Touchstone Energy® Cooperative’s signature business-to-business event has a new name and a new format this year.

The NEXT Conference (formerly known as NET) will take place online Feb. 2-3. Now in its 21st year, the event is the only national forum connecting managers of electric cooperative key accounts to businesses. Program content will focus on cutting-edge technologies and national perspectives on important industry issues, and it will demonstrate how businesses and co-ops are embracing the future.

“Cooperatives are always focused on delivering top-notch service, whether it is for the family farm or the data farm,” said Jana Adams, Touchstone Energy’s executive director. “Connecting co-op leaders with energy managers from big brand businesses is the mission of NEXT, and we are thrilled to provide this virtual forum to strengthen these important relationships.”

Pre-Conference Activity

In the Growing Power of Beneficial Electrification workshop on Feb. 2, co-ops will discuss efforts to grow load and increase innovation and satisfaction for their members. Gary Connett, co-chair of the Beneficial Electrification League, will be the main speaker.

Speaker Highlights

Mike Walsh, a futurist and author, will discuss how now is the time for leaders to upgrade their capabilities, embrace technologies and reimagine what they do in New Rules for a New World during the first general session on Feb. 2.

The speaker for the closing session on Feb. 3 will be Connie Podesta, an author and member of the National Speakers Association’s Hall of Fame. She will discuss the importance of innovation, adoption, creativity and collaboration, especially during today’s turbulent times.

Breakout Sessions

The six breakout sessions encompass a wide variety of topics related to building stronger relationships with commercial and industrial members, including virtual communication, electric vehicles, smart agriculture, creating a strategic energy mix, battery storage and partnering with small business accounts.

Other Highlights

Energy managers and industry experts will share insights on their energy needs in Energy Manager Focus on Feb. 3.

On both days, NEXTworking breaks will allow participants to virtually network with event sponsors.

More information, including registration details, is available on the NEXT 2021 website.