What kind of new features will we see at the fall conference?
We are still working out some of the details, but we plan to have a webpage dedicated to the fall conference. Instead of opening the GoToWebinar platform, you will go to a secure link to watch all presentations. We will also have live chat features, a virtual exhibit hall, and a networking platform that allows attendees to see who is at certain “tables” and visit around the room.
Why is the virtual fall conference pricing more expensive than the virtual summer conference?
When we originally shifted gears and began planning a virtual summer conference back in April, our goal was to supplement the income we would have received from the in-person event, not fully replace it. While we appreciated the gravity of the pandemic, we did not have the knowledge that we do now – that our ability to have large gatherings will likely go into 2021. Conference revenue accounts for almost 50% of TWCA’s annual revenue, and while we could absorb the cancellation of one conference, the loss of two, three, or more conferences without replacing that income would be detrimental. We have researched the registration and sponsorship levels of similar events and worked with TWCA’s executive committee to come to the current pricing levels, which better reflect our net income on conferences and are within the range that we are seeing from other associations.
What speaker topics will be covered?
Tentative speaker topics include the future of water supply, the state of water infrastructure in Texas, wholesale rate appeals, and maintaining your organization’s culture in a virtual environment, as well as keynote addresses, including Earl Lott, Deputy Director of the Office of Water at TCEQ. All speaker sessions will be recorded and archived for later viewing by registrants.
What is the plan for panel and committee meetings?
We received very positive feedback related to the virtual panel and committee meetings that were part of our summer conference. We plan to do that again, once we have coordinated with panel and committee chairs. Our board will meet on Thursday morning of the conference, just as with the summer conference and our regular fall conference schedule.
What is the plan for TWCA's 2021 Annual Convention in March and other future events?
Our Annual Convention is scheduled to be at the Hyatt Lost Pines March 3-5, 2021. Right now the hotel is anticipating that we will be able to hold the event. As you can imagine, this is an evolving situation, and we likely will not know until the first of the year if we can meet in person. We are scheduled to be at the new Kalahari Resort in Round Rock next summer and the Wyndham Riverwalk again next fall. We are hopeful we will see you at these hotels next year!
Thank you to our event sponsors!