Join President & CEO Scott Melville, along with this year's Program Committee Chair, Advantice Health's CEO Tim Connors, and CHPA's SVP Business Development and Industry Relations, Beth Allgaier as they talk about this year's highly anticipated event after three long years apart. CHPA's Self-Care Leadership Summit (SLS) — formerly CHPA's Annual Executive Conference — is the intimate, exclusive gathering of consumer healthcare industry leaders. Don't miss this exclusive sneak peek of the meeting, how Tim came to be the program Chair, and what attendees can expect!
- Episode Transcript
Anita Brikman: Spring is in the air. Well, we're getting there. But what is coming up fast and furious is CPA's Self-care Leadership Summit, SLS. Yes, it is a new spring conference, new name, new offerings, and the first time in several years to get together in-person, I know I personally can't wait and I'm excited to talk about it in this episode of CHPA Chat.
Speaker 2: Welcome to CHPA Chat, conversations in the consumer healthcare industry with Anita Brikman.
Anita Brikman: Welcome everybody. It's an exciting time at CHPA, our Self-Care Leadership Summit, SLS, formerly CHPA's Annual Executive conference, which many of you know, is the intimate exclusive gathering of consumer healthcare industry leaders, designed to provide attendees with the opportunity to gain vital business insights through high impact sessions, combined with unparalleled networking opportunities. This is the place to be for the self-care industry this spring. To talk about this year's highly anticipated event after three long years apart, which we have all felt is, president and CEO, Scott Melville, this year's program committee chair, Advantice Health CEO, Tim Connors, and CPA's SVP of Business Development and Industry Relations, Beth Allgaier.
That is a lot of titles. Welcome everybody to CHPA Chat. Scott, I'm going to start with you. Simple question here. What is in a name? You changed the name of CHPA's former Annual Executive Conference, which it's been for years, to the Self-Care Leadership Summit. Tell us a little bit about your vision for this meeting and how it compares to what we used to expect at AEC.
Scott Melville: Well, Anita, first of all, delighted to be here with you and Beth and Tim, and really excited to talk about the Self-Care Leadership Summit. We are really, really looking forward to this event. Look, we've been doing this for a long time. CHPA has been around for 141 years, right? I haven't been here that whole time, but I've been here a part of it. And look, for the last 10 years I've been here we've hosted the Annual Executive Conference. It's a great meeting. It's a must-do if you are in the business of consumer healthcare. For many years, it was the OTC Meeting, right? But what we noticed over the last decade or so is more and more our member companies' product portfolios were evolving. They were getting more into dietary supplements. They were getting more into medical devices and CHPA has to keep reinventing itself.
It can't keep doing the same old thing. So CHPA, two years ago, rebranded ourselves. We got rid of that blue capsule. We use a sort of a modern wordmark now, talking about taking healthcare personally. And that's our new identity, that's our new brand. And we decided that we also need to revisit and update our annual meeting, the Annual Executive Conference. Great meeting, stodgy name, let's rebrand it to represent the new CHPA. So the Self-Care Leadership Summit talks about the broad category of healthcare that we're now representing. It's leadership, it's executives, and it's a summit, it's once a year. And it brings together the leaders of the industry here in the US, but also with a strong global presence as well. So there's a lot in a name and we're really excited about our new name.
Anita Brikman: I think it is a very cool new name, and we have a brand new program chair. Tim, how's the conference coming together. And what can the audiences expect when we do get together later in March?
Tim Connors: Thanks, Anita. I'll tell you. I'm so happy that we're finally going to get in person. I've been waiting for this for a long time. I did not want to do this online. The planning committee and the CHPA leadership built this meeting to look like AEC. Great, meaningful sessions that speak to the issues facing our industry leaders. And then that important time to meet with your fellow business colleagues.
Our agenda will cover key topics in our industry; changing consumer behavior, global consumer healthcare, staying resilient in the changing world, future of e-commerce, mergers and acquisitions in health and wellness, and the future of dietary supplements. Most importantly, having a safe environment to have meaningful in-person meetings. The relationships built really help our business over many, many years. By far as the most important event of the year. Hey, we mark our calendars early on this one. I'm excited to get on a plane and go down to Florida. A lot happens at this event, and it is a must-have.
