Conference

Customer Connections Virtual Conference

For public power professionals in customer service, energy services, key accounts, and public communications
October 27 - 28, 2020
Sponsors

Registered attendees can click here to access the virtual conference portal
 

Your challenges, shared solutions

Join the national network of 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. 

Meet 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.

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.

Serve as an Officer

Utility employees play a vital role in planning the conference to bring you the important topics. Incoming Vice Chairs for committees will be selected in August. Email [email protected] if you are interested in taking a leadership position in the conference by serving as an officer for one of the following tracks:

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

More information

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

Program/Content 
Phone: 202-467-2965; Email: [email protected]

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

This conference will be a virtual (online) event

Agenda at a Glance

(All times Eastern)

 

Customer Service

 CS

 Energy Services

ES

Key Accounts

KA

Public Communications

PC

Industry Spotlight

Tuesday, October 27

11 a.m. – Noon

Opening General Session:
The State of Public Power
Honoring our Colleagues: Excellence in Public Power Communications Videos

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Measuring Customer Call Center Success

Distributed Generation: Whose Load Is It, Anyway?

Upgrading Your Key Accounts Program: A Guide for Next Level Service 

Public Communications Roundtable Discussion

 

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Getting Value from Customer Research

Using Big Data to Design Customer-Focused Programs

Key Accounts Roundtable: Impacts of COVID-19

Communicating with Customers about Electric Vehicles

 

3 – 4 p.m.

Group Therapy: Customer Service and the Pandemic

Mining Your AMI Data for Energy Planning and Customer Service

Power Out, Key Account Communications On

Success Stories: Public Power Newsletters


How Utilities Are Transforming Utility Bills to Optimize Customer Experience
 

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Making it Easier for Customers to Pay

Energy Services Roundtable: Experiences and Solutions from COVID-19

Demand Response: Who Wants What, and Why

Generational Communications: Do You Know Who You’re Dealing With?

 

5:30 – 6:30  p.m.

Online Networking: A Sandwich Masterclass with a Pro

Wednesday, October 28

10 – 11 a.m.

Online Networking

11 – 11:30 a.m.

General Session:
Honoring Our Colleagues: Smart Energy Providers
Chair’s Address

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. 

A Walk in Your Customer’s Shoes

Responding to Corporate Sustainability Goals

Walking the Talk: Communicating with Customers about Sustainability


Experiences, Tools, and Outcomes During Times of Crisis

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

AMI: Now What:

Financing Energy Efficiency Programs

Battery Storage and Your Key Accounts

Rewriting the Crisis Playbook: COVID-19 Lessons Learned

 

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Customer Service Grab Bag

How Much is an EV Worth?

Key Accounts Jeopardy: What is Back to Basics?

Public Communications Rapid-fire Roundtable

 

4 – 5:15 p.m.

Closing General Session:
Honoring Our Colleagues: Excellence in Public Power Communications
Datashock: Artificial Intelligence, Connectedness, and Readying for the Big Data Future

 

Tuesday, October 27

11 a.m. – Noon ET / 10 – 11 a.m. CT / 9 – 10 a.m. MT / 8 – 9 a.m. PT
Opening General Session
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

Welcome
Connie Ford, Director of Member Services, Missouri Public Utility Alliance, and Chair, APPA Customer Connections Section

JDThe State of Public Power
Joy Ditto, President & CEO, American Public Power Association

As we reflect on 80 years of being connected as a public power community, we also reflect on how we have endured the recent pandemic and other crises throughout our history. Get the latest update on how APPA is working to protect the interests of public power in Washington, D.C., and helping our members to navigate an increasingly complex industry.

Honoring our Colleagues
Excellence in Public Power Communications Videos

View the innovative, informative and inspiring videos being honored with this year’s Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards.

Noon – 12:15 p.m. ET / 11 – 11:15 a.m. CT / 10 – 10:15 a.m. MT / 9 – 9:15 a.m. PT
Break

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. ET / 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT / 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. MT / 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. PT
Breakout Sessions
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Measuring Customer Call Center Success CS
    Call centers are vital to your customer service operations. Yet effectively measuring productivity and gauging call quality can be difficult, especially if your CSRs are working remotely. Review which metrics and key performance indicators offer a meaningful measure of your call center. Discover how you can use the Erlang methodology to optimize your staffing levels. Discuss tools and strategies to evaluate and measure CSR performance.

