Electric cooperative communications, marketing and member services professionals will gather in Baltimore, Maryland, May 7-9 for NRECA’s Connect Conference to build skills, network and learn about new energy innovations and technologies.

“This year’s conference continues our strong focus of unearthing new ideas and providing best practices—with a special emphasis on sessions for member services professionals,” said Erin Pressley, NRECA senior vice president of Education, Training and Events.

“We’ll address the challenges and opportunities of AI, share creative ideas for programs to boost member engagement, discover tips for communicating energy policy and so many more topics that can help you do your job better.”

This year’s host city offers many points of interest for Connect participants, Pressley noted.

“From Edgar Allen Poe to F. Scott Fitzgerald to the inventor of the Ouija Board, Charm City is known for its literary roots, and we’re excited to bring together cooperative communicators to experience it firsthand.”

Speaker Highlights

This year, there will be four general session speakers. On May 7, opening keynote speaker Courteney Clark will discuss her data-driven approach to “ReVisionary Thinking,” which offers strategies on fostering resiliency in the face of unexpected change.

Touchstone Energy® Cooperative is sponsoring the May 8 general session speaker, Chris Failla, an executive coach. He will discuss maintaining personal connections, loyalty and trust amid technological advancements.

There will be two general sessions on May 9. The morning speaker will be Mike Allen, co-founder and executive editor of Axios. He will discuss the concept of “smart brevity” as well as lessons learned from his experience as a journalist and media executive.

Later that day, award-winning magician, actor and playwright Ben Whiting will go over his “limitless culture” blueprint to improve communication, increase productivity and improve workplace relationships.

Key Conference Details

Winners of this year’s LaBerge Award for Strategic Communications and the Spotlight on Excellence Awards program’s Edgar F. Chesnutt Award for Best Total Communication Program will be recognized during the first general session on May 7. Throughout the conference, a Spotlight Café will feature the work of this year’s winners.

This conference includes nearly 30 breakout sessions, six in-depth pre-conference workshops, six co-op case studies and 10 roundtable discussions. The sessions will focus on a variety of topics such as communicating about reliability, using Canva, getting the most out of member surveys, and using AI in member communication.

New this year is a pre-conference workshop on “Making Sense of Broadband Marketing,” which is free for NRECA Broadband members and $450 for others.

Those interested in attending can register on cooperative.com. To receive special rates on hotel rooms through NRECA, book soon—by April 15.