Technology and business executives from around North Carolina will gather Wednesday at the annual “A CEO Conversation” event to glean information about how to survive or flourish in the current economic maelstrom.

The program features Jim Goodnight, co-founder and chief executive officer of SAS, along with Ed Nusbaum, CEO of financial services firm Grant Thornton and Michael Capps, president of Epic Games.

Titled the conference opens at 7:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Imperial hotel in RTP.

Goodnight will offer his perspectives on the economy from the vantage point of having built the world’s largest privately held software company. SAS set records for revenues in 2008 of more than $2 billion despite the economic collapse that occurred in the last quarter of the year.

Capps has helped build Epic into one of the world’s most successful videogame companies. The Cary-based firm has launched franchise hits such as Unreal Tournament and gears of War. Both titles have sold millions of copies. Epic also has developed one of the industry’s most widely used videogame development engines and operates subsidiaries in Utah as well as Europe.

Grant Thornton is one of the world’s largest financial services firms.

The conference also will include a panel of entrepreneurs, featuring Troy Tolle, chief technology officer of DigitalChalk, and Joe Lee, COO of PetroBeam.