CS Week Rose to the Challenge

What is a remarkable accomplishment for us at CS Week is, we realize, standard practice for the utilities we serve: You encounter a disaster and mobilize all your resources to respond.

Everyone rose to the challenge as we contemplated the 10 months of conference planning for what had become the flooded Gaylord Opryland. Staying in Nashville was best for everyone’s schedules, so three days after the flood, we were in Nashville signing new contracts to move downtown.

We put customer service into action, sending e-mails and then calling each person registered for any of the week’s venues. More than 800 hotel reservations were made in the first 24 hours after Nashville CVB opened the hotel link.

The utility industry rose to the occasion based on everyone’s experience with natural disasters.

CS Week 2010 exceeded our attendance goals, including a sold-out exhibit hall. Our seventh Executive Summit–our largest to date–tackled issues from dealing with a rate review when no one within an organization has done one in 15 years to strategic and visionary plans for providing services in coming decades.

The home area network (HAN) panels reflected the epoch changes within the utility industry and the interest of the technology and telecommunications industries in providing the services in smart meter technology.

Next year’s workshops and venues will reflect the increasing impact of increasing smart meter installations and the growing awareness of consumers of the control they can exercise over their energy consumption and bills.

We were gratified to have Oncor bring the Smart TexasSM Mobile Experience Center to the exhibit hall–its first trip outside of Texas. The self-contained HAN education center travels to Texas cities in preparation for smart meter installation. Oncor served as our utility sponsor.

CS Week is proud to partner with Electric Light & Power each year in sponsoring the 2010 Expanding Excellence Awards, including this year’s new category: Best Smart Infrastructure/Grid Project.

Winning utilities were PSE&G and Bermuda Electric Light Co. for Best CIS Implementation; Duke Energy and the city of San Marcos, Texas, for the Smart Infrastructure/Grid Project; Dominion Virginia Power and the city of Georgetown, Texas, for Innovation in Customer Service; and NSTAR for Innovation in Extending a Legacy System.

The annual CS Week Special Event took on a new meaning as our post-flood planning evolved into a fundraiser for Nashville flood victims.

Country music legend Vince Gill invited his friends to drop by for a set with him. As final pledges come in, the entire amount will be divided between the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

We are looking forward to CS Week 2011 at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Fla.

Jerry Duvall, CEO, CS Week

Rod Litke, COO, CS Week

For more information, please visit http://csweek.org

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