Blog Post

Not Your Father’s Users’ Conference

Guest author Ian Oxman, Chief Marketing Officer for Apex HCM

One key to success, business or personal, is listening. Listen to what your wife tells you for sure. Also, listen to your kids, your employees and your clients. Within all that feedback you will figure out what needs to be done.

Next month, Sept 21-22, Apex hosts our annual users’ conference. Before constructing this year’s event we did a lot of listening: Listening via surveys, listening to our Apex Industry Leadership Council and listening to individual clients all throughout the year. We heard a ton of great ideas and learned many ways to improve on a really good conference to make it an industry-leading, great conference.

Here’s specifically what we heard and how our user conference has changed in 2018:

  1. More Content – Attendees told us they wanted more content and more subject choices. Hence, we increased from 11 unique education session topics in 2017 to 24 session topics for 2018. That’s a 119% increase in session content.
  2. Relevant Content – Attendees remarked that some of our content, keynote speakers for example, were interesting but not particularly relevant. This year our Friday Keynote speaker is from the IRS and will talk about specific tax frauds and scams affecting the payroll industry. Saturday, our speaker is an expert on how to manage and motivate people across generations.
  3. Service Bureaus Presenting – We also heard that you wanted more real-life presenters, such as service bureaus relating actual experiences and advice. For 2018, 12 sessions are being presented or co-presented by actual Apex HCM customers.
  4. Why Always Atlanta? – We’ve always held our users conference in Atlanta and many attendees requested a change of scenery. This year we’ve taken the show on the road to New Orleans, a real destination for cuisine, music, art, architecture and certainly a fun place to socialize and celebrate.
  5. Align 2018 – You may have noticed we also named the users’ conference – Align 2018. The name comes straight from our concerted effort to listen and align our conference with what you want and with the direction of our industry.


A couple months ago, Rebecca Yinko, Managing Partner of Payroll Solutions in Madison WI, and a member of the Apex Industry Leadership Council, wrote a fantastic blog entitled “Why I Never Regret Attending Conferences.” Rebecca made the point, “Every conference I attended resulted in either: new professional relationships, or new best practices learned, or new solutions for my old problems. At some conferences I actually walked away with all three.”

We’ve listened pretty closely to Apex customers and I hope that if you attend Apex Align 2018, you do walk away with all three as well.


This blog post is guest authored by Ian Oxman, Chief Marketing Officer at Apex HCM.   Apex HCM leads the payroll and HCM technology industry and is based in Roswell, GA.  You can reach Ian at