The world’s largest annual water quality event will look a little different this year when the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) goes virtual. The new online platform and lineup is designed to offer interactive education, an exhibitor showcase, and networking experiences.
Dubbed WEFTEC Connect, the program will feature more than 400 on-demand technical sessions, networking, live product demos, solution sessions, an exhibitor showcase, and more.
“While we will miss seeing water professionals in person in New Orleans this October, WEF is extremely excited to create a digital place for us to gather and to continue our tradition of delivering premier water education and exhibitions to the world,” WEF President Jackie Jarrell said in a press release.
Keynote addresses will anchor the start and end of the event, and promise to “provide inspiration and advice on how you as a water sector professional can adapt and thrive during challenging times.” Kicking off the event on Monday, Oct. 5, entrepreneur René Rodriguez will share his strategies for reframing adversity and harnessing the power of courage with a presentation titled “Clarity Through Crisis.” On Friday, Oct. 9, the closing keynote session will feature three speakers — Zenia Tata of X-PRIZE Foundation, Dalberg Group’s Henrik Skovby, and an invited guest from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — who will illustrate through their own stories how the water sector can “lean into the curve” during times of uncertainty, using innovation to shape the future.
Over five days of programming, attendees will have access to hundreds of on-demand technical sessions covering topic areas including Industrial Issues and Treatment Technologies, Residuals and Biosolids Management/Energy, Stormwater Management, and Research and Innovation. In addition, select presentations will be live-streamed and allow for an interactive Q&A with the audience.
While you can’t “walk the aisles” of the exhibit hall this year, there will be no shortage of innovative technologies to explore in the virtual exhibitor showcase. Featuring a fully searchable lineup of companies offering product overviews, videos, and resources, attendees will also be able to set up virtual appointments and live chat with exhibitors.
WEFTEC’s Operations Challenge also goes virtual this year as two-person teams will compete remotely in three categories: process control, laboratory, and collections. Judges will score each team in real time and the winners in each category will be announced at the Operations Challenge awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 8.
If you’re missing all the friendly faces for in-person events this year, WEFTEC Connect’s live networking roundtables, trivia night, and happy hour will keep the conversations flowing. And don’t forget to grab the popcorn for movie night on Monday, Oct. 5, when you’ll have an opportunity to screen the highly-acclaimed Brave Blue World documentary, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers.
For a complete schedule of WEFTEC Connect events and to register for the virtual offerings, visit weftec.org. WW