Trade Show Conference

How to Make the Most of CS Week: 10 FAQs/Answers

Get the most from your utility’s travel/training dollars and the investment of your time. Use these FAQs and answers to achieve a rewarding ROI, whether a first-time or veteran attendee.

Q1 | In the face of pandemic-related travel restrictions and general uncertainty about large gatherings, what are CS Week’s plans for 2021?

  • We sincerely appreciate your concerns around the uncertainty of these unprecedented times. In the spirit of maximum flexibility and to set event plans into motion, CS Week made strategic decisions in October to produce CS Week 2021 as a hybrid approach: 

  • CS Week 2021 will open as a live, in-person conference experience at the Tampa Convention Center and Marriott Tampa Water Street on Monday, 4/26/21 and close after the Special Event on Thursday, 4/29/21.

  • Executive Summit, including the LeadNext program, and Key Account Forum will meet on Monday, 4/26/21 – Tuesday, 4/27/21 at the Marriott Tampa Water Street. 

  • Vendor Synergy Group will meet Tuesday, 4/27/21.

  • Conference 45 with its Exhibit Hall, General Sessions, Workshops, luncheons/ receptions, Women in Utilities Sunrise Event and, plus ENGAGE311 with its EXPO311, will meet at the Tampa Convention Center on Tuesday, 4/27/21 – Thursday, 4/29/21.

  • Conference 45’s Exhibit Hall will be both in-person and virtual. EXPO311 exhibitors and vendors will be co-located in the Exhibit Hall. All exhibitors, including EVCx Forum vendors, will be invited to create booth portals using a flexible, advanced technology on www.csweek.org and connect with virtual attendees.

  • CS Week Research Benchmark members will meet at the Marriott Tampa Water Street on Wednesday, 4/28/21.

  • 2021 VIRTUAL TOUCH, featuring recorded sessions from the 4/26/21 – 4/29/21 in-person venues, plus additional sponsor webinars, will be broadcasted to registered attendees on a date/time schedule Monday, 5/17/21 – Friday, 5/28/21. Registered attendees can participate in “live” Q&A during the last 15 minutes of most sessions. EVCx (Electric Vehicle Customer Experience) Forum will meet virtually during these weeks for two half-days, dates/times TBD soon.

  • An extended 2021 VIRTUAL TOUCH of recorded webinars and presentations will be available on-demand to registered attendees at www.csweek.org from Monday, 5/17/21 - Wednesday, 6/23/21.

Q2 | When should I arrive for in-person CS Week?

  • Check our Plan Your Week to see how CS Week’s venues are carefully scheduled to maximize your attendance. 

  • Whether traveling by air, train or car, visit 2021 Agenda for the venues/events you want to attend. Most launch with breakfast, so it makes sense to arrive the day/evening before, get situated at your hotel, check-in at Registration (Executive Summit, Key Account Forum and ENGAGE311 offer dedicated registrations), look over your Conference bag contents and get your CS Week bearings.

  • Visit Tampa’s Top 10 for ideas on how and where to spend your time before and after CS Week 2021.

 

Q3 | How will CS Week 2021 registration be handled in 2021?

  • All 2021 CS Week venues offer flexible registration and refund options, so consider committing early, reserving your hotel stay and travel, enjoying the best prices and feeling assured that, together with CS Week, you can respond to future conditions, both at your company and in Tampa, FL.

  • In-person registration begins online in November and includes complimentary registration for 2021 VIRTUAL TOUCH plus access to extended virtual content. If a registered in-person attendee must cancel, they do not need to re-register for VIRTUAL TOUCH or extended virtual content. 

  • Attendees registered for in-person venues who cancel by 4/2/21 and instead attend virtually are eligible for a refund of the fee difference.

  • Registration for 2021 VIRTUAL TOUCH opens 2/1/21 and closes 4/2/21. No refund is available for virtual attendees who cannot participate.

