Forecast Pro User Conference

Cambridge, MA • September 19-21, 2022

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User Conference Overview

The Forecast Pro User Conference empowers you to get the most out of Forecast Pro by meeting with and learning from fellow users, forecasting experts, and the Forecast Pro team. This content-rich event is designed to help you to improve your forecasting by focusing on “real life” business scenarios and offering practical solutions that you can implement in your own organization.

We’ve purposely structured the conference to be an intimate event so that you can make valuable connections with other Forecast Pro users to share your knowledge and ideas. This is your opportunity to understand how other forecasters use the software, to discover how they’ve solved problems similar to those that you face, and to compare notes on forecasting practices.

The conference is jam-packed with a variety of session types—including Forecast Pro demonstrations, hands-on workshops, user case studies, tutorials, panels, and networking events—all of which are designed to help you get the most out of Forecast Pro and strengthen your forecasting process. Forecasting thought leader Spyros Makridakis will be delivering the Keynote Presentation: The Past and Future of Forecasting.

Schedule 

Monday, September 19

  • The Evolution of Forecast Pro
  • Tales from the (Virtual) Road
  • Moving Beyond Extrapolation: Improving Forecast Accuracy using Optional Inputs
  • Keynote Presentation: The Past and Future of Forecasting
  • Unleashing the Power of the Override Grid
  • Case Study: Bell’s Brewery
  • Evening Cocktail Party

Tuesday, September 20

  • Defining and Executing a Forecasting Process
  • What is Machine Learning – and Will it Improve my Forecasts?
  • Improving Forecast Pro Performance
  • Effective Strategies for Forecasting New Products
  • Simplifying Inventory Replenishment Using Forecast Pro
  • How do I…?

Wednesday, September 21

  • Working with Others to Establish the Final Forecasts
  • Implementations from Around the World
  • Forecasting in the Time of Covid

Monday, September 19

The Evolution of Forecast Pro
Eric Stellwagen: Eric kicks off the conference by explaining how Forecast Pro has changed over the years in response to clients’ expanding needs, reviewing the new features introduced in the latest product releases, and sharing his vision of how Forecast Pro will continue to evolve in the future.

Tales from the (Virtual) Road
James Berry: By working with scores of Forecast Pro clients— not only teaching them how to use the software, but helping them to design, implement, and improve their forecasting systems James has earned a unique perspective on the practical challenges users face. In this session he will share his insights on common roadblocks and tips and techniques for getting around them.

Moving Beyond Extrapolation: Improving Forecast Accuracy using Optional Inputs
Eric Stellwagen: Most new Forecast Pro users input the demand history for each item they wish to forecast and rely on expert selection to generate an automatic statistical forecast. While this is an excellent starting point, you can often improve your forecasts using additional inputs. In this session Eric will explore the different types of inputs that Forecast Pro supports, explain when they can add value and illustrate how they are applied.

Keynote Presentation: The Past and Future of Forecasting
Spyros Makridakis: Sypros will provide a brief history of the forecasting field, highlighting the importance of the Makridakis competitions in guiding its progress, and emphasizing the recent achievements of machine learning (ML) methods. In addition, he will discuss the future of forecasting and the challenges and changing role of the professional forecaster when ML methods become widely adopted.

Unleashing the Power of the Override Grid
James Berry: Over the past few years, the Override Grid in Forecast Pro has evolved from a tool for entering forecast adjustments and comments—allowing you to collaborate with colleagues to establish the final forecasts—into a full-fledged customizable worksheet facility. Now that you can import external information, define calculated rows and specify alternative baseline forecasts in the Override Grid, you have the power and flexibility to create custom worksheets for planning and S&OP purposes. In this session, James Berry will show you how to unleash the power of the Override Grid.

Client Case Study: Bell’s Brewery
Brendon Farrell, Advanced Analytics Supervisor at Bell’s Brewery/New Belgium Brewing Company: In this presentation Brendon will discuss implementing Forecast Pro and how to manage a successful first year.  Brendon will give an overview of some of the challenges Bell’s Brewery faced in their implementation process, as well as some of the benefits they have reaped from integrating Forecast Pro into their forecasting and S&OP processes

Evening Cocktail Party
A cocktail reception will be held on Monday evening, providing a relaxing environment for socializing after the first day of the conference. Connect with other attendees and enjoy a drink while overlooking the Boston Skyline and the Charles River.

