Representor Fall 2020 - Feature Article

2021 ERA Virtual Conference to deliver immersive education and networking

by Craig Anderson, CPMR

Craig Anderson, CPMR
President of Sumer Inc.
2021 ERA Conference Committee Chair

Every year, the ERA Conference is one of the most comprehensive gatherings of electronics industry reps, manufacturers and distributors who connect to learn together from industry experts and thought leaders in an environment dedicated to sharing practical, proven best practices in field sales and marketing.

For the 2021 ERA Conference, we are gathering virtually by creating a space for the electronics community to reconnect, learn and network.

The unprecedented challenges that our industry and the world faces, have propelled ERA and the ERA Conference Committee to reinvent the 2021 conference and deliver a unique virtual event that uses the latest online platform to create an immersive educational experience for attendees.

The 2021 ERA Virtual Conference will be held on March 1 – 3. So, mark your calendars, register, and join us in an effort to reconnect, reinvent and prepare for success at yet another do-not-miss conference.

To ensure the success of the virtual conference, a group of more than 50 talented and enthusiastic industry reps, distributors and manufacturers who serve on the 2021 ERA Conference Committee, or one of its four sub-committees, are working tirelessly to develop a dynamic and fully immersive educational and networking experience, bringing you the best topics by the best speakers.

ERA is extremely grateful for all the time and effort this talented group of industry people devotes to create our top-rated conference.

Virtual Conference Program Preview

Over the course of three days, the virtual conference will deliver eight core hours of educational content. Following the format of the traditional in-person event, the core educational content will include a Keynote Speaker, General Sessions and Breakout Sessions.

In addition, the virtual conference program will include optional recognized resources and sponsor presentations, various networking opportunities and a virtual happy hour!

Furthermore, groups, such as the ERA Chapter Leadership Council, will be using the virtual platform to hold meetings they normally hold during the conference.

Keynote Speaker

We are excited to announce that the Keynote Sub-Committee has selected Kevin Brown as the conference keynote speaker to kick-off the 2021 virtual event.

Brown’s unconventional path to business and personal success has taught him that winning in business and life requires anything but conventional thinking. With a streetwise aptitude and a never-quit attitude, he worked his way from the front lines in business to the executive boardroom. For nearly two decades, Brown was a sales and marketing executive that helped grow a little-known family business into an industry giant with annual revenues reaching two billion dollars. After a career in franchising, he decided to retire from corporate America and pursue his passion for bringing The HERO Effect message to as many people and organizations as possible.

Brown is on a mission to help people and organizations embrace a simple philosophy that separates world-class organizations and high-performance people from everybody else. He is passionate about helping people expand their vision, develop their potential and grow their results

Michael Knight

We also are excited to announce that the General Sessions Sub-Committee has secured Michael Knight, president of the TTI Semiconductor Group and senior vice president of business development at TTI Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Company subsidiary. As one of the ERA Conference’s highest-rated speakers we are thrilled that he is returning (virtually) again in 2021 and look forward to his industry insights.

In addition to Michael Knight, the General Sessions Sub-Committee is currently interviewing economists and a speaker on sales for two other General Sessions.

Breakout Sessions

Volunteers on the Breakout Sessions Sub-Committee are working diligently on developing 12 Breakout Sessions for the 2021 virtual conference. Some of the key session topics include sales, business planning, operations, management, communications, marketing, industry issues and technology.

These interactive sessions are the highlight of the ERA Conference, and while this year we will meet virtually, the interactions, education and insight will not disappoint.

Attendees will be able to attend four live breakout sessions during the three-day event. And because the conference is held virtually, all registered attendees will have the opportunity to view all Breakout Sessions on-demand at their convenience via the virtual platform.

Virtual Platform Bells and Whistles

So, what makes the 2021 ERA Virtual Conference a truly immersive experience?
During the Keynote, General Sessions and Breakout Sessions attendees will have the ability to post questions via chat and have them answered during the Q&A sessions at the end of each presentation.

All educational sessions will be available on-demand for 12 months. ERA has received many comments over the years that the Breakout Sessions have all been very beneficial and attendees would like the ability to view sessions that they did not attend. With the virtual platform, these sessions will be viewable at any time.

The virtual platform also will offer attendee-to-attendee networking with real-time chat, networking lounge discussion forums and video call options. To add some fun and boost engagement, attendees can enjoy the virtual platform’s built-in gamification.

Sponsorship & Recognized Resources

Sponsorships are strong again this year and the 2021 ERA Virtual Conference will offer some new and unique built-in sponsor opportunities, including sponsor booths and sponsor-led presentations.

Through the virtual platform, our Recognized Resource partners will have the ability to demonstrate their products and services, connect with attendees via private chats and host virtual meetings.

Technical support will be offered before and during the event to ensure that all registered attendees have a seamless and enjoyable experience.

We are confident that the ERA Virtual Conference will help us Reconnect and Reinvent for Success in 2021.