July 2018

By Rita Clary, Technical Assistant 

When It’s Time for the Annual Conference

to Begin, Someone Just Punches 


and Everything Swings Into Smooth


(yea, sure!) 

ities and water districts in Kansas have a real benefit.

Where else can people go to learn about water and

wastewater utility operations

and management, see products and

services, meet with agencies and

make many new friends? It's the

annual conference and exhibition

sponsored by Kansas Rural Water


I wanted to take this opportunity

to recap highlites of what amounts

to a plethora of details – things that

many people cannot even imagine –

like which stagehand is going to be

at the elevator to help move the

carnival trailers in, or what time is

the outside banner to be hung to the

number of place settings for every

meal and the route through buffet

lines. In an nutshell, the KRWA

conference strives to have

something going all the time for

anyone and everyone – and it's all 

programmed to happen on a

schedule down to the number of tables,

electrical services and meal counts that

have to be guaranteed well in advance of

any food preparation. 

This year I volunteered to help prepare the theme

decorations “Weathering all Storms”. I arrived on the

Saturday prior to the conference. I watched and guided

stagehands who have to be contracted to hang the many

umbrellas and banners in EXPO Hall. The 260 umbrellas

were loaned to KRWA by the city of Atchison and the

banners were one of Elmer's ideas from first use of EXPO

Hall by KRWA. 

But the real preparations go on nearly year round. As soon

as the conference is over, Assistant General Manager Greg

Duryea has already prepared a “thank you!” to exhibitors;

booth reservation forms are available and typically within a

month after one conference, more than half the spaces are

already reserved for the next year.

By sometime in August or early September, arrangements

are made with a keynote speaker or other special invitation.

In late September, several staff meet at the KRWA office to

develop the training session topics. There are 58 different

sessions. Staff work together to contact various presenters.

Large units such as this trailer filled with electr

onic equipment

are moved in before carpet goes do


EXPO Hall covers 93,000 squar

e feet which is

fully carpeted for the conference. This phot


shows early stages of setup.

“Weathering All Storms” incorporated

umbrellas with banners in EXPO Hall.