Customer Connections Conference

For public power professionals in customer service, energy services, key accounts, and public communications
November 4 - 7, 2018
Orlando, Florida

Your challenges, shared solutions

Join more than 300 public power professionals who focus on customer services and community connections. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to compare notes, discover best practices, and learn from case studies. 

Network with other utility professionals — both veterans and those new to the electric utility industry — and share ideas and experiences in addressing four critical areas: 

•    Customer Service
•    Energy Services
•    Key Accounts
•    Public Communications

Who Should Attend

Conference attendees get the latest information from experts in their fields, learn about the national issues and industry-wide activities and trends that are affecting their communities and utilities, and share experiences and strategies for dealing with key issues and challenges at more than 35 breakout sessions and roundtables. 

Conference sessions are designed for utility employees at both the professional and management levels, in the fields of customer service, energy services, key accounts, and public communications. Attendees typically include specialists, coordinators, analysts, supervisors, managers, directors and vice presidents in their area of specialty. The conference is also recommended for utility employees with interests and responsibilities in conference topics and with cross-departmental responsibilities, as well as rising stars and future leaders those who would benefit from learning more about these strategic areas and making connections with the national public power community.

Conference Co-Hosts

Conference Mentor Program

Need help navigating the conference as a first-timer? Want someone to exchange notes with because you’re the only one from your organization attending? Eager to share your knowledge and experience as a long-time conference attendee?

The conference mentor program pairs up new attendees with seasoned conference-goers. You’ll meet at the Welcome Reception and stay in touch throughout the conference.

Ask for a mentor or volunteer to serve as one — check the box when you register, email, or call 202-467-2973 by October 27 to participate.

More information

Registration Information
Phone: 202-467-2978; Email: [email protected]

Hotel Information
Phone: 202-467-2941; Email: [email protected]

Program/Content Information
Phone: 202-467-2919; Email: [email protected]

Billing Information
Phone: 202-467-2967; Fax: 202-495-7467; Email: [email protected]


The Customer Connections Conference program offers four days of keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities from Sunday to Wednesday, November 4-7. Preconference seminars on Sunday, November 4 are a great value-add. Learn more about each of these offerings.

Breakout Sessions

Benefit from engaging breakout sessions led by industry experts and public power colleagues — take home actionable ideas and tactics.

Breakout sessions are offered Monday through Wednesday, November 5-7. Several breakout sessions run concurrently in each time slot and you can go to any sessions you like (no need to select which breakout sessions you want to attend in advance). Browse sessions below or download the program PDF for a listing by date/time that you can share with colleagues and use to plan your itinerary. 

Breakout sessions cover topics in these tracks:

  • Customer Service
  • Energy Services
  • Key Accounts
  • Public Communications

Agenda at a Glance

Sunday, November 4

8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. – Noon
Preconference Seminar

  • Conducting a Customer Service Check Up

1:30 – 5 p.m.
Preconference Seminars

  • The Body Language Workshop: Ace Your Communications
  • Distributed Energy Resources and Energy Efficiency: Emerging Trends and Opportunities

5:30 – 7 p.m.
Welcome Reception


Monday, November 5

7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Conference Registration

7 – 8 a.m.
Peer Networking Breakfast

8 – 9 a.m.
Opening General Session

9 – 9:30 a.m.
Break with Sponsors

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. 
Breakout Sessions

  • Customer Service Roundtable: Sharing Solutions
  • Energy Services Roundtable: Changing Loads
  • Key Accounts Roundtable: Rapid Fire
  • Raising Awareness of Public Power National Campaign Update

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Break with Sponsors

10:45 – Noon
Breakout Sessions

  • Satisfaction Starts at Home: Managing for Optimum Performance
  • Energy Services for Hard-to-Reach Customers
  • Earth, Wind and Fire: Managing Key Accounts During Disaster
  • Lean Forward: Body Language Cues and Tips

