Making the Most of Your MES Experience

MES session

In just a few short days, the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference will return to the Marriott Magnificent Mile in Chicago for its 22nd anniversary as the region’s premier event for all things energy efficiency. With anticipated record attendance numbers and three days jam-packed with educational and networking opportunities, this year’s MES is sure to be one for the books. As a newcomer to both the conference and the EE industry, I connected with veteran MEEA staff and members to get answers to the need-to-know questions surrounding all things MES. Whether this is your first MES, or you’ve been here since the beginning, here are some tips to make the most of your conference experience.  

Personalize Your Agenda:

With a schedule stacked with interesting presentations delivered by experts from all over the industry, it’s easy to feel pulled in several directions or be unsure of what to prioritize. Be sure to attend the opening remarks and keynote address on Tuesday, and don’t miss the plenary sessions. These events help to frame the topics of the day and get everyone ready for a day full of learning and connecting. For all presentations, be sure to show up early to get the best seats! If you miss something, don’t worry. The presentations will be shared after the conference. 


This year’s MES is projected to be by far the largest, so you’re guaranteed to make at least a few new acquaintances. Challenge yourself to talk to as many attendees as possible – look for pins that say, “First Time @ MES” or “MES Pro” and use that as a launching point to introduce yourself to someone new. Download the MES Conference App to see who else is attending and reach out to people ahead of time to schedule coffee or dinner chats (view MEEA staff’s dining recommendations in the app!). Take advantage of the receptions and the MEEA Nightcap on Wednesday to catch up and unwind with old and new friends. And of course, be sure to pack plenty of business cards before you head to Chicago.  

Preparing for the Conference:

While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, it is important that you stay hydrated, caffeinated, nourished and comfortable through the long days. Bring a water bottle with you to refill at the water fountains around the hotel and be sure to note nearby coffee shops. Chicago is a world-renowned city with a lot to offer. Bring comfortable walking shoes and layers to protect against the weather as you go explore the city. 

These are the most important tips and tricks to have an excellent conference experience. Still have questions? Download the MES app and visit the conference website for all the MES resources you need. See you in Chicago!