Making a noise in Music City

With the FCSI The Americas Conference coming up fast, Michael Jones talks to executive director Wade Koehler CAE about the informative, insightful and just plain fun stuff attendees can expect to experience

FCSI The Americas conference’s in Nashville, Tennessee, in April 2016 will be bigger, better and more comprehensive than ever before. Weeks before the main event kicks off, we caught up with Wade Koehler CAE, executive director of FCSI The Americas, to find out how he and his expert team are putting the finishing touches to what promises to be a great event.

Have there been any updates to the program?

Not much to the program has changed but attendance is at a record high since 2007. As of today March 22, we have 308 registered with over 140 consultants!

Tell us about the conference app. What features does it have?

The new mobile app available from iTunes and Google Play will feature the conference schedule, speaker bios, sponsor information, social media feeds, note taking ability, a badge game and much more. In addition, we will be able to push messages out to all attendees to alert them when sessions will begin, shuttle bus schedules and sponsor promotions.

What can attendees expect from the mobile app?

We are excited about the mobile app badge game. During the conference, attendees can check into various areas, sessions, situations, etc to earn badges. The more badges the attendee earns the bigger the prize. Some of the prizes include iPads, LCD TV’s, gift cards, and free registrations to future events. We will have the leaderboard showing live on TV’s in a few places throughout the hotel.

Putting on FCSI The Americas Annual Conference is a big undertaking. Tell me about the team responsible for putting on the show.

Well, I am very blessed to work with a great team. Kimberly Kissel, FCSI director of education, and Penny Price, FCSI director of member services, are critical to the success of planning an event like this. We operate in a team environment with each of us having specific duties but always willing to help out with any task if one of us needs assistance.

In addition, we have a fantastic intern, Sydney Foster, working with us this year. Sydney is currently attending Illinois Central College and will be a junior at Illinois State University this Fall. She wants to get into event planning after graduation so we hope this conference will give her some great experience before she gets into her core classes. Sydney has been key in getting our mobile app setup and will be very active in Nashville.

What can attendees expect from the evening’s entertainment?

We are so excited about our evening events this year. I can’t recall an FCSI event with this much entertainment in the recent past. Thursday night’s opening party will feature some big country acts for a meet and greet and a few performances. If they have never visited the Country Music Hall of Fame, attendees are going to be amazed throughout this museum along with a nice badge “seek and find” game. On Saturday night we have rented out a downtown honky tonk and just signed three singer songwriters to do a private showcase for our attendees.

Who will be performing?

The Warren Brothers, known for hits such as Dierks Bentley’s Feel that Fire, Toby Keith’s Red Solo Cup and Tim McGraw’s number one hits Felt Good on My Lips and Highway Don’t Care with Taylor Swift. Not just Country boys though, they also have some rock hits such as Hinders’ All American Nightmare and Save Me as well as Nickelback’s Trying Not To Love You

Joining the Warren Brothers will be grammy award winner Josh Kear. The 2013 Country Songwriter of the Year, Josh has achieved 11 number one hits with songs such as Wild at Heart by Gloriana and Drunk on a Plane by Dierks Bentley. Josh won Country Song of the Year Grammy Awards for Before He Cheats and Blown Away by Carrie Underwood. His biggest hit, Need You Now by Lady Antebellum spent 14 weeks atop the adult contemporary charts and won Grammy Awards for Country Song of the Year and Overall Song of the Year in 2011.

They will share some fun stories behind the music while performing some of there biggest songs.

Can attendees expect to hear you belting out a few big numbers in Music City too?

You never know what kind of tricks I may have up my sleeve!

What do you think the highlight of there conference to be?

Between the great education, opportunities for networking with colleagues and our nighttime events, it’s hard to pick one highlight. I love acoustic music live so, for me, the highlight will be the songwriter showcase on Saturday night!

Find out more about the schedule for the conference here.

Register here.


Michael Jones

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