 

Tuesday, September 20

Defining and Executing a Forecasting Process
James Berry: James will review a framework to help your team create a roadmap for designing, implementing and improving upon your forecasting process. With a focus on best practices, he will address creating a forecast process, setting up hierarchies and data effectively, incorporating outside data, collaborating with others to establish the final forecasts, measuring and tracking forecast accuracy, and gaining acceptance for the forecasts within the organization.

What is Machine Learning – and Will it Improve my Forecasts?
Sarah Darin: Machine Learning and AI have emerged as transformational methodologies with a multitude of applications—facial recognition, medical diagnosing and self-driving cars—to name but a few. But can Machine Learning be used to improve your forecasting? Recent forecasting research suggests that it can. In this session, Sarah Darin will discuss the basics and benefits of automated Extreme Gradient Boosting (XG Boost) an effective and accurate Machine Learning algorithm recently implemented in Forecast Pro.

Improving Forecast Pro Performance
Aidan Goldman: Want to learn how to use Forecast Pro in the most effective and efficient ways possible? This presentation will provide guidance on best practices, typical performance bottlenecks, and how to avoid common pitfalls. Aidan will draw upon his extensive experience assisting users to help you understand common reasons that your Forecast Pro project may not be running as efficiently as it could be. You will walk away with some tips on how to maintain an efficient forecasting process as well as actionable changes to improve performance.

Effective Strategies for Forecasting New Products
Eric Stellwagen: New product forecasting is challenging— when there is little to no historical data available you can no longer rely on methods you use for existing products. This session will survey various approaches for effectively forecasting new products. It will review pros and cons of forecasting methods for replacement products, product line extensions, new-to-company products and new-to-world products.

Simplifying Inventory Replenishment Using Forecast Pro
Marco Arias: In this interactive session, Marco Arias Vargas, Founding Partner of Macrologistica and seasoned supply chain educator, will provide a step-by-step workshop walking you through how setting up a simple replenishment model. Marco will review how to improve resilience and performance in the supply chain based on replenishment models, commonly used replenishment strategies and pitfalls, how to implement replenishment models using Forecast Pro, and keys for tailoring a replenishment strategy to meet the needs of your organization.

How Do I…?
Panel: This session gives you the opportunity to get answers from a panel of Forecast Pro experts on any questions you may have about the software.

 

Wednesday, September 21

Working with Others to Establish the Final Forecasts
James Berry: Collaboration is an integral part of the forecasting process.  Gathering business intelligence from colleagues in Sales, Marketing, Finance, Operations, or Management can be crucial to generating an accurate forecast.  Now more than ever with supply chain issues, capacity constraints, and backorder situations you need to get feedback from those in your company who know what is occurring. Given that feedback can come from so many sources, setting up a simple collaborative environment is critical to success — whether it is working in a small team with copies of a project to using Excel Collaboration with a large team.  In this session we will discuss the different strategies available in Forecast Pro.  And how to select the best method for your company.

Implementations from Around the World: 
Forecast Pro Distributor Panel: In this session three Forecast Pro international distributors will each describe a specific client’s implementation of Forecast Pro. You will learn about the different challenges each client faced integrating Forecast Pro into their existing forecasting process and hear about the benefits they received by doing so.

Forecasting in the Time of Covid
James Berry: Just as the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted all our lives, it has significantly impacted virtually all businesses in a variety of ways. This session will provide pragmatic insight into how to use Forecast Pro’s methods and techniques to create accurate forecasts during the global pandemic. This session will provide an overview of how Forecast Pro can be used to account for the impact of Covid-19 in statistical models and how to efficiently integrate judgmental overrides in large scale forecasting projects.

 

Conference Hours

Monday, September 19: 9 am to 5:30 pm 
Tuesday, September 20: 9 am to 5 pm 
Wednesday, September 21: 9 am to 3:30 pm

All times are in USA Eastern Daylight Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours)

Continental breakfast and lunch (including a vegetarian option) are provided daily for in-person attendees.

