Women’s conferences have been in the news lately, with some experts arguing that these events aren’t effective and serve as merely “feel good” meetings with little accountability. However, as the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Summit, I’m solidly in the other camp. I believe women’s conferences are vital and necessary because they allow people to connect with one another in a safe and unique environment.

In that spirit, I thought I’d let you all know about a women’s conference taking place in Florida this month that I learned about from Christine Buscarino, vice president of e-commerce marketing and omnichannel at Office Depot (and a speaker at our Women in Retail Leadership Summit in April). The Office Depot Foundation Women’s Symposium will take place on Feb. 26-27 at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Fla. The symposium’s theme is “Building Your Toolbox for Success: Transitions for Today, Tomorrow and the Future.”

“The symposium will help women learn and implement tools they can use immediately to become even more successful as they transition throughout the course of their personal and professional life,”said Mary Wong, president of the Office Depot Foundation. “Throughout the program, successful women from across the country will come together for education, inspiration, camaraderie and networking opportunities.”

By Carlos Aristizabal _DSC7888[1]

Speakers for the two-day event include the following:

  • Jen Lancaster, New York Times best-selling author of 12 books and a syndicated
    humor columnist for Tribune Media Services.
  • Michelle Villalobos, founder of The Women’s Success Summit and author of “The
    Stiletto in Your Back.”
  • Dr. Casandra “Coach Cass” Henriquez, Love Coach for Successful Women,
  • Dr. Traci Lynn, founder and CEO, Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry
  • Holly Bohn, founder and creative director, See Jane Work
  • Paths to Wellness Today and Tomorrow featuring Peggy Gaines, Christian Cruz, Whanadi-Ann Sobrevilla, Ivette Agusti, Jamie Oberweger and Amy Jaramillo

The cost of standard registration is $299 per person, but readers of the Inner Circle are welcome to use the code ODFWS20 for 20 percent off registration through Feb. 17. For more information and to register for the 2016 Office Depot Foundation’s Women’s Symposium, please click here.

What do you think about women’s conferences? Are they helping advance women in business? Or is the energy that goes into organizing and attending them better spent elsewhere? Let me know by dropping me a line at mcampanelli@napco.com.