It is official, the 2021 Economic Outlook Forum on April 8 is going virtual. That’s right folks, another day at the office where slippers and sweatpants are the standard business attire, or COVID Casual as I like to refer it. Originally, scheduled to be held at the CityPlace Marriott in Springwoods Village, the Economic Outlook Forum begs to be an in-person event. However, with the ongoing spread of That-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named and the new, more contagious strains taking hold on U.S. soil, the decision was made to move forward with the event yet, err on the side of caution by going virtual. The Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce has procured the services of a virtual software platform created for the specific purpose of providing the convention experience in an online format. Our sponsors and exhibitors will be able to show-off their wears from a virtual exhibit hall and our featured keynote speakers will be remoting in live from their various locations, giving you the opportunity to ask questions and interact in real time. While this may not have the vibe and energy of being in-person, it is going be a high-quality alternative.
We shifted the theme of this year’s event from our original 2020 theme centered around logistics and technology’s impact on the movement of goods and services, to the theme of “Innovation.” Although the pandemic has been devastating on so many levels, what always comes out of a major crisis are significant advances in innovation. One need not look further than the new vaccine technology created by Pfizer and Moderna. Not only is it a completely new form of virus protection, it is safer, more effective, and came to market faster than any medicine, ever. Therefore, our keynote speakers this year are the perfect selection for our theme.
Stephen Igo, a Director at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and Executive Director of Pumps & Pipes, will weave a story for you about how two industries which seem drastically different from each other, really are not. He will tell us how the collaboration of those and other industries have generated significant advancements in innovation. Our Closing Keynote, Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Director of Translational Research Institute for Space Health at the Baylor College of Medicine, will tell us how her teams are making advancements in science and technology to sustain humans long-term in space. The takeaways from these presentations will arm you with insights you can carry back to your businesses that will allow you to think and act creatively and become more competitive in the marketplace.
Of course, the meat of our event will be the economic forecasts co-presented by the perennial Patrick Jankowski, Senior VP of Research at the Greater Houston Partnership, and a new addition to the team, Mark Wynne, Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas. The combination of the two will ensure you get a broad and deeper understanding of the state of the economy and how current global events are impacting our everyday businesses and personal lives. Sandwiched in the middle of our presentations will be David Hawes, Principal at Hawes Hill & Associates. David is the preeminent expert on management districts in the Houston area. The Houston Northwest Chamber has employed David’s firm to assist with the creation of a management district for the Cypress Creek Parkway corridor. David will enlighten us to the many advantages management districts have in improving and turning around economically distressed communities.
We hope you will be excited about this event as much as we are and believe it will be of great value to our members and all who participate. The Economic Outlook Forum also serves as a fundraiser for the Chamber and a chance to promote your business. We ask that you consider sponsoring this event and take a moment to review the many different sponsorship options available. Please register online and we look forward to seeing you on April 8.