Catching Up With The CUE Conference

Cue Conference

Michael VanDervort, the Executive Director of CUE, joins us to talk about the Cue Conference. We discuss the highlights, the panels, the speakers, the contributors and more!  

Interested in CUE Membership? Learn more here!

Michael VanDervort


"We leaned into some new topics, we took a few risks with things we were talking about and it was well-received."

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CUE Conference Details

  • The Fall event was held October 13-15, 2019 in Las Vegas, with the theme of “How NOT to Gamble with your Positive Employee Relations”
  • Two conferences are typically held annually – one in the spring (typically the larger of the two) and once in the fall.
  • The conferences are intended for a North American audience, focusing on labor and human resources topics relevant to the US and Canadian workforces. 
  • SHRM and HRCI Certification credits can be earned from attending the CUE Conference. 
  • Three staff members and a team of volunteers keep the conference going behind the scenes.
  • Planning for any given conference begins on the last day of the previous conference.
  • Improvements to the conference under Mr. VanDervort:
    • Improved technology in Audio/Visual production;
    • Event Planner hired to professionally plan the conference and run the event onsite;
    • Broadened speaker and topic choices;
    • Played with different versions of the schedule and found one that has a good balance between networking and education;
    • Experimented with new offerings (like network lounges, etc.), to improve the conference experience;
    • Replaced the old 400-page conference book with an e-book, an app and a smaller conference book;
    • Speaker gifts are now charity donations in the speakers’ names


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History of CUE

  • CUE has been around since 1977.
  • 1977-1995: CUE operated as a committee under another the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). During this time, the committee itself was the membership – there’s was no conference, they just held their committee session meetings a few times a year. At some point, membership was opened to the public, and the conferences began.
  • In 1995, CUE amicably split from NAM and was established as an independent, non-profit organization.
  • Over a 42-year period, CUE has held more than 85 conferences and is still going strong!

Regional Meetings

  • Regional meetings are 4-6 hour events that focus on what’s happening in the region where the meeting is located.
  • They are offered once a year in one of several different cities, (Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Toronto, and in Florida as well) in a fixed rotation.
  • Regional meetings may take place in other cities as well, on an ad hoc basis if someone has interest or if there’s a developing issue at the local level.
  • Regional meetings are great opportunities for local people who can’t get to the national conference to get to a CUE event.

Spring 2020 CUE Conference Sneak Peek

  • To be held in New Orleans, LA
  • Theme: “Easy Ways To Jazz Up Your Positive Employee Relations”
  • Earlybird registration begins December 16, 2019 and typically saves $75 off member price (only 100 Earlybird spots available). Earlybird registration runs through January 2020, or until 100 spots are sold.


Michael VanDervort: Backstory

  • Degree in Political Science from University of Michigan-Dearborn
  • MLIR, Human Resources and Labor Relations from Michigan State University
  • Manager, Labor Relations for Publix Super Markets
  • Currently serves as the Executive Director for CUE Inc.

  • Co-Host of Drive Thru HR radio program


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