I received an email yesterday telling me that registration for the upcoming AASCIF 2013 conference closes this Friday. The conference is being held this year July 14 – 17, in Austin TX. I am not too worried about the closing registration. I am already signed up, as is my wife. I've been quietly practicing my “y'alls”, and have been looking for an appropriate cowboy hat to wear during the visit – something, it turns out, that is not too easy to find here in Sarasota. Despite that, I am ready to go. 

If you are not registered, then it could just be your loss.

I am not a paid spokesman for AASCIF, the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds. I do not sponsor or advertise with them, and we have no barter arrangement. It is just, as I have written previously, I am a huge AASCIFFER.

The AASCIF conference every summer is hosted in a different state, with that designated states “State Fund” playing host for the event. Unlike many other conferences, the organizers churn all of the registration, sponsorship and exhibitor fees back in to events for the week, making it a top notch family conference destination. Add to that the fact that the current year's state fund host wants to beat the bejeezus out of last year's state fund host, and it is a recipe for attendee satisfaction.

Don't get me wrong, the program and scheduled speakers for these can also be quite strong. Last year's lineup in Portland, OR was outstanding, and will be tough to beat. It appears the people at Texas Mutual, this year's host, have made a valiant attempt. Scheduled speakers include Thom Singer on “Opportunities Come from People”, Jana Owen, “Discovering Your Memory Power in Presentations” and Joe Navarro, FBI Special Agent, speaking on “The Hidden Power of Non-verbal Intelligence in Business”. That last one is of great interest to me, as we have a great deal of “non-verbal intelligence” in my office. Or “non-intelligent verbiage” – I can't remember which.

Last year my wife and I enjoyed a hot air balloon ride, winery tours, outstanding food and a terrific evening at the Portland zoo. This year the activities include brew crawls and a helicopter tour of the city. While I am very excited about the latter, it is the first time I have had a conference email and ask for my weight. It seems safety is an issue, and I don't want to say I am too heavy, but apparently I will have to be in the helicopter alone…. 

At any rate, if you can attend, attend. You likely won't regret it. These seem to get bigger and better every year, and we all know that everything is big in Texas.

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