When the World Health Organization published news on Jan. 5, 2020, about cases of “pneumonia of unknown etiology” detected in Wuhan City, China, few people began stocking up on toilet paper or canceled their travel plans for the rest of the year. However, those tables quickly turned, and one of the most-affected business sectors was in-person events.
POWER began hosting the ELECTRIC POWER Conference and Exhibition (or EP as we like to call it) in 1998. The show evolved over the years into a must-attend event for many power industry professionals. It always offered some of the most relevant and insightful educational content, covering new technology, as well as plant operations and maintenance best practices, and much more. All fuel types and technologies were regularly featured, and experts from around the world capitalized on opportunities to network and learn from each other during the gathering. It was always a fantastic event.
COVID-19 threw EP for a loop in 2020. The show was originally scheduled to be held in mid-April at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Our team’s conference organizers quickly realized the pandemic would preclude many people from attending the event, so we pivoted. Not only did we push the dates of the in-person event out to the fall, but we also expanded the content to include EP Digital—an offering that incorporated webinars, chats, on-demand sessions, forums, live question-and-answer opportunities, and more—which launched in April when the event was originally scheduled.
As the year rolled on, it became obvious that COVID-19 was not going away anytime soon. That meant further changes for EP. Although every possible option was considered to keep an in-person conference on the slate, it was ultimately shifted to a digital event called “Experience POWER.” Digital event sessions were held online from Sept. 28 through Oct. 1, and the response from attendees was great. The presentations remain viewable on-demand for up to one year for registrants.
EP: Better Than Ever
In fact, the success of the digital event convinced our team that the name change should be made permanent; thus, the show has been rebranded and will be called Experience POWER going forward, which, coincidentally, also maintains the EP abbreviation intact. “The change in name is part of a broader plan that encompasses a number of changes that will make future events more valuable, more connected, and in line with the needs of the power industry,” said John Rockwell, managing director of Marketing and Events for POWER. “Experience POWER will bring the power community together year-round to experience first-hand the premier content covered in POWER magazine,” he added.
I’m personally proud to be a part of EP, and moving forward, all of POWER’s editorial staff will play an even greater role in the event. Not only will editors continue to headline the show by taking the stage to give a state-of-the-industry presentation, but we will also be hosting roundtable sessions with influential leaders, and delivering live interviews including podcasts and videos from an “Editors’ Studio” on the exhibit floor. Additionally, we’ll be even further entrenched in helping direct content decisions, working side-by-side with the conference director and advisory board.
“Experience POWER is the only power generation event with industry-recognized editors contributing to the conference content. EP is known for the education it provides and the immediacy of implementing new tactics and procedures learned at the event, proving it delivers the best content with the most relevant sessions and technology. EP also continues to focus on staying ahead of industry trends and keeping attendees fully informed of what lies ahead for our market. Lastly, EP remains the premier destination for utility and generating companies, even as it expands to cover more of the full energy value chain,” said Matt Grant, vice president and group publisher for POWER.
The Leading Power Industry Event in 2021
Experience POWER’s in-person gathering is scheduled to take place October 18–21, 2021, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. In the meantime, online activities will continue to be offered so registrants can connect with and learn from other power industry colleagues and experts.
“The live event in October has a detailed safety plan and procedures that will be implemented to keep everyone healthy. Organizers are extremely confident that Experience POWER will be in a unique position to safely offer one of the first power industry events of its size covering the entire market,” said Ellen Nyboer, senior marketing manager for EP.
Adding to the draw, EP will be co-located with another POWER event, the Distributed Energy Conference, or DEC as we call it. Now in it’s fourth year, DEC is focused on providing new perspectives for distributed energy power generators and their customers across the commercial and industrial, campus energy, and district energy landscape. It has featured discussions about new distributed energy technologies, such as microgrids, the rise of energy storage, and advancements in wind and solar. The combination of DEC and EP offers attendees a lot of extra value and expands the event’s focus even more to cover the full energy value chain from generation to transmission and distribution.
On Dec. 7, Clarion Energy announced that POWERGEN International, DISTRIBUTECH International, and the company’s Leadership Summit have all been postponed until 2022. That means, if you’re looking to connect with others in the power industry, EP is really your one and only choice in 2021.
“Experience POWER will deliver the knowledge and tools needed for increased reliability, resiliency, and sustainability of power plants and facilities generating their own power,” Grant said. For more information, visit www.experience-power.com. ■
—Aaron Larson is POWER’s executive editor.