Trade Show Conference

How to Make the Most of

CS Week: 10 FAQs/Answers

Use these FAQs/Answers to achieve a rewarding ROI and get the most from your utility’s travel/training dollars and your time at CS Week 2021, whether you are a first-time or veteran attendee.

- Updated 3/1/21 -

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

We sincerely appreciate 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 to produce CS Week 2021 as a hybrid approach:

CS Week Venue

Attendee Experience

Dates

Location

Hybrid - All things CS Week 2021

Starting 5/17/21 & ending 10/15/21

Tampa Convention Center (TCC), JW Marriott Tampa Water Street (JW), Tampa Marriott Water Street (Marriott) + Virtual

Virtual only

5/17/21 – 5/21/21

Includes EXPO311

Virtual only

5/18/21, then monthly webinars on third Tuesdays

In-Person

Virtual with “live” Q&A during last 15 mins. of workshops

Extended Virtual
 

8/17/21 – 8/19/21

 

9/13/21 – 9/24/21

 

 

9/13/21 - 10/15/21

TCC featuring: Exhibit Hall, General Sessions, Workshops, Expanding Excellence Awards, luncheons/receptions and Women in Utilities Sunrise Event.

Exhibit Hall

In-Person

 

Virtual Hub

Extended Virtual

8/17/21 – 8/19/21

 

8/17/21 – 9/24/21

 

Through 10/15/21

In-Person

 

Virtual

8/16/21 & 8/17/21

 

9/13/21 & 9/14/21

JW – Dedicated to Executive Summit attendees.

In-Person

8/16/21 & 8/19/21

JW & TCC

In-Person

 

Virtual

8/16/21 & 8/17/21

 

9/13/21 & 9/14/21

Marriott

In-Person – With Vendor Approval

8/17/21

TCC, featuring Smart Energy Water

In-Person – Members Only

8/18/21

Marriott

As of: 2/22/21. Subject to change.

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 and Key Account Forum offer dedicated registrations at the JW and the Marriott respectively),  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?

  • 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 is open online and includes complimentary registration for 2021 VIRTUAL TOUCH. If a registered in-person attendee must cancel, they do not need to re-register for 2021 VIRTUAL TOUCH. Attendees registered for in-person venues who cancel by 7/30/21 and instead attend virtually are eligible for a refund of the fee difference. No refund is available for virtual attendees who cannot participate.

  • Click Registration to view the 2021 schedule, prices and policies. 

    • To register for Executive Summit, please contact Lisa Collins, 903-821-8675.

    • To register for Key Account Forum, please contact Danise Mullendore, 903-821-8680.

    • To register for ENGAGE311, please contact Amber Wiens, 903-821-8721.

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 December and closes 6/14/21. Group discounts apply when utilities utilize the Group Registration Form. These discounts apply to 2021 VIRTUAL TOUCH registration too. Gather information on all your utility’s attendees and register them on the same day for:

    • 20% discount for 3-5 attendees; 

    • 30% discount on 6-10 attendees; and 

    • 40% discount on 11+ attendees. 

  • Regular Registration opens 6/15/21 and closes 8/14/21. Utility group discounts still apply.

  • On-Site Registration opens 8/15/21. Utility group discount still apply.

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

  • 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 proximity to the TCC. Reservations typically exceed our block numbers within one month of CS Week, so we try to meet demand by seeking more and other blocks. Reserve early and stay close at negotiated rates. Beware of reduced hotel offers outside CS Week; they are SCAMS!

  • Should in-person CS Week 2021 be canceled, CS Week will cancel or reschedule individual room reservations made by attendees at the four dedicated CS Week hotels: JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, Tampa Marriott Water Street, Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown and The Westin Tampa Waterside. If you booked a different hotel, it is your responsibility to cancel or reschedule reservations.

  • Once registered, book your travel arrangements and take advantage of local offers like complimentary shuttles. Review Transportation to get your bearings and review local options.

 

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

  • Conference 45 Exhibit Hall will be both in-person and virtual starting Tuesday, 8/17/21. It will remain open for virtual booth visits through Friday, 10/15/21. 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 for consultations/demos. These are offered Wednesday, 8/18/21 and Thursday, 8/19/21 from 9:15 am – 11:15 am and 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 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 (available 2 weeks before Conference 45) OR review the 2021 Program (electronic-only this year!) OR check the 2021 On-Site Guide for the Conference 45 Exhibit Hall floorplan and schedule.

  • Use the 2021 Exhibitor Catalog to cross-reference exhibitor companies offering similar products and services with your must-see list. Consider visiting competitors in like disciplines to gain a broader understanding.

  • Colorize or mark 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 planned initiatives, current programs and long-range projects. 

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

  • Review your plan with your executive before Conference (whether you are attending in-person or virtually). 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 and set a personal goal to give/share at least 5 per day.

 

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

  • The SEW Synergy Group provides breakfast, lunch and breaks on Tuesday.

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

  • 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 and drinks on Wednesday evening.

    • Special Event with heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks on Thursday 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 electronically in 2021, emailed and posted online 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 enjoy the app’s social media features, especially sharing photos. The Conference app is open Tuesday afternoon through Thursday night.

  • SEW 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 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. Thanks to its long-time sponsor, CS Week always plans a great party with a smidgeon of speech-ing and a heap of socializing over food and drink favorites.

    • Save the Attendee Directory and Exhibitor Catalog. Use these 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 convention centers and hotels are generally cool, so many attendees appreciate having a sweater or jacket, even though outdoor temps may be quite warm. Sponsored pashminas have been popular in recent years.

  • 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 sidewalk-friendly 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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