Independent Study Reveals Challenges Facing Utility Trade Conferences

Survey ranks relevant peer-information exchange as most coveted event takeaway

ATLANTA, November 2, 2011 – Results issued today from a study by The McDonnell Group measuring North American utility professionals’ attitudes on the value of industry conferences and exhibitions indicate possible contraction of conference schedules in the years ahead.

The McDonnell Group was commissioned by leading conference organizers to survey veteran utility professionals about the conferences they attended each year and what influenced their choice to attend those conferences.

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Independent Survey Seeks Attendee Input On Utility Conferences and Events

UPDATE: As of  September 9, 2011 this survey has responses from 8 of the 10 largest investor owned utilities and 4 of the 8 largest publicly owned utilities in the United States. Please join them today at the link below to help leading conference and event organizers work to better serve the needs of our industry . By participating you will gain access to the research results to help shape your own plans in light of the plans and benchmarked perspectives of your peers. Only utilities who participate in this survey will gain access to the detailed results. The McDonnell Group's research division is completing this research at cost to support the industry, and this effort is sponsored by over a half dozen sponsoring and supporting organizations. The report will not be packaged and sold after the research is complete, and individual utility replies will be confidential in keeping with the research double blind confidential protocol. Thanks for taking 10 minutes today to help us maximize representation from end utility staff during the month of September. 

ATLANTA – Aug. 17, 2011 - Which annual utility industry conferences and events offer the most value?  What factors influence attendance at a given trade show?  Is there any way to improve conference agendas?

These are some the questions researchers hope to answer from a new industry sponsored survey analyzing the viewpoints of utility professionals who attend conferences and events held each year.  The online survey is open to all end utility executives and all end utility staff (ISOs, IOUs, municipals, cooperatives, etc.) who attended a North American industry event in the past 24 months.

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Smart grid market research and public relations firm The McDonnell Group is conducting this independent study and will provide a final report based on survey results to all respondents. 

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Survey: Majority of Electric Utilities Say IT/OT Integration Important for Ensuring Reliability of Critical Assets

Real-time maintenance strategies seen as key to achieving asset health goals

ATLANTA – July 12, 2011 – A survey of senior executives, IT managers, and engineering decision-makers drawn from the top 100  North American utilities concludes that advanced operations and maintenance strategies for critical infrastructure are at or near the top of their key priorities for ensuring future reliability and regulatory compliance.

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Survey details are included in a new study released today, Optimizing Deployment of Next Generation Maintenance Strategies. The study focused on maintenance practices in substations in electric transmission and distribution systems. One study goal was to examine whether the convergence of lower cost monitoring devices and communication technologies provides an opportunity for utilities to expand online monitoring of distributed assets. The study was prepared by smart grid research and public relations specialist The McDonnell Group and commissioned by Ventyx, an ABB company.

Interviews sought participants’ opinions about current maintenance practices and what approaches they felt were necessary to achieve optimal asset health.  According to McDonnell Group principal strategy consultant Peter Manos, asset health optimization strategies were seen by many respondents as having great potential to manage future costs.

Said Manos, “There was strong agreement that real-time awareness of asset health, coupled with the right business intelligence and engineering tools, can form the basis for significant decision-making improvements in overall operations and maintenance and capital expenditures.  Virtually all respondents believed that eliminating organizational and technical boundaries between information and operational technologies (IT/OT) is imperative for reaching this level of awareness so they can manage asset costs in the years ahead.  I expect we’ll see most utilities gradually adopting asset health as a risk assessment strategy in the next several years.”

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Energy Technology Veteran Paige Besson Joins The McDonnell Group’s Advisory Board

ATLANTA – May 10, 2011 – The McDonnell Group, Inc., an Atlanta-based agency delivering energy and technology focused marketing services, has announced that Paige Besson has joined its reference advisory board.  Founded in 2005, The McDonnell Group, Inc. has experienced consistently strong growth across its three divisions that provide strategy consulting, proprietary research, and retained public relations services.

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Sensus Names The McDonnell Group PR Agency of Record

ATLANTA – May 3, 2011 – Smart grid public relations specialists The McDonnell Group (TMG) today announced that it has been named agency of record by Sensus USA Inc. (Sensus), for its electric utility public relations program. Sensus is a leader in secure wireless utility communications platforms and meters for electric, water and gas utilities.

The McDonnell Group will provide strategic business-to-business communications and media relations services for the electric smart grid offering of Raleigh-based Sensus (www.sensus.com) that includes the advanced metering infrastructure and distribution automation products anchored by its FlexNet™ wireless network solution.

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