The online E Source Forum 2020 was a great success, but we missed seeing everyone in person! We’re ecstatic that the E Source Forum 2021 will take place September 28–October 1 in a hybrid format. Those who can safely travel are welcome to join us in person at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. Everyone else can attend the same sessions online from the comfort of their home offices.

This year’s event will feature exciting content, fun activities, and new ways to network with your peers and utility partners, regardless of whether they’re attending in person or online. As always, the Forum registration fee is included in your E Source membership. And there’s no limit to the number of attendees your utility can register for the event. Nonmember utilities may attend for a fee.

You may be wondering what to expect, especially if you plan to attend in person. So we’ve put together a guide to some of the things you’ll experience—from safety and sanitation to fun and networking.

Sheraton Denver Downtown safety protocols

Following all current guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Sheraton Denver Downtown hotel has implemented and maintains a variety of protocols and elevated practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping with the Sheraton’s high standards of cleanliness and commitment to providing excellent service. What can you anticipate when you’re attending the Forum in person?

Virtual check-in process. You can check in to the Sheraton Denver Downtown using the Sheraton app for a contact-free experience. And once you’re checked in, you can even access your room using this process.

Face coverings and social distancing. Fully vaccinated guests aren’t required to wear a face covering or social distance in indoor or outdoor areas of the hotel, but masks and distancing are welcomed and encouraged for guests who aren’t vaccinated or simply feel more at ease continuing this practice.

Sanitation measures. You’ll find hand sanitation stations throughout the hotel and event as well as complimentary disinfectant wipes in every guest room. There will also be enhanced public-space cleaning, particularly in areas with high traffic such as restrooms, elevators, and escalators.

Hotel staff and activities. Staff will be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment based on activities they’re performing, and safety procedures will be in place during breaks when food and beverages are being served to guests. This will include individually packaged food and protective barriers between servers and guests.

E Source Forum agenda details

The 2021 agenda features topics that matter to you and your utility, with thought-provoking keynote speakers, market research and data-driven content, customer panels, and insights from your utility peers. We’re offering over 40 sessions across several topical tracks—view the agenda.

Rising to the energy-equity challenge. Whether it’s using what we learned about serving low-income customers from the trials of COVID; ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace; or supporting social justice movements in the utility sector, our equity track has something for everyone hoping to rethink the way they see the world. In our Track spotlight: Rising to the energy-equity challenge blog post, product strategist Tracy Gehrts describes what to expect from our equity track.

Enabling tomorrow’s data-driven utility. The sessions in this track will bring you up to speed on the next steps with advanced metering infrastructure, the power of data science, and the benefits of digital business transformation. Check out the Track spotlight: Enabling tomorrow’s data-driven utility to hear Jim Ketchledge, executive vice president of operations for Technology Planning and Implementation Consulting, describe what to expect.

Managing CX as a business imperative. This track will highlight what’s to come in customer experience (CX), such as techniques for using voice-of-the-customer data, how COVID-19 changed contact center operations, using your website to engage customers, maintaining a customer-first mentality, and more. Senior consultant Jeffrey Daigle describes what to expect from our CX track in the blog post Track spotlight: Managing CX as a business imperative.

Optimizing customer programs for an evolving grid. The sessions in this track will help utilities determine the best way to run innovative and successful customer programs as business models and climate goals evolve and grow. In the E Source Forum 2021: Spotlight on optimizing customer programs for an evolving grid you’ll hear product strategist Luke Beckett describe what to expect from this Forum track.

Overcoming electrification roadblocks with emerging opportunities. In this track, we’ll focus on what’s to come with electrification opportunities, electric vehicle adoption and charging infrastructure, and the goal of a carbon-free future.

E Source Forum safety protocols and event highlights

We aim to make the 2021 Forum the best one yet! While we’ve faced some new challenges in this year’s planning, we don’t doubt that you’ll enjoy your experience and walk away with plenty of new tools to take home. Here are some of the things you can expect from this year’s special event.

Save money with this year’s hybrid format. Our online option offers not only a safe and comfortable way to attend, but it also makes it easy for your whole team to attend with no travel costs.

Safely network with peers. Thanks to the Sheraton Denver Downtown’s enhanced safety protocols, we’re confident that you’ll be able to engage with your utility peers the way you’ve come to know and expect–safely. Please try to remain socially distanced whenever possible and respect each other’s space by staying 6 feet apart.

Optional hands-on afternoon workshops. If you’re comfortable being social, you can get interactive with an afternoon workshop to wrap up your busy day full of sessions. These workshops are informal and a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with your peers to solve industry challenges. We have a variety of workshops to choose from that are guaranteed to get your creativity flowing.

Explore the expo floor. Whether online or walking the expo floor, all Forum attendees can get to know our exhibitors. Visit the booths in person or check out their enhanced listings online. You can even contact the companies that interest you most. And get ready to get in the game–we’ll be giving away prizes to in-person and online attendees.

Wind down with some fun. Kick back and relax after a long day of learning. If you’re attending in person, take your pick from a variety of tours–foodie and beer, to name a couple–and get competitive in our closing night ping-pong tournament. We’ll also host a caricature artist to draw guests in person and online. No one has to miss out on the fun!

Access all content on demand. Don’t worry if your day gets too busy and you miss a session or two (or three!). As a registered attendee, you’ll have access to any content you missed or want to revisit after the conclusion of the Forum so the learning can continue even when you’re back to the daily grind.

Contributing Authors

Content marketing specialist, Marketing

Sara Patnaude is responsible for the E Source blog, case studies, and all other marketing collateral. Prior to joining E Source, Sara...