2017 NLPES Professional Development Seminar

Sept. 17-20, 2017 | Madison, Wisc.

The National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) hosts the only national training event designed exclusively for state legislative staff who work in program evaluation and performance auditing. NLPES will hold its 2017 Professional Development Seminar in Madison, Wisc., Sept. 17-20. The nonpartisan Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau is the host of this year's seminar.

This seminar offers professional development opportunities for program evaluators and performance auditors of all skill levels. Participate in informative presentations and engage in roundtable discussions with colleagues working on similar issues. Learn new approaches, share ideas and network with your peers from other states.

Legislative audit and evaluation offices operate in a diverse environment, providing objective analysis and conclusions in many different subject areas. Therefore, the seminar program will cover a wide range of topics based on the theme "A Capital Idea."

  • The Value of Evaluation: The Legislative Perspective
  • Evaluating Economic Development Programs: Lessons Learned for Getting Results
  • Housekeeping: Cleaning Data
  • Figuring It Out: Data Visualization and Report Design
  • Evaluating Human Services Programs: The Data-Driven Evaluator
  • Impact Award Information Fair
  • Constructing Effective Findings
  • Training and Retaining Evaluators
  • Communicate by Design
  • Considering Cost-Benefit Analyses
  • Grooming Emerging Leaders
  • Blueprint for Success: Developing Core Competencies
  • Performance Measurement Information: A Behavioral Perspective
  • Getting It Right: The Quality Assurance Imperative
  • Evaluating Our Ethics
  • Recruiting and Onboarding Evaluators
  • Using Tools for Data Analytics
  • The Conversation Catalyst
  • Writing ABCs
  • Evaluating Transportation Programs: Avoiding the Highway to the Danger Zone
  • Accepting Feedback
  • Reflecting Capital Ideas for Legislative Evaluation

While recognizing the "capitol" idea that resulted in the completion of the beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol building 100 years ago, the capitol will serve as the perfect backdrop for seminar participants to learn, build and launch a "capital idea" for personal professional development and ongoing improvements to their audit organizations.

The seminar agenda will include a great mix of plenary speakers and concurrent sessions with ample opportunity for panel presentations and discussions about contemporary issues in legislative program evaluation.  Additional details will be forthcoming as specific sessions and presenters are confirmed.

Sessions may qualify for continuing professional education (CPE) credit for this full three-day seminar. Materials will be available to document participants' attendance at seminar events. CPE credits must be awarded by seminar participants' own organizations, however. NCSL and NLPES are not registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy's National Registry of CPE Sponsors.

Optional, Dutch-treat, Special Event—Evening Dinner Cruise on Lake Monona
The city of Madison is nestled amidst a chain of five beautiful lakes.  The Capitol and downtown Madison sit on an isthmus between the two largest lakes—Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. 

On Sunday, Sept. 17, an optional, Dutch-treat, special event will be offered. Seminar participants and guests will have the option of registering in advance for an evening dinner cruise on Lake Monona.  At 6 p.m. we will walk from the Madison Concourse Hotel to the boat dock.  The cruise will depart at 6:30 p.m. and return at 8:30 p.m. Enjoy first-class views of Madison's skyline, including the Capitol and Monona Terrace, which is the convention center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. In addition to a cash bar, the cruise menu will include assorted chips and dips, jumbo all beef hot dogs, "build your own" burgers, chicken breast sandwiches, German potato salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, assorted desserts, and free soda.

The cost of this Dutch-treat, special event is not included in the seminar's registration fees. Advance registration is required. Space is limited. The event is available on a "first come, first served" basis to the first 72 attendees who register for the PDS and submit the additional fee of $38.50 per person.  

Note: If you have difficulty adding the dinner cruise when registering online or if you want to add the cruise to your existing meeting registration, please contact Brenda Erickson.  


Registration Information Registration fees are:

* Legislators/Legislative Staff: $375

* Legislative staff from the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (special Host Office preauthorization required): $300

* Daily fee: $200

* Spouse/guest (cannot be billed to your legislature, chamber or legislative agency): $150

* All others: $375

* Optional Sunday Dutch-treat Event (cannot be billed to your legislature, chamber or legislative agency): $38.50 per person

Four ways to register:

Register Online
Requires a credit card for everyone except legislators and legislative staff. Confirmations will be sent by email. Deadline to register online is Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.

Register by Fax 
Fax a completed printable registration form to 303-856-2554

Register by Mail 
Mail a completed printable registration form to NCSL Registration/Accounting, 7700 East First Place, Denver, CO 80230.

Onsite Registration
If you can't make the registration cut-off, onsite registration will be available at the Madison Concourse Hotel beginning Sunday, Sept. 17.

Spouse/Guest Registration. The $150 guest fee includes admission to all scheduled meal functions and evening social events (except the optional Sunday dinner cruise).

Click To Register

Cancellations received in the NCSL Denver office by Sept. 15, will be refunded minus a $50 processing fee. Cancellations must be made in writing and faxed to 303-856-2554. Fees cannot be refunded for registrations cancelled after the conference begins.

Hotel Information

Hotel InformationPlease make your hotel reservations for the PDS at the Madison Concourse Hotel by Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. After that date, our room rate cannot be guaranteed.

A block of rooms has been reserved at:
Madison Concourse Hotel
1 West Dayton Street, Madison, Wisc. 53703 | Tel: 1-800-356-8293

Book your room

Each attendee is responsible for making his or her hotel and travel arrangements.

If arranging hotel accommodations by phone, please indicate that you are attending the NCSL/NLPES conference to receive the negotiated rate per night.

  • Single: $165 (not including applicable taxes and fees)
  • Double: $165 (not including applicable taxes and fees)
  • Triple: $175 (not including applicable taxes and fees)
  • Quad: $175 (not including applicable taxes and fees)




Travel Information

Travel InformationEach attendee is responsible for making his or her own travel arrangements.

If you need assistance booking air travel, you may contact
Christopherson Travel
800-825-3283 (7 a.m. to 6 p.m. MDT) or 303-694-4344

Several airports are close to Madison. 

The closest major airport is Dane County Regional Airport (MSN ). This airport is 6 miles from the center of Madison. The Madison Concourse Hotel offers complimentary shuttle service from Dane County Regional Airport. (Contact the Madison Concourse using the "hotel phone bank" located by the baggage claim area inside the terminal.)

General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) is located in Milwaukee, Wisc. It is approximately 85 miles (or about 1.5 hours) from Madison. Car rental and bus services are available at the Milwaukee airport.

  • Ground transportation services at the Milwaukee airport.
  • Badger Bus.  A round trip fee is approximately $45. Drop off locations (with complimentary hotel shuttle available) are Kelly's Market West and University of Wisconsin-Madison Chazen Museum. 

Chicago O'Hare International Airport is approximately 135 miles (or about 2 hours) from Madison. Car rental and bus services are available at Chicago O'Hare.

  • Ground transportation at Chicago O'Hare.
  • Coach USAA round trip fee is approximately $60. Drop off location (with complimentary hotel shuttle available) is 800 University Ave. near Chazen Museum.



Travel InformationSpecial Needs
To ensure full participation and accessibility for all meeting attendees, please notify Brenda Erickson of any special accommodations you may require or any dietary restrictions you may have.

Business casual attire is appropriate for all seminar events. Dressing in layers will allow you to make adjustments for your comfort. September weather in Madison typically is pleasant, with average daytime temperatures in the 70s and overnight temperatures in the 50s.

City Information
Madison is the capital of Wisconsin. Madison offers much to explore. Visit the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau website for more information about the Mad City.