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Four things you need to know about the BCEA's LINK Conference

Image of Pacific Gateway Hotel Vancouver Airport at dusk

November 13 and 14 event in Richmond a feast of networking and ideas

What's the BC Electrical Association's LINK Conference [PDF] all about? It's a chance to listen to big brains dishing on everything from leadership and relationship building, to electrification, energy trading, and emerging technologies. It's also about meeting – face to face – with BC Hydro, manufacturers, and distributors.

Those who attended last year's event rated it an average of 8.5 stars out of 10. Here are four things you need to know about the 2019 event.

1. There are one- and two-day options for the event

The Pacific Gateway Hotel, located near Vancouver International Airport, is the site of the two-day event. A block of rooms (two double beds or a queen) are available for $169 per night through October 18. Book early to also take advantage of complimentary parking during the event, and airport shuttle is included in the room price.

The fee for the full two-day experience is $550 for BCEA members and $650 for non-members, but there are several other options. A one-day pass will cost you $325/$350, you can attend the cocktail reception only for $50/$75, or you can attend the Relationship Building workshop for $100/$125.

2. The conference isn't just for manufacturers and distributors

While almost three out of four who attended last year's LINK conference were manufacturers or distributors, the two days can be invaluable to the likes of engineering consultants and electrical contractors. There are also a growing number of Alliance members at the event.

"It's a great place for those consultants looking for specific products and solutions for their customers," says BC Hydro's Michael Travers, who's a member of the BCEA board. "They're able to connect with people in the industry to get the details on different products and to discover what's new."

That's where the conference's networking sessions – held after lunch both days – come in. Attendees are able to book 25-minute meetings in advance, and there are five-minute breaks to get from one meeting to the next.

3. There's something for everyone in the roster of featured speakers

"The mixing of networking and education really works," says BC Hydro's Travers. "The speaker topics are about broader issues for the industry. You're not getting deep into specific product knowledge. There are many opportunities to do that, but the main sessions keep things at a broader level."

This year's topics – all held before lunch to open the afternoons up to networking – include the following:

  • Building resilience (Dr. Rumeet Billan, former TEDx speaker and award-winning learning architect and author.
  • Energy trading (Brian Moghadam, who leads business development at Powerex, the energy marketing arm of BC Hydro.
  • Recruiting challenges (Matthew Heiydt, founder/president of Backstretch Recruitment Group)
  • The economy and B.C. (Dave Mitchell, regional managing partner of MNP's Assurance and Accounting Services group in B.C.'s Lower Mainland).
  • Emerging technologies
  • Electrification report (Swati Patel, assurance partner, retail and consumer, PwC Canada
  • Public speaking and partnerships interactive session (Lydia Miller, of Miller Touch Training)

4. You can book meeting rooms for a fee, or use a free open-concept option

For those who want the privacy and space for more in-depth meetings, a limited number of rooms are available at $250 a day. For most who attend the conference, the free table option – with seating for up to six – is popular and provides some privacy via pipes and drapes. There's also an option to book a larger parlour suite, with meeting space for 4-to-5, that doubles as your accommodation at $269 a night.

Once you register, you can submit a list of meeting requests. Organizers will get back to you by the end of October, as meetings are organized as 25-minute sessions with five minutes between sessions.

Get more information on the 2019 LINK Conference [PDF]