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This January, Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) (Transforming Data into Knowledge) will host the 21st Global Best Practices Conference. This annual gathering of the members of Workforce Intelligence (formerly People Report), Financial Intelligence (formerly Black Box Intelligence) and now Guest Intelligence (formerly Guest Intelligence (formerly White Box Social Intelligence)) promises the information, thought leadership and inspiration to kick start 2016. We will once again celebrate and learn from the elite leaders and companies in our consortium, along with a phenomenal lineup of speakers and the highly anticipated 2016 restaurant industry forecast. Here are 10 reasons you just have to be there:

1. The woman, the myth, the legend: Each year, Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) presents the Workplace Legacy Award to a leader in the restaurant industry who has clearly demonstrated success in balancing superior people practices and best in class operational results. This year, we are excited to honor Sally Smith, President and CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings, as the recipient of this prestigious award. Her leadership and vision have set her apart as a restaurant operator. Read more about the award here. You can also hear from her while…

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2. Kicking off the morning with something better than coffee: This year’s Morning Joe panel features our award-winning Sally Smith along with fellow industry powerhouse John Miller, President and CEO of Denny’s. As if that wasn’t good enough, the panel will also include mega-rockstars Roz Mallet, President and CEO of PhaseNext Hospitality; Sarah Lockyer, Editor-in-Chief of Nation’s Restaurant News; and Joe Kefauver, Managing Partner at Align Public Strategies. Our panelists will tackle the tough topics such as the labor crunch, worker activism, the NLRB, tipping policies, sustainable business practices and more. Their insights will energize and enrich you better than your cup of coffee (which we will still provide in ample quantities).

3. Stop marketing. Start engaging: This conference isn’t just for Human Resources and Operations executives. Learn how to challenge and improve your marketing techniques by attending Scott Stratten’s session “UnMarketing.” As the president of UnMarketing, Scott will share the importance of building trust and authenticity as an integral part of your brand. After this, you’ll be citing his mantra: “Stop marketing. Start engaging.” Your stomach might also hurt, from laughing hysterically.

4. Our favorite economist will be back at it: Joel Naroff is no stranger to the Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) conference stage, and he’s back again this January to share with us exactly what’s happening on the rollercoaster ride that is this American economy. From heating labor market to the fickle consumer, Joel will make economics accessible as he takes on some of the toughest questions facing the restaurant industry in his session “Big Picture Economics.” See Joel in action at our most recent event.

5. The Motley Fool himself: You’d be a fool to miss him! Tom Gardner will take the stage to discuss his purpose as the CEO and co-founder of The Motley Fool. Not only will you hear his insights and tips for enlightened investing, you will also be able to see what it takes to embody conscious capitalism and how to lead a Best Place to Work in his conference session, taking place on January 19th.


6. What the Fripp?!: Yum! Brands is lending us their Senior Director of Global Diversity James Fripp to serve as the 2016 conference chair and lead our MLK Day service event. James fully embodies the characteristics of an industry gamechanger: bright mind, open heart and willingness to grow and lead. Connect with him on Twitter (@whatthefripp).

7. Fine dining changing lives: Café Momentum is a Dallas-based fine dining restaurant founded by chef Chad Houser. Although it may appear ordinary on the outside, Chad’s restaurant is far from the standard as it employs some of Dallas’ most at-risk youth. Attend his session “A Chef & a Kitchen: Transforming Lives” on Monday January 18th to hear how his vision and heart changed the lives of hundreds of Texas kids, creating future employees and saving hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

8. Workforce Symposium: Your wish is our command. We’ve gathered some of the most influential HR leaders into one pre-conference symposium taking place on January 17th. Our speakers & experts include Terry Dunn, President of Positive Management Leadership, Inc; Thomas Reddin, Chair of Employment, Labor and Immigration at Winstead PC; Lou Kaucic, former Applebee’s CPO and CEO and founder of Coaches Collective International; and Michael VanDervort, Executive Director of Cue Inc. These executives will take the time to teach our HR attendees how to tackle 2016-2020, aka the “toughest four years of your career.”

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9. “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve”: For almost 10 years, our GBPC attendees have awakened before the sun to spend a few hours volunteering at the North Texas Food Bank. Those few hours translate into a continued commitment to giving back to our community here in Dallas and providing food to those most in need. This year will be no different. Join us Monday January 18th to serve and give back on a day that honors one of the greatest humanitarians of all, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

10. Cocktails for all: If one through nine didn’t grab you, we know number 10 just did. What’s a conference without networking? Or, as our keynote Tommy Spaulding says, “Netgiving.” Join us for nightly cocktail parties that honor our award winners and our industry. Meet new friends and catch up with the old. You know there’s no better way to really start the year. Check out the other attendees ahead of time to familiarize yourself (and start memorizing names).

We know by now we’ve piqued your interest…. Register for the conference here! Already registered? Don’t forget to engage with us on social media! Follow us at @GlobalBPC for updates and announcements, and use our hashtag #GlobalBPC to engage, comment, ask questions, or just say hi! You can also visit us on Facebook. See you in January!