threaten margins and profitability: the old ways just won’t cut it.

The Conference program is designed to bring attendees the strategic template needed to adapt and thrive. This jam-packed one-and-a-half-day conference combines a content-rich program, hosted receptions, ample networking breaks and frank debate. An event mobile app connects participants and speakers while delivering presentation materials. Hear top-rated presentations from accomplished experts and leave with broadened perspectives on industry advances and opportunities.

ECIA CEO, John Denslinger, summarized the conference: “The theme of this year’s conference, ‘Shift,’ says so much. New mega-markets are exploding everywhere with IoT, autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity, AI and advance robotics leading the way. This coupled with a vibrant digital economy and surging demand for electronic components, it’s no wonder ECIA’s Executive Conference draws so many industry leaders looking for an edge to beat the shift.”

Chairing this year’s event, Bud Industries’ CEO, Blair Haas, said: “The executive conference is a unique moment in the year when all facets of the industry are together in one room to gain insights into the trends and projections in the economy, the business community and our industry. The agenda is set to insure specific takeaways from each session that allow us to share new visions to apply with our teams at home.”

ECIA vice present of member engagement, Debbie Conyers, added: “This year’s conference program planning committee was a dream to work with, thanks to Blair’s leadership and insights. Thanks to their input, we have designed a conference we are confident attendees will rave about.”

Shifting economy
Chapman University’s Dr James Doti, returns to the Conference to open the program with an overview of US economic trends and their impact on manufacturing to provide attendees with critical insights for 2018 strategic planning. The forecast is complemented by a presentation from Allied Electronics’ chief financial officer Nick Hawtrey who explains the impact of these trends on the global components industry.

Shifting business models
Morey Corp’s Rich Catizone kicks off a frank and focused dialogue on Demand Creation from the Customer’s Viewpoint, including a discussion of direct factory support vs manufacturers’ rep orgs vs distribution and what other channels/support vehicles exist for design engineers today. Rich will speak from his experiences on all sides of this table.

Texas Instruments’ Dave Youngblood discusses Digital Transformation: Beyond eCommerce. Engineers working online aren’t a new phenomenon, but what has truly accelerated the digital transformation is customers’ expectations for online experiences in their lives at work that match their lives at home. This presentation is about how engineers’ research, buy, and support behaviors are changing and how the industry is responding.

University of Chicago’s Jean-Pierre Dubé presents Analytics: Transforming Marketing and Pricing. The classic marketing challenge is a fundamental lack of accountability on the ROI from marketing investments. Learn how the quantitative marketing revolution introduces marketing analytics into the decision-making process.

From 1871 & mHUB, Tom Alexander discusses Public/Private Partnerships, Driving Innovation. The story of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 isn’t really about the fire. It’s about what happened next: A remarkable moment when the most brilliant engineers, architects and inventors came together to build a new city. What started 140 years ago continues to this day. 1871 was created to support Chicago’s digital startup community. mHub exists to ensure that Chicago and the Heartland’s manufacturing industry continues to accelerate, grow and thrive. Tom will share stories about these two initiatives.

Shifting markets
Gyro’s Judy Begehr explains The Science of Humor in B2B. As B2B customer expectations have become indistinguishable from those in the B2C space, breaking through the noise using traditional messaging is less and less effective. Begehr brings the latest research about the power of humor in B2B marketing to this lively presentation on how to raise brand awareness and communicate your company’s value in new and enjoyable ways.

IHS Markit’s Dr Richard Dixon speaks about Changes in the Automotive Electronics Industry. The automotive industry is in an unprecedented state of flux and Dr Dixon will review the changes in electronics architectures needed to support autonomous and connected cars with higher amounts of electrification than today, including the subsequent implications for ECU market and component semiconductor markets and supply chain.

Reinventures’ Dr Lynn Phillips discusses Best Practices in Customer Experience Engineering. The methodologies and protocols developed by Dr Phillips help business teams to ‘become’ their targeted customer community by ‘spending a day in their life’, thereby gaining an imaginative understanding of their unmet needs. Learn more about how this breakthrough approach, which is now the de facto standard deployed by countless leading-edge companies and practitioners pursuing global opportunities Veteran Hiring Strategies’ Eric Eversole presents on Hiring Our Heroes. This program of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation was launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to connect veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses with potential employers. Learn more about this important initiative and the resources available to your business.

From the International Success Academy, James Bird Guess speaks about The Strategy of Diversity: Creating a Competitive Advantage by Leveraging Differences. It’s not the same old shift, so responding to change requires the right people, reflecting the global, diverse and multi-generational market for electronics. Learn how to attract, recruit and retain a dynamic and powerful workforce that reflects the customer of the future.

Visibility International’s David Avrin talks about Blink and They’re Gone! — Why Today’s Customers are Leaving You for Competitors and How to Win Them Back. This shines a light on a challenging new dynamic in business: vast customer options and an increasingly impatient and demanding population. This popular speaker returns to close out this year’s Executive Conference with a don’t-miss send-off.