    Krista Boston, Director of Customer Relations, Rochester Public Utilities, Minnesota; and Deanna Sparks, Customer Operations Lead Supervisor, Lansing Board of Water & Light, Michigan
     
  2. Distributed Generation: Whose Load Is It, Anyway? ES
    As distributed energy resources become more ubiquitous, the question of who manages this increased load becomes more pressing. Learn how different utilities are successfully managing the increase in small scale generation in their communities.

    Leland Keller, Energy Services Engineer, Fort Collins Utilities, Colorado; and Kurt Stogdill, Manager, Green Building & Sustainability, Austin Energy, Texas
     
  3. Upgrading Your Key Accounts Program: A Guide for Next Level Service  KA
    It's critical that a utility support a thriving business community with the highest level of service. Established key accounts program must be continually managed and to evolve with a dynamic community. Get insights into "next level" best practices straight from APPA’s new Advanced Key Accounts Field Manual, including the five elements of key accounts mastery, how to update an obsolete business plan to reflect community values and needs, and leveraging the Customer Action Plan for continuous follow up.

    Erick Rheam, President, Team Rheam Productions 
     
  4. Public Communications Roundtable Discussion PC
    Gather with your fellow public communicators to discuss the hot-button issues and pressing challenges in utility communications.
     

1:15 – 1:45 p.m. ET / 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. CT / 11:15 – 11:45 a.m. MT / 10:15 – 10:45 a.m. PT
Break

1:45 – 2:45 p.m. ET / 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. CT / 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. MT / 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. PT
Breakout Sessions
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Getting Value from Customer Research CS
    Conventional wisdom says to factor in customer opinion data when making decisions about utility services. Learn what counts as customer research, how valuable it can be, and how you can scale it to fit your utility. Get tips for benchmarking your utility’s performance and review national trends and data on public power programs, electric vehicles, smart home devices, AMI, mobile device usage, solar energy, and more. 

    Michael Vigeant, CEO, Great Blue Research
     
  2. Using Big Data to Design Customer-Focused Programs ES
    Successful demand-side management programs are built on what customers want. Learn how to let data drive your DSM program design and target the right customers. Discover how to meld data from different sources to make informed decisions on how customers could benefit most from low-income programs.

    Josh Mitchell, Energy Advisor, Chelan County PUD, Washington; and Hassan Shaban, Principal, Energy and Data, Empower Dataworks
     
  3. Key Accounts Roundtable: Impacts of COVID-19 KA
    Join fellow attendees for a roundtable discussion on how your utility and its large customers are managing the economic and other impacts of COVID-19. Discuss how the pandemic has shifted who you expect to be your key accounts in the future; how your peers are helping customers in the recovery; and how key account managers can best assist their customers and the utility.
     
  4. Communicating with Customers about Electric Vehicles PC
    Whether your utility is taking a “build it and they will come” approach to EV infrastructure or scrambling to keep up with customer demand, it is critical that you communicate any plans and offerings to your customers. Learn what information customers are seeking about EV charging and what they expect their utility to know.

    Jeffrey Beeson, Manager of Marketing, Evergy; and Dru Larson, Energy and Environmental Advisor, Rochester Public Utility, Minnesota

2:45 – 3 p.m. ET / 1:45 – 2 p.m. CT / 12:45 – 1 p.m. MT / 11:45 a.m. – Noon PT
Break

3 – 4 p.m. ET / 2 – 3 p.m. CT / 1 – 2 p.m. MT / Noon – 1 p.m. PT
Breakout Sessions
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Group Therapy: Customer Service and the Pandemic CS
    The COVID-19 pandemic has far-reaching implications for public power utilities. Join your fellow customer service professionals to share how your utility responded to the pandemic – what worked, what didn’t, and how you are moving forward. Be prepared to discuss teleworking and remote customer service operations; payment arrangements, the long-term effects of disconnect moratoriums and waived fees, and other ways the pandemic has impacted customer service operations.
     
  2. Mining Your AMI Data for Energy Planning and Customer Service ES
    Learn about updates Algona Municipal Utilities, in collaboration with Iowa State University, made to a MATLAB-based tool that allows even small utilities to mine customer AMI data. With a new machine learning element, utilities can use the tool to better define customer groups and load patterns to analyze or develop new rate definitions or reclassify customers.

