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 | When is the best time to register?

  • Take advantage of Early Registration which opens in November and closes 6 weeks before CS Week begins. Group Discount pricing is deepest during Early Registration.

  • After Early Registration closes, you can still enjoy discounted group pricing during Regular Registration which is open for 6 weeks until CS Week begins.

  • CS Week reserves room blocks at several hotels with luxury amenities and close access to Conference activities, but attendee requests typically exceed room block reservations. Registering early ensures best pricing and location.

  • Once registered, book your accommodations to take advantage of local transportation like complimentary shuttles. While CS Week responds to demand by seeking more and other room blocks, the fact is our room blocks are typically filled within one month of CS Week. So, register early and stay close at a negotiated rate.

 

Q2 | When should I arrive for CS Week?

  • Whether traveling by air, train or car, check online agendas for the venues/events you are set to attend. Most launch early 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 since they are typically situated at adjacent hotels), look over your bag contents and get your CS Week footing.

  • Check out Plan Your Week to see how CS Week’s venues are carefully scheduled to maximize your attendance: College on Monday; ENGAGE311 beginning Monday; Synergy Groups on Monday and Tuesday; Executive Summit and Key Account Forum starting Monday; and Conference launching Tuesday.

Q3 | How can my utility save money to send more attendees?

  • Take advantage of our Group Registration Form (once available). Gather required information on attendees and register all of them on the same day using this Form. CS Week offers:

    • 20% discount for 3-5 attendees;

    • 30% discount on 6-10 attendees; and

    • 40% discount on 11+ attendees.

  • These discounts allow utilities to send a team to Conference because the savings applies to all venues selected (for example: Conference + College + Synergy Group).

  • CS Week offers utility team tables at Wednesday and Thursday’s breakfasts for attendees to meet, plan and debrief, allowing them to ‘divide and conquer’ more Conference than what a single attendee could accomplish.

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

 

Q4 | When should I plan to depart CS Week?

  • If possible, make travel arrangements to return home after 1 pm on Friday. That way, you, as a utility attendee, are present for the Vehicle Giveaway announcement on Friday at 10:45 am, making you eligible to WIN!

  • Consider booking your travel plans to capitalize on already being there! Each year, CS Week promotes local attractions so your work trip can also be recreational before and/or after Conference.

 

Q5 | How do I register for private consultations/demos in the Exhibit Hall?

  • Vendors exhibiting at CS Week, the largest Exhibit Hall in the industry, are primed to showcase their successful solutions, products and services.

  • About two months before CS Week begins, watch for email broadcasts with links to request appointments. Private consults/demos are offered for 2 hours on both Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

  • These appointments may include attendees from multiple utilities, giving you an opportunity to learn from others in a small setting.

  • Consults/demos are typically not customized to your specific utility, but industry partners with a wide portfolio of utility partners, are ready to answer your questions and give specific examples as they demo their best and latest.

 

Q6 | How do I efficiently navigate the Exhibit Hall where 150+ exhibitors are anxious to connect with me?

  • Download the CS Week App OR review the Program OR check out the On-Site Guide for the Exhibit Hall floorplan and schedule. See where you can get a cold/hot drink/snack and where you can rest your feet.

  • List the booth #s and vendor names that will be the most meaningful contacts.

  • Colorize your floorplan to identify:

    • Vendors who have reached out personally to you or executives in your utilities.

    • Platinum, Gold and Silver sponsors. Thanks to their partnership and support, CS Week is able to keep registration at a reasonable cost, envied by its competitors.

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

    • CS Week Vehicle Sponsors, securing their stamps on your Vehicle Giveaway card.

  • Review your colorized plan with your executive before Conference, seeking confirmation and being open to possible redirection.

  • Plan your path through the Hall, allowing 15 minutes with each identified vendor.

  • Use csweek.org to cross-reference exhibitors by service or product type. Consider visiting competitors in like disciplines to gain a broader understanding.

  • 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, project scope, anticipated CX enhancements and challenges to overcome.

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

  • After CS Week, collect your thoughts and share what you’ve learned from exhibitors with executives who approved and facilitated your attendance.

 

Q7 | What meals are provided by CS Week?

  • Colleges provide breakfast, lunch and breaks on Monday.

  • Synergy Groups provide breakfasts, lunches and breaks on Monday and Tuesday.

  • Executive Summit and Key Account Forum provide breakfasts, lunches and breaks on Monday and Tuesday and a private reception/dinner on Monday.

  • CS Week311 provides breakfasts, lunches and breaks on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and receptions on Monday and Tuesday nights.

  • Conference provides:

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

    • Continental breakfasts on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

    • Birds of a Feather luncheons on Wednesday and Thursday

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

    • Networking Reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres/drinks on Wednesday evening

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

 

Q8 | How can I make Birds of a Feather luncheon tables effective?

  • Choose CX tracks related to but different from your role to gain other perspectives. For example, if you work in credit services, perhaps sit with Contact Center attendees to hear about the challenges faced by call takers answering calls from customers whose service has been discontinued. Use this mealtime to hear from a variety of utility professionals and to share your experience/challenges too.

  • Switch tables after the entrée and join a different track for dessert.

 

Q9 | How do I wrap my arms around 5 days of events? It seems daunting!

  • Review the 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 CS Week begins. Lots of attendees enjoy the app’s social media features. Remember: the Conference app targets Tuesday afternoon through Friday morning Conference events only.

  • Colleges, Synergy Groups, Key Account Forum, Executive Summit and ENGAGE311 provide additional information to registered attendees. Watch your postbox for printed invitations or inbox for emails!

  • Review the On-Site Guide.

  • 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 meals/beverages together and extending your discussions beyond the educational venues.

  • Be sure to attend Thursday night’s Special Event. CS Week always plans a big event with a smidgeon of speech-ing and a heaping of fun, fellowship and food/drinks.

  • Save the Attendee Directory and Exhibitor Catalog. Take them 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 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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