TechAdvantage® Experience, the premier trade show and technical exhibition for electric cooperatives, returns as an in-person event in Nashville this year. The March 6-9 event will be held at the Music City Center in conjunction with PowerXchange, NRECA’s annual meeting.

TechAdvantage Experience “brings together co-op leaders to talk about the road ahead of us,” said NRECA Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Connor.

“Our goal is that anyone with a new project or a strategic plan in the works will make a connection or discover an idea that will be valuable to their co-op.”

This year’s event includes 64 breakout sessions and 20 TechPark Talks covering a range of topics for distribution co-ops and generation and transmission co-ops in the evolving industry: cybersecurity, disaster recovery, broadband, drone operations, communications distribution automation, distributed energy resources, and facilities management and security.

“One of the biggest strengths of the electric cooperative program is our willingness to share what we’ve learned. TechAdvantage is the place where those experiences are transferred, translated and held up as examples of success in our program as we discuss ways to make them work better,” says Connor. “No matter what the next challenge is at your co-op, someone in the room is either grappling with the same issue or they’ve solved it.”

More than a dozen training and professional development opportunities are scheduled as pre-conference events on Sunday, March 6, with topics including cybersecurity, broadband planning and deployment, incident response plans, data analytics, and FEMA and supply chain issues for disaster planning.

“We’ve developed much of the conference programming in response to the issues and interests expressed by our NRECA members,” said Mary Ackleson, NRECA senior program manager. “We know that co-ops of every size, operating in various regions of the country are dealing with these issues on a daily basis, and many of these topics are likely to become even more critical to operations in the years ahead.”

NRECA has expanded TechAdvantage ENCORE, which gives attendees access to online recordings of conference sessions, said Ackleson. “Within two weeks after the conference ends, registered attendees will be able to view recordings of the sessions on their desktops, tablets or smartphones,” she said. Recordings will be accessible online through December 2022.

Conference planners are also aiming to provide participants with shareable content, quick takeaways and downloadable support materials to bring back to their co-ops. “We strive to think about what each attendee can use from these programs when they are back home,” said Connor.

“Our industry partners learned a lot about virtual presentations while many of us suspended our travel and conference activities during the pandemic,” says Ackleson. “Some of the best aspects of virtual presentations have now been incorporated into live exhibitions, adding rich content in support of their products and services.”

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