    Anne Kimber, Director, Electric Power Research Center, Iowa State University; and Dr. Zhaoyu Wang, Assistant Professor, Iowa State University
     
  3. Power Out, Key Account Communication On KA
    While ongoing communication with your key accounts is necessary, an outage or service disruption requires enhanced communication. Learn what communication processes and protocols public power utilities have in place in the event of an outage. Discuss when and how to notify customers, communication methods and technologies, priority of notification, and customer expectations.

    Crystal Quicksall, Executive Assistant - Key Accounts, Lawrenceburg Municipal Utilities, Indiana; and Grant Roberson, Key Accounts Manager, Wilson Energy, North Carolina
     
  4. Success Stories: Public Power Newsletters PC
    Public power utilities have a unique connection to the communities they serve. Explore how utilities are strategically leveraging customer newsletters to strengthen this connection, promote programs, and deliver key messages.

    Debbie Dineen, Customer Service Supervisor, Beaches Energy Service, Florida; Melissa Krause, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer, New Braunfels Utilities, Texas; Fran Losito, Project Manager & Strategist, The Shepherd Agency

     
  5. How Utilities are Transforming Utility Bills to Optimize Customer Experience (IS)
    As a regular (and sometimes only) touchpoint with customers, bills are an essential strategic asset for your utility. Optimizing bill performance offers compelling business results, including on-time payments, reduced disconnects, higher adoption of e-billing offerings, and better customer engagement. Review bill optimization tips and real-life examples that will help you achieve these benefits, even if you are challenged with limited budgets and a myriad of disconnected legacy systems that house customer data.  

    John Hoggard, Principal, Global Utilities, Quadient; Brian Williams, Project Managaer, and George Williams, Principal, Strategic Solutions LLC

4 – 4:30 p.m. ET / 3 – 3:30 p.m. CT / 2 – 2:30 p.m. MT / 1 – 1:30 p.m. PT
Break

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. CT / 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. MT / 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. PT
Breakout Sessions
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Making it Easier for Customers to Pay CS
    When we find new ways to help customers pay their utility bill, everybody wins. Discover how utilities are making bill payment easier, from installing kiosks and pay anywhere locations to adding skills to smart speakers (“Alexa, pay my utility bill”).

    Erin Romo, Director, Solutions and Services, Utilitec
     
  2. Energy Services Roundtable: Experiences and Solutions from COVID-19 ES
    See old friends and meet new ones as you reflect on how you kept your utility going through COVID-19, and the operational solutions that have endured. Share tools that are helping you keep running business as usual or strategies for keeping customers focused on demand side management.
     
  3. Demand Response: Who Wants What, and Why KA
    From manual to automated programs, learn different demand response strategies and explore the various motivations, experiences, and challenges that customers, utilities and technology providers report. Discuss how automated demand response could take your utility to the next level.  

    John Borges, Program Manager, PowerDirect, SMUD, Sacramento, California; Jason Grey, Utilities Director, Danville Utilities, Virginia; and Jason Thigpen, Manager, System Operations, ElectriCities of North Carolina
     
  4. Generational Communications: Do You Know Who You’re Dealing With? PC
    With ever-changing customer bases, public power utilities are challenged to identify who their customers are and where they are going for their information. Get insight into various strategies, tactics and platforms you can leverage to message to customers from different generations.

    Crystal Johnson, Account Advisor, Key Accounts Section, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, California; and Nathan Shannon, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. CT / 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. PT
Online Networking: A Sandwich Masterclass with a Pro
Immerse yourself in the world of sandwiches as you cook, eat, photograph and discuss everything there is to know about an iconic New York sandwich, with the help of a professional sandwich guide!

Whether you're learning to cook for the first time, or you're a masterchef, on this experience you will join fellow sandwich fans as we "cook" a delicious New York sandwich. Together we'll master the art of sandwich photography to make your Instagram page "drool-worthy.” Across the hour, you will be introduced to the fascinating history of the sandwich (and to the famous NY deli whose sandwich we will recreate), and also debate the deep philosophical question "what is a sandwich?".

A list of ingredients/materials will be emailed to attendees in advance so you can follow along from your home or office.


Wednesday, October 28

10 – 11 a.m. ET / 9 – 10 a.m. CT / 8 – 9 a.m. MT / 7 – 8 a.m. PT
Online Networking

Power up with coffee, connections and conversation. Visit with your peers and chat with sponsors.

