Call for 2019 Speakers

The Grainger Show offers a select group of customers the opportunity to meet with over 600 of the world’s top maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) suppliers and hear from leading industry experts present on the most relevant topics businesses in the MRO industry are facing. This annual, exclusive event showcases the latest product innovations and provides attendees with comprehensive, proven strategies to help their businesses and institutions save time, money, and stay safe.

Presenting at the Grainger Show will provide you with an opportunity to build your professional network and learn, reflect, and engage with colleagues. As an expert in your field, you can share knowledge, experiences, and ideas with those who are looking to further their learning and improve their business and further their personal growth. The Grainger Show will showcase future directions, best practices, and solutions to issues MRO customer face within the following session tracks.

Session Tracks

The session tracks are focused on topics that those working within the MRO industry are most commonly looking to stay educated and knowledgeable on. These tracks may offer an attendee an opportunity to earn or stay up-to-date on industry certifications or they may offer the opportunity for the attendee to prepare themselves for where the industry and their business is headed in the future. The session tracks include: Business Continuity, Information and Data Security, Inventory Management, Maintenance Operations, Maintenance Technology, Procurement, Productivity, and Safety.

How to Submit

  1. Review the Session Track Definitions and Submission FAQs to ensure your abstract meets the criteria of one of the Session tracks being offered.
  2. Create a Profile & Fill out your Personal Details
  3. Complete all session related details, including your track selection, session type, accreditation or any applicable skill-level requirements or pre-requisites.
  4. Submit your abstract

Selection Process

All submissions will be reviewed by the Grainger Show Content Committee using the following criteria:

  • Relevance of topic: Is the topic of relevance, importance, value, and/or interest to someone working in the maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) industry?
  • Proposed topic coverage: Does the submitted abstract adequately cover content related to the submitter’s stated learning objectives/key stated outcomes? Does the abstract adequately fit within the selected session track?
  • Presenter knowledge: Does the presenter, or presenters, have sufficient knowledge, expertise, and authority to address this topic based on evidence provided in the proposal and/or prior experience with or knowledge of the presenter?
  • Presenter experience: Does the presenter have sufficient experience presenting in front of larger audiences (1000+ attendees)? Does the presenter have experience tailoring the message to different audience types.
  • Engagement strategies: Does the presenter include specific strategies relevant to event size, audience, and maturity of topic in which they will engage participants in the session content, and do those strategies align with the session’s learning objectives/outcomes?

The Selection Committee’s role is to ensure the content offered at the Grainger Show is comprehensive, nonpromotional, objective, and diverse. Specific attention will be given to the diversity of topics submitted to ensure that the content covers all tracks and focus areas that a member of the maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) industry would be looking to gain additional expertise or knowledge in. Note that you may be invited to present in formats other than the one you selected and/or you may be asked to provide information in addition to what has been noted as a part of your submission form.

Call for Speakers Timeline

The Grainger Show Content Committee will begin reviewing abstracts immediately upon the opening of the Call for Speakers process. We plan on notifying speakers of the status of their abstract(s) in early-mid September, with the full program set to go live shortly after. If you have any questions about the timeline, please contact us!

June 25 – August 6
Call for Speakers Live

June – August
Committee Abstract Review

Early – Mid September
Email Notification of Call for Speakers Results

Posting of Final Program Line-Up

Session Category

  • Standard Sessions are 60 minutes in length, open to all speakers, and can either be accredited or informational. They can contain content at any of the session skill levels.
  • 90-Minute Sessions are open to all speakers and typically accredited; they can contain content at any of the session skill levels.
  • Half-Day sessions are 4 hour long, in-depth sessions applicable to skill level 300 or based on particular advanced course pre-requisites determined by the presenter.

Session Skill Level

Your session content must match one of the following skill levels. The more accurate you are in specifying the skill level for your session, the better your session will be received. Sessions are needed at all levels.

  • 100 Level (Novice) Assumes some, but mostly minimal knowledge of the concepts/topic being presented, typical experience would be 1-3 years
  • 200 Level (Intermediate) Assumes significant comfort and knowledge of the topic being presented; typical experience would be 3-5 years
  • 300 Level (Advanced/Expert) Assumes advanced understanding or deep knowledge of the topic being presented; typical experience would be 6-10+ years

Session Prerequisites

Part of the submission process will require that you complete information regarding any required session prerequisites. This will help attendees determine if your session is applicable to them. Please list any required prior knowledge, any job title requirements or years experience that may need to be considered before an attendee selects your session. If your session does not have any prerequisites, please select “None”.

Session Summary, Abstract and Goals

The session summary should provide a brief, 150 character overview of your abstract; essentially a title and brief description. Should your abstract be chosen, the session summary may be posted on the Grainger Show website and within the Grainger Show registration site. We require you to submit 3 goals per abstract. These goals should highlight key learning an attendee can expect to walk-away with by attending your session. Your abstract should provide a comprehensive description – in 1000 characters or less – of what attendees can expect from attending your session.

Speaker Agreements

If your submission is selected, you will be contacted with your Speaker Agreement Form to fill out and return.  Additional information and instructions will be provided to you at that time.

Grainger Show 2019 Session Tracks

Please review the following tracks and select which track you believe your session falls into during the submission process.

  • Business Continuity
  • Information and Data Security
  • Inventory Management
  • Maintenance Operations
  • Maintenance Technology
  • Procurement
  • Productivity
  • Safety
Business Continuity

Business Continuity is traditionally considered how an organization plans and prepares to assure that key operations will continue in the event of a disaster, and how quickly they can recover with as little disruption as possible. These events may be natural disasters or what we more frequently see these days – man-made events, such as viruses or hacks, market upheavals, or other negative events. Assuring continuous operations requires an organization be able to remain relatively unaffected by disasters (such as having redundant systems) and be able to quickly recover or restore lost functions or assets, should disasters occur. This contingency planning depends on an organization’s general capability and readiness to not just plan for potential disasters and how they will deal with them, but effectively deploy those plans when needed. These sessions should include how to effectively develop, test, and execute management plans.