Beth Allgaier: It really has been a long three years. And we're still very sensitive to the fact that the pandemic is continuing and we need to pay attention. So first we are paying close attention to local and federal guidelines. We are taking every possible safety precaution so that everyone on site can be safe and we can meet safely in person. So I do want to say that we are we're paying attention. And we're the healthcare industry. We need to make sure that what we are doing is representing, really taking healthcare personally and bringing that to our meeting as well and to our attendees. So I do want to address that for sure. And I also, when Scott mentioned the renamed to the summit, the summit does represent sort of the top. And we really think that it does represent that, this is bringing the industry leadership together. This is the top to top meeting.
So huge value. This is an audience of also global leaders. So there's some high-level program content, but we have intentionally carved out plenty of time that allows everyone to connect, build those critical relationships. We know this is where the business of the industry happens. So we need to let that happen. So huge value in that.
It's an opportunity too, where people are learning from each other. So it's not just sitting in seats, looking at slides, listening to people on stage, high-level content. But there's also this dynamic that is really about the people being together and learning from peers and colleagues in the industry. So, we have lots of new members as well, and this is the chance for those folks to get to know the industry, each other, understand what those new faces, new connections might mean to your business, and ways to make those connections happen at this meeting. That's of huge value and there are just endless stories of the impact that this meeting has had on people's businesses and careers. So looking forward to that. There's just lots that this meeting really does for our industry. And we're looking forward to it.
Anita Brikman: That is such a good point, Beth. Tim, as a long-time leader in our industry, you have been to CHPA conferences. You've been to other conferences in other venues. What are the personal and professional benefits you've received? I mean, Beth talked about that, but you personally, with your business, what do these kind of connections and that dynamic that Beth spoke about? What does that actually do?
Tim Connors: I've been coming to this event for over 20 years. It is amazing the important relationships that have started and built at this event. Over the years I've met many of our current partners in supply chain, sales, marketing, and new product development. It is a perfect forum to have top-to-top meetings, to get up to date on how we're all working together. Lastly, the many business and personal relationships are not only important to our business, but to me personally. I have many relationships spanning over 20 years that have started here. Candidly, I'm excited to see familiar faces. It's been way too long.
Anita Brikman: It has been way too long. I am so excited as well. And I know Scott you certainly are. What about the industry today? What's the vision of this event? The future ahead, as we all finally get back together again, and really draw on that energy moving forward.
Scott Melville: Well Anita, I mentioned the rebranding that CHPA did, and that was very intentional by our board because they did see the changes that were underway prior to the pandemic. We saw greater use of dietary supplements. We saw the advent of consumer medical devices, digital health, and we realized that CHPA and our member companies needed to represent a broader swath of the industry. And as we renamed ourselves, we realized that the content that we provided at our annual meeting, that we had been doing for so many years, and it was such a valuable meeting as Tim mentioned, needed to be expanded and broadened as well. So we're really, really excited that we'll be having sessions on dietary supplements, that we'll be doing more on the M&A environment, that we'll be having a CEO panel to talk about what's on their mind.
And it's been a heck of a couple of years for the world, for the country. It's been challenging, it's been painful, but boy, it's been a validation and a real acceleration of self-care and the products that our members market to their consumers. Can you imagine what it would've been like if consumers weren't able to safely self-treat at home during this past pandemic? Most of them actually did stay at home and freed up our medical system to focus on the more serious cases. The role of self-care has never been stronger. It's never been more important to our healthcare system. And really that's the theme of this year's meeting. And we'll be talking about case studies and examples of these past couple of years, how we can learn from them, and what the future provides.
Anita Brikman: I can't wait. I know we've all said that, but I cannot wait. Beth, this is our first big in-person meeting of this year, but you and your team have been working hard to develop a robust calendar of in-person events that are going to be rolling out from marketing to regulatory affairs, all that have a direct impact on the self-care industry. Tell me a little bit more about where SLS fits in this overall calendar.
Beth Allgaier: Yeah, good question. Like we said, it's called the summit for a reason. It hits the need of the industry leadership and executives, and then the rest of the calendar, the rest of the year and throughout the year, it is everything from Consumer Healthcare 101, that entry-level course, actually, which is one of our members, you know, they note that as one of the most popular courses, best benefit of their membership really is to have that available for folks new to the industry or people who want a refresher. But that CH101 course will be in person again this year.
And then we go right through the year with Marketing Conference, which is in person again this year, but we've had to for the last couple of years, do that virtually and continue to provide that content because that's just an incredibly dynamic part of our industry right now. And bringing the brand teams together with their teams is incredibly important. So, that conference will happen again this year in person.