11 – 11:30 a.m. ET / 10 – 10:30 a.m. CT / 9 – 9:30 a.m. MT / 8 – 8:30 a.m. PT
General Session
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs .5 / CPEs .6

Welcome
Patrice Townsend, Director, Utility Services Department, Kansas City Board of Public Utilities, and Vice Chair, APPA Customer Connections Section

 

Honoring our Colleagues: Smart Energy Providers

Join us to honor the utilities receiving the American Public Power Association’s Smart Energy Provider best practices designation, which recognizes successful initiatives in energy efficiency and sustainability.

JTChair’s Address
Jolene Thompson, President & CEO, American Municipal Power, Inc., Columbus, Ohio; and Chair, American Public Power Association

Well before APPA was founded, public power utilities set a strong foundation in their communities that allowed for resilience and innovation. Then as now, engaging with our communities and connecting with our customers reminds them of the value of community ownership. 

 

11:30 – 11:45 a.m. ET / 10:30 – 10:45 a.m. CT / 9:30 – 9:45 a.m. MT / 8:30 – 8:45 a.m. PT
Break

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. ET / 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. CT / 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. MT / 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. PT
Breakout Sessions
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. A Walk in Your Customer’s Shoes CS
    Experience your utility the way your customers do with customer journey mapping. Learn how the journey mapping process helps you identify pain points and opportunities to improve the customer experience. Discover tools, techniques, and best practices you can use to identify and analyze every experience your customers have with your utility.

    Laurel Gerdine, Senior Director, Program Marketing & Outreach, Franklin Energy, Wisconsin
     
  2. Responding to Corporate Sustainability Goals ES KA
    Businesses and corporations large and small are increasingly setting stringent corporate sustainability goals, including commitments to use 100% renewable energy, conserve water, and increase energy efficiency. Hear how utilities are working with large customers to meet their sustainability goals, and how utilities are implementing programs to provide the services that customers require. Discuss how these programs can affect utility operations.

    Tom Damon, Manager, Large Customer Accounts, Orlando Utilities Commission, Florida; Lindsey Kalkbrenner, Director, Center for Sustainability, Santa Clara University; and Mary Medeiros McEnroe, Public Benefits Program Manager, Silicon Valley Power, California
     
  3. Walking the Talk: Communicating with Customers about Sustainability PC
    Public power utilities are often challenged to articulate their sustainability, but what does that really mean? Learn from utilities that are developing messaging around their integrated resource planning process and highlighting internal sustainability practices to keep customers in the know.

    Jennifer Green, Director of Sustainability and Workforce Development, Burlington Electric Department, Vermont; and Steve Roalstad, Communications & Marketing Manager, Platte River Power Authority, Fort Collins, Colorado
     
  4. Experiences, Tools, and Outcomes During Times of Crisis
    The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted utilities and their customers nationwide, many of whom are still faced with concerns about finances, higher energy consumption, and access to support services. Utilities are using this crisis to position themselves as trusted advisors, not only ensure they lights stay on, but to showcase support for local communities. Review data, case studies, and solutions that are helping utilities and customers cope during these times of crisis. Discover actionable steps and messaging strategies you can take to help your customers and proactively plan and participate in this new realm of customer engagement.

    Stephanie Knight, Senior Account Manager, Apogee Interactive 

12:45 – 1:15 p.m. ET / 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT / 10:45 – 11:15 a.m. MT / 9:45 – 10:15 a.m. PT
Break

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 ET / 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. CT / 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. MT / 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. PT
Breakout Sessions
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. AMI: Now What? CS
    Wherever you are in the AMI journey – whether you’re just getting your feet wet, starting to get your sea legs, or an experienced AMI voyager, learn how to get the most out of your AMI implementation. Review what to expect as you enter your next phase, how to prepare, what you can look forward to, and the positive effects AMI can have on your customer service.

    James Douglas, President, Util-Assist; and Bob Perialas, Customer Service Manager, Lansing Board of Water & Light, Michigan
     
  2. Financing Energy Efficiency Programs ES
    Learn about successful financing options and programs to help keep your customers focused on energy efficiency. Review the details and development process of different financing programs and how each fits into its city’s broader energy plans.