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Going Mobile: Empowering Staff in the Field
  • New Technologies and Opportunities in Lighting, Energy Efficiency, and Load Control
  • Account Management for All Sizes
  • Public Communications Roundtable: Rapid Fire 

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Break with Sponsors

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Inside Out: Internal Communications for Better Service
  • Growing Pains: Grid Impact of Intermittent Loads
  • Navigating Tough Situations with Big Customers
  • Tell the Tale on Rates 

4:45 – 5:30 p.m.
Breakout Session

  • Resource Central: Association Benefits for You

5 p.m.
Young Professionals Happy Hour


Tuesday, November 6

7 – 8:15 a.m.
Women in Public Power Networking Breakfast

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Peer Networking Breakfast

8:30 – 10 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Protecting Customer Data: Lessons from Hacks
  • Two Sides of the Same Bitcoin
  • Weathering the Storm: Opportunity in Adversity

10 – 10:30 a.m.
Break with Sponsors

10:30 – Noon
Breakout Sessions

  • Modeling Customer Service in Your Leadership Style 
  • EV Charging: To Own or Not to Own
  • National Accounts: The Struggle is Real
  • Public Communications Roundtable

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Customer Service Roundtable: Staffing
  • The Rate Race: What Does Your Community Want? 
  • Key Accounts Panel: When They Expect More
  • Five Ways to Up Your Social Media Game

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Break with Sponsors

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • A Spoonful of Engagement Helps the Rate Medicine Go Down
  • Getting in Front of Customers Getting Behind the Meter Solutions
  • Start at Home: Initiating New Governance Officials 
  • Roundtable: Joint Action Agencies & Associations 

5:30 – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 7

7:15 – 8:15 a.m.
Peer Networking Breakfast

8:15 – 9:30 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Creative
  • Attracting New Generations to Public Power Careers
  • Key Accounts Jeopardy: What Is Back to Basics
  • A Utility by Any Other Logo: What's in a Brand

9:30 – 10 a.m.

10 a.m. – Noon
Closing General Session

Platinum Sponsors     


2018 Registration Fees

The conference registration rates are:

  • Association Members:    $795
  • Nonmembers:               $1,540

Register now

Not yet a member? Learn more and join now to save $745 on your conference registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2926 to learn more.

Preconference Seminars

Each preconference seminar requires a separate registration fee:

  • Association Members:    $375 (each)
  • Nonmembers:                  $700 (each)

You can register for preconference seminars at the same time that you register for the Customer Connections Conference.

Already registered for the conference, but want to add a preconference seminar? Use the links below to register for the preconference seminar of your choice. 

  • Register
    Conducting a Customer Service Check Up (8:30 a.m. - Noon)
  • Register
    The Body Language Workshop: Ace Your Communications (1:30 - 5 p.m.)
  • Register
    Energy Efficiency and Distributed Energy Resources: Emerging Trends and Opportunities (1:30 - 5 p.m.)


Conference Mentor Program

If you’re a first-time attendee, or the only one from your organization, pair up with a seasoned conference-goer who’ll show you the ropes. Your mentor will meet you at the Sunday Welcome Reception and stay in touch with you throughout the conference.

Want to have a conference mentor or serve as one? Select the check-box on the online or PDF registration form or contact us at [email protected]; 202-467-2973 by October 27 to participate. 


The following meals/food functions are included in the registration fee:

Sunday, November 4
- Welcome Reception (light appetizers)

Monday, November 5
- Continental breakfast

Tuesday, November 6
- Continental breakfast
- Reception (light appetizers)

Wednesday, November 7
- Continental breakfast

Guest Registrations

Conference registrants may bring a guest to the Sunday and Tuesday receptions. Guests do not need to register.

Cancellation Policy

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before Oct. 30, 2018, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after Oct. 30 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for the 2018 Customer Connections Conference only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel on or before Oct. 30 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund.

Cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to: [email protected].


Email [email protected]

Gold Sponsors  


All conference events will take place at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel.

Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
1200 Epcot Resorts Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

  • Group rate: Single/Double $214 per night, (plus 12.5% tax)
  • Check in: 4 p.m. / Check out: 11 a.m.
  • Main telephone: 407-934-3000
  • Parking fee: Self parking: $20/day; Valet parking: $30
  • In-Room Wireless: Complimentary standard wireless internet 


Hotel Reservations & Cancellation Policy 

The cut-off date to receive the group rate (plus tax) is Wednesday, October 3, 2018. If rooms remain in the block after the cut-off date, the group rate will be honored. If not, you may be charged a higher rate. The room block may sell out before October 3, so early reservations are encouraged. Further details about the cancellation process will be updated soon, so please check back at a later time. The Walt Disney World Swan Hotel should receive all reservations no later than October 3.

Cancelled reservations that are not resold may become a financial liability for us, so please make your reservations thoughtfully. If you require additional assistance with housing, please contact Meeting Services at 202-467-2941 or [email protected].

Scam Alert

Do NOT make hotel reservations through any third party that may contact you by phone or email. Use only the online reservation links, phone numbers, and discount codes available directly from the Association—in conference brochures and the website at


For assistance making your hotel arrangements, please contact Meeting Services at 202-467-2941 or [email protected].


The hotel is located approximately 20.5 miles from the Orlando International Airport (MCO). Please visit the hotel website for information regarding directions and parking.


Orlando is one of the world’s most visited family destinations, with a vibrant and well-kept city center and a climate that averages around 75 degrees. Disney World and Universal Orlando are the go-tos and have many new attractions you may want to check out. But don’t overlook what’s beyond the theme parks. ‘The City Beautiful’ has many exciting waterparks, aquariums, zoos, shows, airboat swamp tours, and golf. Learn more at

Disney Park Tickets

Conference attendees who wish to visit the Disney Parks during their time in Orlando can purchase discounted tickets here. This link also allows you to purchase Disney's exclusive partial-day passes, which are only available to conference attendees for discounted entry after 1 pm or after 5 pm, for meeting-goers who want to head over to a park after the conference adjourns for the day. You must purchase your tickets in advance to access these deals; this offer will expire at 5 p.m. ET on November 3, 2018. Check out the offer and purchase your Disney tickets: 

Dress Code

The attire for the conference is business casual. Meeting room temperatures vary, so prepare to dress for cool conditions.


Contact us at [email protected].

Silver Sponsors logo     TextPower logo    Renkim logo    AAC logo

Mobile App Sponsors   

Frequently Asked Questions

Where and when are future Customer Connections Conferences?

November 4-6, 2018
Swan and Dolphin Resort
Orlando, Florida

October 27-30, 2019
Ritz Carlton
New Orleans, Louisiana

October 25-28, 2020
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesota

What educational credits are available?

Academy events include the following opportunities for educational credits:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Ccedits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

Learn more about continuing education units offered. 

Is there international registration?

Online meeting registration is for U.S. and Canadian residents only. International registrants must provide a signed registration form — signed by the authorized cardholder — if paying with a credit card. Fax the completed registration form to 202-495-7484 or email it to [email protected].

Alternatively, you could send a check from a U.S. bank payable to American Public Power Association. Please mail completed form with full payment to our bank lock box:

American Public Power Association
P.O. Box 418617
Boston, MA  02241-8617

Are meals included?

The following food functions/meals are included in the registration fee:

  • Sunday - Welcome Reception
  • Monday - Continental Breakfast
  • Tuesday - Continental Breakfast; Reception 
  • Wednesday – Continental Breakfast

What is the conference dress code?

The attire for the conference is business casual. Meeting room temperatures vary, so prepare to dress for cool conditions.

How can I present at the conference?

We welcome your topic and speaker ideas for future conferences and events. To submit your idea for consideration, complete this form. Conference topics are generally determined 6-8 months before the event is held. Ideas will be kept on file for a full year, so if the agenda for the conference has already been determined, your ideas will be considered for the next year’s event, or in case any space opens up in the current year’s program. You will be contacted only if your idea is selected for an upcoming conference.