Information and Data Security

Data security is one of the most trending topics around the world today. Protecting our information has become just as important as protecting our property. Information security (InfoSec) is the practice of protecting both physical and digital information from destruction or unauthorized access. The data behind the information is recognized as an important asset that needs to be safeguarded. Loss of information can lead to direct financial losses, such as lost sales, fines, or monetary judgments. Therefore, Data Security is an essential aspect of IT for organizations of every size and type. It refers to the digital privacy and protection measures to protect information from unauthorized access to computers, databases and websites, and accidental or intentional modification, corruption, destruction, or disclosure of data or information. This can be managed through physical security, administrative controls, logical controls, and other safeguards to limit accessibility. Modern information security professionals often refer to a concept known as the CIA triad – Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. Sessions on this topic address the safeguards organizations can leverage to limit accessibility and loss.

Inventory Management

To operate efficiently, organizations must keep track of items and maintain the balance of supply and demand of needed products. Inventory management is the process of accomplishing this, with the goal of ensuring that the right products are in the right place at the right time in the right quantities, purchased at the right price, without overstocking and with minimal expense and effort for the procurement staff. While raw materials and finished goods are typically well managed, indirect or MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) products are often not given the same level of focus. Both direct and indirect inventory management should be top of mind for organizations to accurately monitor their operational and financial health. Sessions on inventory management should address effective techniques to control and oversee the ordering of these indirect supplies, which can easily become a complex process if not effectively and efficiently managed.

Maintenance Operations

Operations and maintenance encompasses a broad spectrum of services, competencies, processes, and tools to assure the environment will perform the functions for which it was designed. Maintenance Operations describes the day-to-day activities required or taken to conserve the efficiency, reliability, and safety of their assets and locations. It involves operational and functional checks, servicing, repairing or replacing of devices, equipment, machinery, etc. and has come to often include scheduled and preventive maintenance. This also includes the supplies consumed in the process, such as consumables (e.g. cleaning, laboratory, or office supplies), industrial equipment (e.g. compressors, pumps, valves) and plant upkeep supplies (e.g. gaskets, lubricants, repair tools), and computers, fixtures, furniture, etc. Keeping machines and facilities up and running demands practical, mechanical, and engineering strategies, actions, and tools. These sessions should focus in trends and evolving methods of proactive and effective means of increasing productive operations through advancements in technology.

Maintenance Technology

Traditionally, maintenance technology referred to the repair, service, and maintenance of equipment. This was an area of specific training, with a focus varying on the types of equipment to be maintained, from aircraft to buildings to pipelines. In today’s world, this topic is more referred to as “smart” and is the current trend of automation, cyber-physical systems, and data exchange in maintaining equipment and facilities to run more efficiently and effectively with less human intervention, thus, less variability and error. It involves predictive tools and services as well as the commonly used preventative plans, leveraging computerized and other advanced resources to advance the quality and performance of the effort. Smart Maintenance Technology helps increase productivity, extend the functional lifespan of equipment, reduce costs, drive compliance, and enhance the safety of the employees and environment. These sessions should help the audience understand the evolving trends and ways they can implement them to improve reliability and productivity.


Procurement in its simplest sense is obtaining goods and services, but an effective purchasing strategy aligns to the organization’s goals and objectives, and requires a long-term, holistic approach. This involves the deliberate, data-based process of identifying needed products and services, setting product and service specifications and standards, vetting and selecting vendors, establishing payment terms, and negotiating contracts. Strategic procurement is an important component in an organization’s management structure, helping to reduce the supplier base, drive standardization, increase supply chain reliability, improve operational efficiency, and decrease overall costs. Although not a customer-facing business operation, strategic procurement can help deliver greater value to customers and investors at the lowest cost to the business. These sessions should provide guidance on how to achieve build and relevant, effective, and efficient procurement strategies and processes.


Productivity is the measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful outputs (goods or services) and is a critical determinant of cost efficiency. In most business models, profitability is a function of productivity, price, and volume, and is mathematically calculated by dividing average output per period by the total costs incurred or resources (capital, energy, material, personnel) consumed in that period. An organization’s success can be measured by how efficiently it uses resources to produce its product, the price it can sell its products, and how many products it can actually sell. Every organization strives to increase productivity to enhance profits, reduce costs, or deliver more value to its stakeholders. Sessions focused on Productivity should provide insights on how to better measure and improve the efficiency of outputs.


Safety is basically defined as being free from danger or risk, or the threat of harm, injury, or loss to person, property, or environment. In the workplace, it means the multi-disciplinary management of all operations, including policies and procedures, hazard identification and control, and employee training and education, to keep their people safe and healthy and operate safer facilities. This covers the mental and social well-being of workers, as well as their physical health. The main statute protecting the health and safety of employees in the workplace is OSHA, who provides the most commonly used guidelines. However, there are a number of organizations, such as the Joint Commission, that also set standards for specific types of facilities or work tasks and environments. Common safety topics include general safety and wellness, building and structural, electrical, environmental, fire, material, occupational, process, and workplace safety. Because safety covers so many areas, these sessions may address a variety of safety challenges, programs, and aspects for novices to the topic to experts in the field.


This website is for informational purposes only. The Grainger Show is an invite-only event for current Grainger customers. If you are a Grainger customer, and interested in attending, please contact your Grainger account representative.

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