October 10th, 2010

FSTA Begins to Shape 2011 Winter Conference

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association has yet to announce the specific location (in Las Vegas) at which its next winter business conference will take place, but the group has released a preliminary agenda.

The event will begin on the evening of Jan. 24 (a Monday) with the customary reception and fantasy baseball draft. (As someone who sat through 2010’s 3.5-hour affair that still required an e-mail finish, I would suggest that you only sign up if you really want to compete, are trying to avoid craps tables or are taking 5-Hour Energy for a test drive.)

The first full day of the conference includes the following, as of Sunday night:

- A 9:15 panel to update the NFL’s labor situation, with FSTA president Paul Charchian moderating. This is obviously a topic of utmost importance to fantasy folks, as football sits at the center of most businesses throughout the industry.

- A 10:15 panel called “Is This Fantasy or Not?,” addressing the various different areas that have either developed under or try to position themselves under the “fantasy sports” umbrella. Scott Higgins of Dish Network will moderate.

- 11:15: The Elevator Pitch session that has become a conference staple. It gives attendees the chance to present their company’s message in front of the crowd. It’ll be sponsored by Rack Space.

- A 1:45 panel discussion with FSTA legal experts Glenn Colton and Travis McCoy (otherwise known as the only two guys in the room who are actually making use of their law degrees).

- 3:15: Dr. Kim Beason presents his latest consumer behavior research.

- 4 p.m.: A “One on One” session moderated by Charlie Wiegert. His session at the summer conference matched Wiegert up with The Sports Network CEO Mickey Charles. It seems a safe bet that the next person up will be a bit more restrained than Mr. Charles … and probably far less entertaining.

- A 4:45 panel led by FFToolbox.com’s Jeff Christiansen will look at social networking and its applications and potential benefits for fantasy companies. (No word yet on who will play Christiansen in the movie.)

- A 5:15 panel led by Jim Corelis of STATS will look the 2010 trends in fantasy football, likely presenting something similar to the summer discussion that included MyFantasyLeague.com and CBSSports.com and was led by RotoWire’s Peter Schoenke. The entry suggests, however, that the panel will also discuss what technology trends are working well with the FF crowd.

- A 5:45 panel will circle back to the opening theme of the NFL labor strife. This one, led by Charlie Wiegert, will address contingency planning for fantasy companies in the case that football season is interrupted.

- A 6:15 discussion led by World Fantasy Games CEO Jeff Thomas and Fantasy Sports Publications leader Emil Kadlec will take a look at the international side of the fantasy business.

The agenda also calls for the FSTA awards — normally handed out a few at a time throughout the conference — will be delivered during a 7 p.m. gathering. Of course, anyone who has attended a conference knows that if a ceremony at that time doesn’t include dinner, one or more attendees will likely have appendages gnawed off.

Sessions for the second day have yet to be announced, but FSB.com will pass along more conference info as it becomes available. Registration, however, is open, according to the FSTA website.