  • Click Registration to view its schedule and policies. 

  • To register for Executive Summit, please contact Lisa Collins, 903-821-8675); for Key Account Forum, please contact Rachel White, 903-357-5311; and for ENGAGE311, please contact Amber Wiens, 903-821-8721. These venue managers can answer your specific questions.

Q4 | How can my utility save money to send more attendees?

  • Register early! 

  • Take advantage of the best prices with Early Registration which opens in November and closes 3/17/21. Utility group discounts apply.

  • After Early Registration closes, Regular Registration opens 3/18/21 and closes 4/24/21. Utility group discounts apply.

  • On-Site Registration opens 4/25/21. Utility group discounts apply.

  • Take advantage of the utility Group Registration Form. Gather required information on all your utility’s attendees and register them on the same day using this Form for:

  • 20% discount for 3-5 attendees; 

  • 30% discount on 6-10 attendees; and 

  • 40% discount on 11+ attendees. 

  • Utility group discounts apply to Virtual Only registration.

  • CS Week offers utility team tables at Wednesday and Thursday’s breakfasts for attendees to meet together, plan and debrief.

  • Julie Shankles, Registration Mgr, is available for questions at 903-821-8631, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Central.

 

Q5 | What about hotel accommodations and transportation needs?

  • CS Week reserves room blocks at hotels with luxury amenities and close access to CS Week 2021 activities. Attendee requests typically exceed CS Week’s room block numbers. While CS Week responds to increased demand by seeking more and other room blocks, our room blocks are typically filled within one month of CS Week. So, register early and stay close at a negotiated rate. Beware of hotel rate offers outside CS Week - they are SPAM!

  • Should in-person CS Week 2021 be cancelled, CS Week will cancel individual room reservations made via the dedicated CS Week hotel links at Marriott Tampa Water Street, Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown and The Westin Tampa Waterside. If you booked a different hotel, it is your responsible to cancel reservations.

  • Once registered, book your travel arrangements and take advantage of local transportation offers like complimentary shuttles. 

  • Check out Transportation to get your bearings and compare local options.

 

Q6 | How do I get the most from the Exhibit Hall?

  • The Conference 45 Exhibit Hall will be both in-person and virtual starting Tuesday, 4/27/21, and it will remain open for virtual booth visits until Wednesday, 6/23/21.

  • Vendors participating with virtual booths will create online portals at www.csweek.org where attendees can find brochures, meet knowledgeable resources, request a demo/consultation, schedule an appointment and learn about the company’s products and services.

  • About two months before the in-person CS Week 2021 begins, watch for email broadcasts with links to request appointments. These by appointment only consultations/demos are offered from 9:15 – 11:15 am on Wednesday, 4/28/21 and Thursday, 4/29/21.

  • These appointments may include attendees from multiple utilities, giving you an opportunity to learn from others in a small setting. Consultations/demos are typically not customized to a specific utility; rather, industry partners with a wide portfolio of utility clients are ready to answer your questions and share specific examples, case studies and success stories as they demo their best and latest.

 

Q7 | How do I efficiently navigate the Exhibit Hall where exhibitors are anxious to connect with me?

  • Download the CS Week 2021 App OR review the 2021 Program OR check the 2021 On-Site Guide for the Conference 45 Exhibit Hall floorplan and schedule. 

  • Use the Products/Services Listing in the 2021 Exhibitor Catalog to cross reference exhibitor companies with what you are looking for. Consider visiting competitors in like disciplines to gain a broader understanding.

  • Colorize your floorplan with:

  • Vendors who have reached out personally to you or your utility’s execs.

  • Platinum, Gold and Silver in-person sponsors plus Premium, Principal and Advocate virtual sponsors. Thanks to their combined support, CS Week is able to keep registration fees at a reasonable cost-to-value ratio. 

  • Business products/services that align with your utility’s current initiatives. programs and projects. 