    Geneva Redding, Supervisor, Customer Operations, City of Tallahassee Utilities, Florida; and Anne Saliers, Community Energy Services Manager, Holland Board of Public Works, Michigan
     
  3. Battery Storage and Your Key Accounts KA
    As large customers explore installing battery storage systems, utilities should be exploring how such a move would impact rate structures and beyond. Learn how utilities are managing these changes and what they are doing to help customers to explore and embrace energy storage.

    Andrew Higgins, Senior Director of Product Development, CPS Energy, San Antonio, Texas; and Andrew Reger, Executive Consultant, NewGen Strategies & Solutions, LLC
     
  4. Rewriting the Crisis Playbook: COVID-19 Lessons Learned PC 
    The COVID-19 pandemic affected nearly every aspect of life. Hear from public power communicators who weathered the storm and came out stronger on the other side.

    Alison Faris, Director of Communications & Marketing, City of Tallahassee, Florida; and Adrienne Lotto, Senior Director, Energy Security & Resilience Programs, New York Power Authority

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. ET / 1:15 – 1:30 p.m. CT / 12:15 – 12:30 p.m. MT / 11:15 – 11:30 a.m. PT
Break

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. CT / 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. MT / 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT
Breakout Sessions
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Customer Service Grab Bag CS
    Ask your burning questions at this roundtable discussion and tackle your most pressing issues in a room full of customer service experts. Share ideas, get feedback, and brainstorm new solutions. Take away practical solutions from peers who’ve walked the path before you.
     
  2. How Much is an EV Worth? ES
    Electric vehicles have the potential to increase utility revenue and reduce carbon dioxide emissions – a technology rather unique for utility demand-side management programs. Learn how different utilities value EVs, what incentives they provide, and how they have managed any increased load.

    Kristin Dupre, Director of Demand Side Management, Energy New England, LLC; Denver Hinds, Grid Evolution R&D Project Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility, California; and Mark Scribner, Program Manager, Electric Vehicles, Energy New England, LLC
     
  3. Key Accounts Jeopardy: What Is Back to Basics? KA
    Come test your knowledge of essential facts for key accounts team members. In true Jeopardy! fashion, answer questions in categories that remind you of the basics in understanding customers and developing strategies for better services. Download the Kahoot! app in App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android) ahead of time so you are ready to play. Participate to learn, and for fun AND prizes!
  4. Public Communications Rapid-fire Roundtable PC
    Why struggle alone with your challenges? Join your fellow communicators for a rapid-fire brainstorming session – because two (or more) heads are better than one! Submit topics and questions in advance so you can crowdsource solutions and offer up your own ideas

3:30 - 4 p.m. ET / 2:30 – 3 p.m. CT / 1:30 – 2 p.m. MT / 12:30 – 1 p.m. PT
Break

4 – 5:15 p.m. ET / 3 – 4:15 p.m. CT / 2 – 3:15 p.m. MT / 1 – 2:15 p.m. PT
Closing General Session
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1.25 / CPEs 1.5

Honoring Our Colleagues: Excellence in Public Power Communications and Recognition of Officers

Celebrate the winners of the Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards in the Print/Digital and Social Media/Web categories, and find out the winner of the Audience Choice video award. Recognize the officers who helped plan and deliver this conference.

JGDatashock: Artificial Intelligence, Connectedness, and Readying for the Big Data Future

As we hurtle toward a society and economy powered by artificial intelligence and big data, are we in for shock? Are AI, smart algorithms, big data, and the Internet of Things really taking over? See how increasingly trackable human behavior — from financial transactions to social interactions — could change the way we live, work, and do business. Explore whether AI can help the energy industry make better decisions and improve efficiencies. Learn how to recognize disruptive AI, assess its potential, and prepare for a data- and algorithm-driven future.

Jennifer Golbeck is an associate professor at the University of Maryland. Her work focuses on how to enhance the way that people interact with their information online. Her research explores the implications of our choices and actions with the internet tools we use daily.

Register Now

Registration Fees

  After September 25
Member $625
Nonmember $1,200

Not yet an American Public Power Association member? Join today and save $575 on your conference registration. Call 202-467-2944 or email [email protected] to learn more. 

Group Discounts
Save money on each registration for the Customer Connections Virtual Conference when your organization registers 5 or more people. The larger your group, the more you save! 

Number of registrants Discount
(per person)
Member
Registration Fee
(per person)
1-4 n/a $625
5-10 $50 $575
11-15 $100 $525
16+ $150 $475

Contact [email protected] for more information and to request the group registration form to receive this special discount.   

