It’s hard to look back on the 2020 National Ethanol Conference, held in Houston in February, without a certain sense of nostalgia. It took place shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to turn the entire world upside down and into the Zoom realm.
Marking the silver anniversary of the event, the NEC’s highlights this year included incomparable networking opportunities, a special conversation with former President George W. Bush, an up-close look at our 1,000+-horsepower Flex Fuel Jeep Wrangler, and a terrific set of panels, presentations and speakers.
Even in April or May, had we been asked, we would never have guessed how long the pandemic would last, and that the show, which routinely draws close to 1,000 participants, would need to be digital in 2021. In the days ahead, we will be announcing the schedule and the registration kickoff for the event, and while we may not be face-to-face in San Diego, the digital event has unique benefits.
Going digital, we have the opportunity for many more people to take part in this conference. With travel needs out of the way, the overall cost (as well as the registration fee itself) will be greatly reduced, and attendees can take part in the NEC wherever they are, in their office or working from home. They also will be able to enjoy it live or on-demand as their schedule permits.
We’re also spreading out the schedule over three days. You can get a sense of how it will flow here, leaving time for attendees to manage their business affairs without being stuck in front of a screen all day long. No one wants that.
Finally, going digital will allow us to bring in some high-level speakers who may not be able to otherwise travel for the meeting. We’re especially excited about the opportunity for a larger number of international speakers and attendees. Technology will help us give our customers the experience they have come to appreciate, and perhaps alter how we convey content in years to come
Stay tuned for more details. We look forward to having you at our next National Ethanol Conference!