Preconference Seminars

Designed to help you develop skill sets and dive deeper into complex subject matters, preconference seminars offer longer class times, smaller class sizes, interactive formats and experienced instructors. Seminars require separate registration and fees (in addition to the main conference registration).

Sunday, November 5


Crisis Management & Communications 
8:30 a.m. – Noon
Recommended CEUs .3 / PDHs 3.25 / CPEs 3.8, Communications & Marketing

Your utility’s reputation is its largest uninsured asset — and can be seriously damaged through ineffective crisis response. Media never sleeps, so your crisis response must be rapid, strategic, and authentic. Get the damage control playbook and discover how to communicate in a variety of crises. Learn how to control the message and understand the media’s perspective so you can ace interviews and give out the right information at the right time. Discover best practices for crisis communications planning, and discuss how to leverage social media in a crisis.

Topics include:

  • The damage control playbook
  • Communicating your message to stakeholders through and around the media
  • Social media—strategic considerations
  • Crisis communications plans—best practices
  • Interview prep

Instructor: Bruce Hennes, Managing Partner, Hennes Communications, Cleveland, Ohio


Website Best Practices: Understanding the Customer Journey and Improving Engagement
1:30 – 5 p.m.
Recommended CEUs .3 / PDHs 3.25 / CPEs 3.8, Communications & Marketing

What are customers looking for when they come to your website? Does your site really engage customers and offer easy access to services? The site might be the first experience your customer has with your brand — ensure that it’s not the last. Get tools to transform your website into a first-class experience for visitors. Track how customers navigate and interact. Discover how you can use data to improve design, content strategy, and conversions. Learn how to use testing to determine the most effective content, layout, and calls to action. 

Instructors: Brett Suddreth, Vice President, Interactive, The frank Agency, Overland Park, Kansas; and David Mehlhaff, Chief Communications Officer, Kansas City Board of Public Utilities, Kansas


The Power of Collaboration
1:30 – 5 p.m.
Recommended CEUs .3 / PDHs 3.25 / CPEs 3.8, Personal Development

Collaborative efforts are often dreaded or fall short of the anticipated result. Yet, most of us can recall at least one extraordinary collaborative experience. What made it great? Why isn’t it the norm? Designed to challenge the way you think and work with others, this interactive seminar introduces the Power of Collaboration model and offers a Collaboration Grade Book to help you assess your team or organization. Upgrade your leadership skills to manage group projects and large-scale organizational change

Instructor: Carol Zizzo, Partner, Henley Leadership Group, Seattle, Wash.