A cocktail reception will be held on Monday evening, providing a relaxing environment for socializing after the first day of the conference.

 

Attendance Options

The 2022 Forecast Pro User Conference will be a hybrid event, offering you a choice between in-person attendance or online attendance via Zoom Events.

The conference will take place in Cambridge, MA USA on September 19-21, 2022. The three-day conference includes live presentations, the opportunity to connect with other Forecast Pro users, and engage with speakers and the Forecast Pro team.

Continental breakfast and lunch (including a vegetarian option) are provided daily.

A cocktail reception will be held on Monday evening, providing a relaxing environment for socializing after the first day of the conference.

As a remote attendee you will be able to watch all the live in-person presentations in real time, submit questions for Q&A, and network with other attendees in a chat-enabled lobby.

You will also have on-demand access to the presentation recordings after the fact.

We will be running our popular online Business Forecasting Workshop on September 7-9, 2022 and are offering a bundle for User Conference attendees. You can add the workshop to your in-person or online User Conference registration for an additional $200.  

Feel free to contact skhadr@forecastpro.com with any questions about this bundle.

 

Venue & Accommodations

MIT Samberg Conference Center

MIT Samberg Conference Center

MIT Samberg Conference Center

The Forecast Pro User Conference 2022 will be held at the MIT Samberg Conference Center. Located on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA this state-of-the art conference facility features panoramic views of the Charles River and Boston skyline.

Accommodations are available at the Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Cambridge located in Kendall Square, a 10-minute walk from the conference center. A reduced room rate of $309/night — which includes a complimentary hot breakfast buffet — is available if you book your room by August 29, 2022. Limited rooms are available so we encourage you to book your hotel room online now. You can also reserve a room by calling the hotel directly at +1.617.349.0700 and indicating that you are attending the Business Forecast Systems User Conference to obtain the discounted rate.

Speakers

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Live Attendance:

The regular price for one live attendee is $1,895.

There is an Early Bird Discount price of $1,750 if you register by July 31, 2022.

A Team Discount price of $1,595 per person is available when 3 or more colleagues from the same organization register at the same time. The Team Discount cannot be combined with other discounts.

Online Attendance: 

The regular price for one online attendee is $495.

There is an Early Bird Discount price of $450 if you register by July 31, 2022.

A Team Discount price of $395 per person is available when 3 or more colleagues from the same organization register at the same time. The Team Discount cannot be combined with other discounts.

Conference + Business Forecasting Workshop Bundle

We will be running our popular online Business Forecasting Workshop on September 7-9, 2022 and are offering a bundle for User Conference attendees.

You can add a workshop to your live or online User Conference registration for an additional $200.

We are happy to accommodate each team’s unique situation! If your team has special circumstances (ex. a combination of live and online attendance, only add the workshop bundle for specific team members, etc.) please contact skhadr@forecastpro.com for a custom quote.

Personnel substitutions may be made at any time. Please contact skhadr@forecastpro.com for help transferring your registration.

Limited space is available, so if you must cancel please let us know as soon as possible. Registrants may receive a full refund if cancellation is made by August 19, 2022. If cancellation is made between August 19 and September 2, 2022, registrants may receive a refund of the registration fees paid minus a $195 service charge. Registrants who cancel after September 2, 2021 or are “no-shows” are not entitled to receive a refund.

Personnel substitutions may be made at any time. Please contact skhadr@forecastpro.com for help transferring your registration.

We suggest business casual attire for the Conference. We recommend you dress as you feel comfortable and bring a jacket or sweater as the temperature in the Samberg Center may vary.

The average temperature in Cambridge, MA USA late September ranges from 56°F to 72°F. Although it does rain throughout the year, September is typically the month with the least rainfall.

The Forecast Pro User Conference will be held at the MIT Samberg Conference Center. All attendees must comply with all MIT policies and procedures. For in-person attendance, this means you must be fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible. All the event staff will be fully vaccinated.

Please be aware that these protocols are subject to change.

If the conference is cancelled, Business Forecast Systems, Inc.’s liability is limited to refunding the registration fees only.

 

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