Workers’ Comp Conferences 2018: What Should I Know and Where Should I Go?

| | Utilization Review

NWCDC 2015 Taken by Tom Verson B
Having attended and presented at many workers’ comp conferences, I’m often asked whether or not conferences offer value, and if so, which ones offer the best opportunities for industry participants. My short answer is that conferences always offer valuable information and content. Additionally, most conferences offer the opportunity to learn about emerging products and services and get to know the vendors who offer them. Finally, workers’ comp conferences offer great ways to connect with your industry peers. Depending on your role in the organization, you have a number of conference options to help you grow in your profession.

Before I get to the specific conferences, please know that this information is a basic guide, and there is no connection between this website and any of the conferences mentioned. Also, there is no intent to favor or neglect any particular conference. The links for each of the conferences are provided as a convenience.

Now that our disclaimer is out of the way, let’s look at some of the conferences in order of when they occur during the year:

Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) Annual Conference – This conference is content rich. Presented by WCRI, the event takes place this year on March 22-23 at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA. The content is driven by WCRI research projects and is presented by the institute’s employees and members. Attendees include workers’ comp executives, regulators and other industry experts. Learn more at

Risk Management Society (RIMS) Annual Conference & Exhibition – RIMS is a not-for-profit international professional association geared towards risk managers. The annual conference changes venues each year. It is scheduled for April 15-18 in San Antonio, TX. Courses generally focus on corporate risk management concerns. The 2018 conference will include courses focusing on engaging injured workers through their recovery, cyber crisis management, and the blockchain revolution and what you need to know. The Society also sponsors college students who have potential interest in risk management and offers a college track for those attendees. Learn more at

National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) Annual Issues Symposium – This conference is held each year in May. This year, it will take place May 16-18 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, FL. The conference presents current issues and challenges facing the workers’ compensation industry and is geared towards senior workers’ comp executives as well as legislative representatives. Learn more at

Workers Comp Institute (WCI) 360 – This year’s WCI 360 is scheduled for August 19-22 at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, FL. Although the conference started as a Florida workers’ comp conference, it has branched out and now addresses national issues. Content ranges from live surgeries (for workers’ comp related injuries) to legislative issues. Generally, the attendees are mostly from the Florida region. This conference is also attended by a number of law firms and medical providers. Learn more at

California Workers’ Comp & Risk Conference (CWC & Risk) – This conference is scheduled for September 5-7 at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA. The location was formerly the St. Regis Hotel. While the conference generally draws California participants, it has become more national from a content perspective. Right now they are going through the speaker and agenda proposal process, so check back regularly to see if the specific conference agenda is for you.  Most attendees are from the adjuster to the executive level. Learn more at

National Workers’ Comp and Disability Conference (NWCDC) – Nationally known as one of the largest workers’ comp conferences each year, this event will again be at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV. The conference is scheduled for December 5-7, 2018. It is scheduled to stay at the Mandalay Bay in 2019 but move to Chicago, IL in 2020. NWCDC sessions are presented via tracks, which focus on participants’ roles in the workers’ comp arena: adjustors, attorneys, managed care professionals, etc. As such, this conference appeals to all levels of participants in the workers’ comp industry. Learn more at

I hope you find this list helpful. The hard part is determining which conference(s) best suit your needs based on the topics and your role in the industry. But I can tell you that each conference listed above has a lot to offer. Reserve your space for one or more of these events!

Karen Atkins

Karen Atkins, Chief Operating Officer with UniMed Direct, is leading the conversation, and the industry, on how to make the utilization review process more efficient for all stakeholders: physicians, insurance companies and, most importantly, patients.