BOSTON – As the newest CSC educational advisory board (EAB) member, Wendy Venoit, member, Cozen O’Connor, has definite opinions about the kinds of educational sessions that contribute to a successful conference. Ultimately, success depends on relevant topics and knowledgeable speakers.
With those criteria in mind, Venoit makes it clear that other considerations are not part of the equation. “We choose the topics and speakers who we believe will be most compelling to the audience and attendees—without regard to financial contribution,” she confirms. “The old ‘pay-to-play’ format is long-gone.”
In practice, this means choosing a diverse set of topics that have broad interest to attendees. “We also consider feedback from past attendees,” Venoit says, “to guide future content and programs that they would like to see at upcoming events.”
As a regular CSC speaker for the last decade (and further back), Venoit knows what works and what does not. Additional experience with the ABA Forum on Construction Law and the American College of Construction Lawyers has only bolstered Venoit’s skillset. “We are thrilled that Wendy accepted the EAB post and her contributions continue to be valuable to CSC’s future,” says Kevin Gaffney, show director. “Wendy has a passion for construction law that serves attendees well.”
“With construction law, the devil is in the details, and that is why I love it,” Venoit explains. “Construction projects and the legal issues that arise from them are complex, challenging, and thought-provoking. Although the legal issues are often similar from project-to-project, the details and the people we encounter are always unique.”
Networking, building relationships, and making friends are at least on par with the educational aspects of the conference and Venoit believes the CSC is worth the time, effort, and money. “In business, in our careers, and in our personal lives, the only way to truly connect with people is to meet and socialize with them in person,” Venoit muses. “More personal connections are formed at a cocktail reception than over a zoom screen.”
As for future trends and topics, the use of technology is a front runner. Venoit adds: “Knowing how to utilize technology efficiently and effectively can be the differentiator between you and the next guy. In my own practice, I am seeing a significant increase in work in the renewable energy industry. The industry is complex and challenging—not only in terms of the technology and logistics, but also the complex and unique contracting structures being adopted.”