 

Cancellation, Refund, and Substitution Policy

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before FridayOctober 23, 2020 are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after October 23, 2020 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for the 2020 Customer Connections Virtual Conference only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel on or before October 23 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund of their registration fee. 

Requests must be made in writing to: [email protected] 

Code of Conduct

Attendees of American Public Power Association meetings agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If attendees engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the Code of Conduct, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings with no warning or refund.

Contact Us

Visit PublicPower.org/CustomerConnections for program updates and to register online.

Registration Questions

[email protected]

202-467-2978

Program Questions

[email protected]

202-467-2973

Sponsor Questions

[email protected]

202-467-2944

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I get more information about how to participate in the virtual conference?

Registrants will receive information on how to join the virtual conference a few days before the event. If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].

 

What is a virtual event?

A virtual event simulates an in-person event, but involves people interacting online, rather than in a physical environment. 

APPA is committed to delivering an engaging, accessible, and inclusive platform to convene the national public power community to connect, learn, and share knowledge and solutions. Our virtual conferences allow participants to easily learn about important topics, attend informative presentations, and connect with other participants for face-to-face conversations using video chats. Registrants will receive additional information about this virtual experience as the event gets closer.

 

How was the registration fee for the Customer Connections Virtual Conference determined? 

The registration fee reflects the costs and value of the meeting being held. We took a number of details into consideration in calculating the fee for the virtual conference.

Some of the meeting expenses include speaker fees for the keynote speakers, the cost of the platform to deliver the event, and the costs (and staff time) of program development, as well as costs and risks associated with cancelling the in-person Customer Connections Conference.

We also looked at the benefits of attending the meeting for members. The program features keynote speakers, several breakout sessions (which will be recorded so participants can view the breakout sessions they missed after the fact), and most importantly an opportunity to connect with other public power utilities, learn from their experiences and come together in this unique time.

Finally, we evaluated the fees being charged by other organizations that have converted in-person meetings to virtual meetings. As we have, many of them have reduced fees to account for saved costs, but are still charging fees to cover costs and reflect the value of the meeting being held.

 

What platform will the Customer Connections Virtual Conference be held on? 

APPA will be using Zoom for the virtual summit.

Zoom was chosen for its ease of use, great handling of video, and accessibility. Attending a Zoom meeting doesn’t require any additional software installed on the attendee’s computer – it can run completely out of a web browser. We know that many organizations limit the installation of desktop clients, so using a service that can run using a web browser makes the meeting more accessible to our members. Zoom’s ability to support multiple video feeds will also enable online networking beyond the capabilities of many other platforms.

To ensure the best experience for attendees, it is also important that our staff have experience using the platform. APPA staff have such experience with Zoom, both as attendees and administrators. Zoom has been successfully deployed for Public Power Connect Virtual Summit & Business Meeting (our largest event of the year); in addition to several other summits, classes and meetings.  Staff have also participated in a number of other virtual conferences using Zoom, including events held by the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE); Dragos; the Energy Bar Association; among others.

We are aware some organizations have cybersecurity concerns regarding this platform.
Zoom had several high-profile problems at the start of its recent rise to prominence. The company was responsive to these issues and addressed many of them. While it still may not be appropriate for hosting sensitive discussions, we do not feel Zoom presents any problems for hosting general interest discussions, like the sessions we have planned for the virtual summit.

APPA has implemented all the recommended precautions and best practices recommended to minimize the possibility of security issues, such as authenticating all participants are registered for the event, utilizing virtual waiting rooms, requiring meeting passwords, and creating unique URLs for all attendees to participate in the meeting.

 

What is the policy on refunds, cancellations and attendee substitutions?

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before Friday, October 23, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after October 23 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by October 23 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].

 

Can I earn educational credits for attending this virtual conference?

Yes, you can earn the following kinds of educational credits for attending live sessions during the conference:

  • 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) Credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

Please note that you will only be able to earn educational credits for the sessions you attend live during the virtual conference. We are not able to offer educational credits for any session recordings you watch later.

 

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. Email the completed registration form 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

 

Where and when is the next Customer Connections Conference?

October 24-27, 2021
The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
Scottsdale, Arizona

 

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.

 

What is the APPA Code of Conduct for meeting attendees?

Attendees of American Public Power Association meetings agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If attendees engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the Code of Conduct, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.