  • CS Week Vehicle Giveaway sponsors. Secure their stamps on your Vehicle Giveaway card and be eligible to win the 2021 car.

  • EXPO311, the specialized exhibit hall focusing on municipal call center products and services, will be co-located in the Conference 45 Exhibit Hall.

  • EVCx (Electric Vehicle Customer Experience) Forum sponsors/exhibitors will be co-located in the virtual Conference 45 Exhibit Hall.

  • Review your plan with your executive before Conference (either in-person or virtual). Be open to redirection. Be sure to circle back after CS Week 2021 and report your findings. 

  • Do your homework by visiting vendor websites before you arrive. 

  • Be prepared to discuss your utility’s customer service/technology roadmap, including timing, key decision personnel, scope, anticipated CX enhancements and challenges to overcome.

  • Bring business cards. Set a personal goal to give and share at least 5 per day.

 

Q8 | What meals are provided at the in-person CS Week?

  • Vendor Synergy Groups provide breakfast, lunch and breaks on Tuesday.

  • Executive Summit and Key Account Forum provide breakfasts, lunches and breaks on Monday and Tuesday and private receptions/dinners on Monday.

  • Conference 45 provides:

  • Welcome Reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres/drinks on Tuesday evening;

  • Continental breakfasts on Wednesday and Thursday; 

  • Sit down plated lunches in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday and Thursday;

  • Breaks with hot/cold drinks and snacks on Wednesday and Thursday;

  • Networking Reception (dedicated LeadNext and Canadian Receptions are co-located) with heavy hors d’oeuvres/drinks on Wednesday evening; and

  • Special Event with heavy hors d’oeuvres/drinks on Thursday evening. 

  • ENGAGE311 will enjoy Tuesday’s reception and Wednesday and Thursday’s breakfasts and lunches with Conference 45 attendees. ENGAGE311 will have its own networking reception on Wednesday evening.

  • CS Week Research Benchmark meeting (members only) provides Wednesday lunch.

 

Q9 | How do I wrap my arms around all that CS Week has to offer? It seems daunting!

  • Review the 2021 Program (published and mailed about 3 months before CS Week) to plan which Conference workshops, receptions and activities to attend.

  • Download the Conference app and set your password before Conference 45 begins. Lots of attendees really enjoy the app’s social media features, especially sharing photos. The app covers Tuesday afternoon through Thursday night Conference events only. 

  • Vendor Synergy Group, Key Account Forum, Executive Summit and ENGAGE311 provide targeted information to registered attendees. Watch your postbox for printed invitations and your inbox for emails!

  • Review the 2021 On-Site Guide which will be included in your conference bag.

  • Attend Attendee Orientation on Tuesday afternoon whether this is your first or umpteenth CS Week. 

  • Attend all receptions and special events for great mingling and networking. Ample time is scheduled into every venue’s agenda and throughout CS Week for meeting others, enjoying food/drinks together and extending discussions beyond the meeting rooms.

  • Be sure to attend Thursday night’s Special Event. With its long-time sponsor, CS Week always plans a great party with a smidgeon of speech-ing and a heaping of fun socializing with food and drinks.

  • Save the Attendee Directory and Exhibitor Catalog. Take these printed resources back to the office for future contacts.

 

Q10 | What should I pack?

  • Plenty of business cards. Share them with exhibitors and fellow attendees and use them as your ticket to win vendor prize giveaways.

  • Business casual attire. Indoor spaces at the convention center and hotels are generally cool, so many attendees appreciate having a sweater or jacket, even though outdoor temps may be quite warm.

  • Comfortable walking shoes. With its 200,000+ square foot Exhibit Hall, CS Week is a place to get in your steps. You’ll also appreciate comfortable shoes as you venture out to enjoy Tampa’s local cuisine, sights and sounds.

2612 W Lamberth Rd, Ste 300
Sherman, TX 75092-5183
903-893-3214 tel | 903-893-6136 fax

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