And then we have the Regulatory, Scientific and Quality Conference. Another hugely popular event in the virtual space for the last couple of years, popular event. Because it's the thought leadership of the industry coming together with the regulatory thought leadership and FDA. And that's just a powerful meeting. And we're looking forward to that being in person again this year. So just supply chain logistics kinds of opportunities that we've got, we've built a lot of virtual content. CHPA Academy exists now, so that it's a very convenient way of getting information, education super efficiently. And then this CHPA Chat, we use this to put out lots of real time important information, quick legislative updates when we need to, thought leadership from the industry. It's just been an incredible couple of years where we've really had to build that calendar. That's not just a couple of meetings for industry execs, but we really do want to go deeply meeting the needs of our members regardless of what business area folks are in.
Anita Brikman: Absolutely. All right. A final question for the SLS team, other than the Florida sunshine, what are you looking forward to most about this year's SLS. Tim? What do you think?
Tim Connors: Seeing all my friends and associates.
Anita Brikman: Love it. What about you, Scott?
Scott Melville: Can't top that. I want to see old friends and I want to make new ones.
Beth Allgaier: So nobody-
Scott Melville: And Beth?
Beth Allgaier: ...Nobody said green beer. I mean, it's over St. Patrick's Day. So I think being able to be together and have St. Patrick's day altogether, I think is very meaningful, but that's not my answer. My answer is actually when I started at CHPA a couple years ago, it was right before the pandemic and I only had the chance to meet a few people in person. And so other than here and there, and some of the members, I'm really looking forward to meeting some people for the first time, even though they may have been with CHPA for many, many years. I mean, there are some companies who have been with us almost the entire 140 years that we've been in existence. But I've only met some of them. So that's, yes, I'm looking forward to first time introductions.
Scott Melville: Last time we were at the Turnberry, which as many of you know, who are veterans of the AEC now SLS, there was a lot of construction going on. It has transformed itself from the old Tunbury to a JW Marriott Turnberry Resort. And I'm looking forward to seeing what the new Turnberry resort looks like. And we have plenty of room to scale up. One thing we haven't said is that registration is really strong right now. We weren't sure how our members were going to respond, given all the challenges that they're dealing with right now. I can tell you that we're tracking 2017 numbers, which was a high point for CHPA. So clearly there's an appetite to meet in person. And we're very, very excited about the response we've gotten so far.
Anita Brikman: You going to hit the golf course too Scott?
Scott Melville: You know what, I'm not sure I'm going to able to play in the golf tournament this year because of competing conflicts. But we'll see if we might be able to move some things around.
Beth Allgaier: I can give you the... Right? We can give you the first nine. Well, I have to put in a plug too. So yes, the golf tournament, but Anita and the foundation, there will be a fun walk/run. That's the fundraiser for the foundation. So that's another great opportunity to just connect with people and get some air and some exercise, whether or not you want to walk or run.
Anita Brikman: That's Right. We're super excited about that. With the theme of Back Together, we have a fantastic sponsor, Dr. Scoll's. That's going to be early in the morning. All of this of course is on the CHPA website, but we hope you register. You do the fun run and walk, and then you can enjoy your food and libations later with a lot less guilt.
Beth Allgaier: So I just want to give kudos to Tim for taking this on in a year that was so critical and we have not been able to be together. And you guys did a great job, the whole committee, but you led the way to really build this content, keep it to a very high level, and really encouraged that this was a chance for us to be together. And that's what we needed to do at this meeting. So, yes, I just want to say thank you to Tim and your leadership was key.
Tim Connors: Well, I really appreciate that, Beth. Thanks a lot. By the way, did you ask me to do this because I was one of the only ones you've met in person?
Beth Allgaier: It helped. It definitely helped. You're right. Yeah. We were up there in New Jersey.
Tim Connors: I think so.
Beth Allgaier: Right before the world shut down. Weren't we? Yes, you were I think one of the last faces I saw that wasn't on Zoom, so true. Yeah, people do look a lot different when you meet them on Zoom. Taller. Shorter.
Beth Allgaier: Yeah.
Tim Connors: Yeah. It's the cameras, not the COVID weight.
Beth Allgaier: That's right.
Speaker 2: Thank you for joining us here at CHPA Chat. For more information, and to hear our entire catalog of shows, please visit chpa.org.
The views expressed in this podcast are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.