Virtual Reality: The Power of Resiliency

  • 29 January 2021
  • Author: Sari Maritzer
  • Number of views: 759
Virtual Reality: The Power of Resiliency

The Power of Resiliency was this year’s theme for the EDA’s annual Electricity Distribution Information Systems and Technology Conference and Exhibition (EDIST) because, in these extraordinary times, local utility companies in Ontario continued to deliver safe and reliable electricity. The resiliency that these utilities demonstrate is supported by constantly evolving information systems and technology, allowing them to provide better value for customers.

As one of the EDA’s largest events, we had a successful virtual conference this year, with almost 400 participants. EDIST was, for the first time, launched in a virtual platform, and the team at the EDA worked hard to create an immersive virtual experience where our members, exhibitors and presenters could all connect. COVID-19 has posed some challenges, but the EDA used the opportunity to “think outside the box” to bring EDIST 2021 right to the comfort of your home. If you had the chance to attend this year’s virtual conference and exhibition, you experienced some informative and engaging sessions as well as a few fun surprises too.

The EDA was able to bring both utilities and innovation together with a broad range of electrification topics – all demonstrating that Ontario’s local hydro utilities are innovating for the customers they serve. EDIST hosted over 23 informative sessions, with multiple sessions happening concurrently. The platform’s capabilities allowed attendees to visit those sessions, at the same time, for a similar experience you would have had at past events. You also had the chance to visit 50 cutting edge exhibitors and chat with them live, navigate their booth, download some fun swag – even join them in a live speed networking event. Right from the convenience on your computer. There were over 43 experts that presented on various electrification topics about electric vehicles, grid technology, distributed energy resources (DERS), cyber security, energy storage and unique utility services and partnerships, including a presentation by Cara Clairman from Plug’n Drive on harnessing electric vehicle batteries.

If you have attended EDIST in-person in past years, you might also recall some of the fun opportunities made available from networking, prize give-a-ways, casino night and more. This year, despite not being able to come together in person, the EDIST committee got creative to include virtual fun, including a scavenger hunt, leaderboard challenge, prizes, a Zoom social jam session, as well as a live photo mosaic where attendees were able to take selfies from their phone and upload to a virtual collage of the event.

EDIST participants continue to have unlimited access to the virtual event space for 30 days post-event, plus the ability to easily download any materials for future use or training. All on-demand content is available at edist.ca.

A Big Round of Applause
The EDA would like to thank all EDIST sponsors whose generous contributions made this virtual event an outstanding success this year. We were thrilled to have the support of:

  • Our Platinum Sponsor – OEC
  • Gold Sponsor – JOMAR Innovative Software
  • Silver Sponsors – S&C, ABB, Hexagon, Black & McDonald, FNX INNOV, A&W High Voltage, ERTH Corporation and WSP

What’s Next?
Mark your calendars for a topical discussion and a learning opportunity at the EDA’s Safety Webinar happening on March 23, plus many more events planned for 2021. Visit the events page of the EDA website for all registration and event details.


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