3 Things I Loved About WaterSmart Innovations Conference

Pat Mulroy, General Manager of Southern Nevada Water Authority Pat Mulroy, General Manager of Southern Nevada Water AuthorityAlan Harris demonstrating the finer points of LinkedIn Alan Harris demonstrating the finer points of LinkedInCirque du Soleil performers Cirque du Soleil performers

Social Media at WaterSmart Innovations

As soon as I saw the new mobile app for the WaterSmart Innovations Conference I knew this year Doug Bennett and his team stepped up their efforts in technology and social media.  The conference has always done a good job promoting themselves with Social Media, but this year was much better.

There were two sessions about Social Media and a workshop teaching Social Media during the week.  Southern Nevada Water Authority placed five 50 inch displays around the conference so attendees could see various tweets shared with the hashtag #WSI2013.  There were approximately 40 active twitter accounts sharing the key note address, sessions, interviews, #landscapechat and fun.  During one hour of #landscapechat on Wednesday with Marquette University Professor Young of H2oScore and Pat Mulroy from Southern Nevada Water Authority we reached 81,000 followers in an hour.  This was followed by and interview with Gabi H2O, a rappin camel out of London who teaches kids the value of water.  He was followed by Mary Ann Dickinson, the head of Alliance for Water Efficiency.  You can still see all the tweets from the conference by searching #WSI2013 on twitter.

Alliance for Water Efficiency also had a “Show Us Your Sheep” photo contest to win a Never Waste starter pack.  We can clone sheep but we can’t clone water.  Attendees were encouraged to take a picture of their Never Waste bottle or Never Waste sheet and upload it to Twitter, Instagram or their Facebook page with the #showusyoursheep and # WSI 2013.  This contest was an excellent example of a way to increase water savings awareness while having some fun.

Variety of Sessions at WaterSmart Innovations

This year 114 sessions were offered from Using Big Data to Predict Big Alternative Landscape Irrigation Savings to Turf Replacement Incentive Programs.   The variety of sessions was amazing and the 30 minute format works really well.  You have an opportunity to hear about many different subjects in a short period of time and if you want additional specifics the presenters are always helpful about providing more.  In a few days you can hear about many various advancements in water management.  I don’t know of another conference where you can learn so much in so little time.  A copy of all the presentation slides can be found here. 

Synergy of Attendees at WaterSmart Innovations

I entered the networking session a little after 5:00 pm on Thursday and was overwhelmed at the number of people attending.  This event was held in the Watersmart Innovations expo hall and you had to really raise your voice to be heard.  It was great to see so many people so excited about sharing information about water conservation.  This wasn’t the only time you could observe the energy.  For the entire week you could go anywhere in the hotel and find several people engaged in meaningful discussions about how to save water.  The value of the synergy created from networking is invaluable.  Mike Gutierrez from the Urban Conservation Unit of Miami-Dade was getting lots of the networking opportunities on video and we can look forward to seeing the videos soon.

I can’t wait to see everyone at the conference again next year.  These are my three things I loved about the watersmart innovations conference and I hope you will take time to share with us in the comments section some of yours.

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Richard Restuccia

Richard Restuccia is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. As the Director for Water Management Solutions at ValleyCrest, Richard is our spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. Currently he serves on the Irrigation Association’s Board of Directors. As a board member, Richard serves in a variety of capacities, including government/public affairs. He is the liaison between the board and its marketing committee on the best ways to promote water efficiency and educate industry professionals on new technologies, products and services. Richard is also a regular contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine.


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  1. Tuesday, 1:03 Ginny Shaffer

    If Watersmart vendors and/or companies have any items with a conservation message, that they’d be willing to share with my school, we’d be able to reach multiple goals. I’m a reading specialist at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability in Durham, NC. We have a Positive Behaviors in Schools program where students can earn $partan dollars for…well, positive behaviors. They spend this money in our school store weekly. In the past, when I’ve gone to any conference, I’ve brought back “freebies” and the kids love to “buy” them in our store. Thanks for letting me “beg.” We learn it in Education 101:-)

  2. Wednesday, 5:42 Carol Ward-Morris

    WSI has consistently been an excellent event, and the SNWA team, partners, and sponsors somehow keep improving on it every year.

    There is so much going on that I always miss out on something I wish I could participate in, including the social media workshops. But the ValleyCrest team was generous in sharing social media strategies on and off the expo floor. Thanks for that!

    Looking forward to keeping in touch and keeping the conversation going through forums like this and #landscapechat. See everyone at #wsi2014!

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