TEC Plans a Return to In-Person Conferences

June 2, 2021

Fifteen months since TEC’s last in-person conference was ended a day early by the COVID-19 pandemic, the association is preparing to bring co-op employees from across Texas together again under one roof—safely.

The 15th annual TEC Information Technology Conference & Exhibit Show will be held June 28–30 in San Marcos. It’ll be the first TEC event of its kind to be held with all attendees in the same room since the TEC Loss Control Conference, March 10–12, 2020, was scuttled by the virus. All conferences since have been online-only experiences with attendees separated by hundreds of miles.

At the IT Conference, the expected 25–35 attendees and 10–15 vendors will be separated by mere feet—and face masks instead of computer screens—as safety measures remain in place to keep folks safe.

“After discussions with the TEC Board of Directors about the availability of vaccines in Texas and a year’s worth of shared knowledge about effective and easy-to-follow safety measures, such as masks and social distancing, we believe we can host an in-person event that prioritizes the safety of all attendees, TEC staff and hotel employees,” said Martin Bevins, vice president of communications and member services.

The TEC Annual Meeting, Aug. 1–4 at the Fairmont hotel in Austin, will also be an in-person event but will be livestreamed in its entirety for folks who don’t make the trip. The association will limit attendance for the event to four people per co-op, and distancing measures will remain in place to ensure the safety of all.

“As we ease back into in-person conferences, things may temporarily look a little different,” Bevins said. “We’ll need to manage attendance and meal functions based on hotel requirements and available space, but even with the restrictions, we are really looking forward to connecting again in person with our members.”

Amid the pandemic TEC’s education and training team pivoted to producing digital events that drew rave reviews and big attendance, but Renee Troup, conference manager, said her team is eager to get back to the stages, seats and smiles that have traditionally underpinned TEC’s conferences.

“Nothing beats in-person learning and networking—especially after a year of screen-only events,” Troup said. “I’m incredibly proud to be a part of this team that created entirely new offerings for our membership. We’ve learned a great deal throughout the pandemic but namely that being adaptable is crucial and that life is always going to have a new curveball to throw your way.”