The Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner hosted their biannual Climate Summit virtually for the first time with the help of Confluence Communications. The summit brought together over 1,000 viewers to the Commissioner's YouTube Channel on the Summit's day. Confluence turned a traditional in-person conference for historically 200 attendees into an interactive virtual event with pre-recorded and live components that attracted a broad audience of education, insurance industry constituents, and the general public.
The Confluence team delivered this revamped event in under 16 weeks, including planning, management and all design elements. The team developed and recorded all Summit sessions; day of event online management of live streaming; social and newsletter strategy and content, garnering over 1,000 new subscribers leading up to the event; and post/ follow-up conference activities and deliverables. Confluence Communications worked closely with the Climate Summit steering committee and ensured deliverables were met within the specified timeframe and budget.
This project is a cooperative research agreement with the project team, including Confluence communications, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Building Media, Inc., the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, Energy, and Environmental Building Alliance, and Lane Community College.
Our work starts with a key partner in Denver, Colorado, at the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, where the Confluence team will integrate energy efficiency and renewable energy information developed by DOE into certificate programs for high school, college, and continuing education students. This project will work to standardize a “national model” that can be integrated into education programs across the country. A key result of the program will be an online tool hosted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) that will allow easy access to curriculum and training content. The program will educate students on energy efficiency across the board and make visible and accessible more opportunities for the industry workers.
In 2019, Confluence began supporting Construction Instruction (Ci) and their Ci Live hands-on training program, focusing on the application of building science principles to build high performance homes and businesses. Hosted by three of the most respected building science educators in the industry, Ci Live is dedicated to meeting the needs of the building community. Confluence essentially acts as Ci’s in-house communications team, supporting all communications and social media efforts.
The Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare hosted the Colorado Child Welfare Conference for the first time in nearly 10 years. The conference brought together more than 800 child welfare system professionals from 64 counties in November, 2018 in Loveland, Colo.
Confluence was a turnkey event planning and management company for the conference, with only 8 weeks from start to successful delivery. This included planning all pre-event, onsite, and post/ follow-up conference activities and deliverables. Confluence Communications was the lead on everything related to the CCWC, and ensured deliverables were met within the specified timeframe and budget and are of the utmost quality.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. In 2018, DOE joined two student building design competitions into one new Solar Decathlon competition. The winners will be those teams that best blend architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart energy production. Simply put, there's nothing else like it.
Since 2013, Confluence Communications has been tasked with:
Executing the recruiting and management of volunteers to welcome and orchestrate over 60,000 visitors to the Solar Decathlon. In past, the Solar Decathlon was largely operated over two weeks by volunteer staff. Our team was responsible for recruiting, training, scheduling and coordinating the volunteer and docent staff to execute a world-class experience for visitors. This included 1,885 registered volunteers and 40 interns who contributed their time for over 2,291 shifts and 11,480 hours in total. In addition to being locally based, our volunteer program is so sought after that volunteers travel in from all over the globe to participate.
Managing and producing all special events for the Solar Decathlon in 2015 and 2017. This work included the all team meetings, ribbon cuttings, daily award contest announcements, special events and victory celebrations. In addition to speech writing, presentations and show flows, Confluence was charged with identifying vendors and acquiring all lighting, technical equipment and furnishings required in addition to hiring and managing event staff to execute events with high-level speakers and stakeholders.
For Solar Decathlon 2017, Confluence successfully managed all communications and outreach, stakeholder engagement, sponsorship, event and volunteer management, and project management in Denver, Colo. to host an event that drew 25,000 people over two long weekends.
In 2020-2021, Confluence was responsible for planning and implementing all public facing events for Solar Decathlon. Events originally planned were to be hosted on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in June-July 2020. Confluence fully planned these events, including logistics, programming, and negotiation with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, as the event was to be co-hosted with their annual event.
With the pandemic, events were replanned to be hosted in Denver, Colo. in April 2021. With the need to replan events (again) for April 2021, Confluence built the first-ever Solar Decathlon Virtual Village & Public Tour program. The project will allow the public to tour Solar Decathlon houses based on a tour of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This project creates an innovative new approach to public competition communications, and it will allow the client to adapt the “village” in future years to incorporate interactive events. Confluence is also hosting a variety of public events for attendees leading up to the (now virtual) competition weekend.
Additionally, Confluence’s Co-Founder and President has been a juror for Solar Decathlon Europe (Hungary), Solar Decathlon Africa (Morocco) and Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean (Columbia).
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Race to Zero Student Design Competition (Race to Zero) inspires collegiate students to become the next generation of building science professionals through a design challenge for zero energy ready homes. Since 2014, Confluence has proudly supported the growth of the Race to Zero, providing outreach and recruiting, sponsorship program development and management, communications, and event management support under contract to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Race to Zero has grown from a handful of sponsors and 40 registered teams in 2014 to 12 sponsors and more than 80 registered teams in 2018. Starting in 2019, Race to Zero is now known as the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge.
Since 2016, Confluence has supported Go Code Colorado by providing full-service communications, outreach, and event management support to the competition. Like many other community-based events in 2020, Go Code Colorado was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Confluence was tasked to shift gears and help define the future of the Business Intelligence Center and the Go Code Colorado Competition.
Confluence Communications updated Go Code Colorado to a virtual event that better serves competitors across the State; updated the existing Go Code Colorado branding and website while also creating a website and online presence for the Business Intelligence Center. These updates to the competition and broadening awareness of the Business Intelligence Center's efforts as a whole ensure engagement from a broader base of constituents and opportunities for fully-virtual participation, ensuring the longevity and durability of the office and their efforts.
The U.S. DOE Residential Buildings Integration (RBI) program is focused on improving the energy performance of our nation’s homes through research, development, and demonstration of innovative technologies, and model programs. Confluence has worked for the past decade to support a variety of program development, outreach and communications initiatives with RBI.
This work includes contribution to, and the development and implementation of outreach, stakeholder engagement, media, and communications strategies for Building America, and the Zero Energy Ready Homes Program (and its predecessor, the Builders Challenge and DOE Challenge Home programs).
Since 2008, Confluence has managed a series of technical communications events for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. DOE Building America Program. Over the last six years, this has included a half dozen public meetings with upwards of 300 registrants and extensive (75+ presenters), research planning and coordination meetings of 100 attendees or more, and smaller, more focused working groups. Since 2014, Confluence has supported the development and management of the Building America Webinar Series, which continues to get more than 200 attendees per webinar. This work has included strategy development and planning, development of all relevant communications materials, webinar logistics, training, hosting, and follow-up. The series will continue into 2016.
Content Creation and Production
Working with Hanley Wood University, Confluence Communications produces training curricula and provides full course development for American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education and USGBC/LEED Credits. Confluence Communications provides full service and high quality content creation and production of a wide variety of online courses based on specific building products, typically those with a “green” or sustainable aspect. The courses are taken by architects seeking to earn continuing education credits as well as builders and other industry professionals looking for information on new materials available in an ever changing market.
"For more than five years we have trusted Confluence Communications to provide outstanding educational and marketing material development services to both our internal team, and clients. One of the things we greatly appreciate about Confluence is their professional and courteous attitude towards maintaining a positive relationship with some of our most valued clients. We look forward to continuing our work with Confluence for years to come."
LEED Green Associate Education and Training Developer
Hanley Wood University
Multimedia Educational Content Creation and Production
Working with Building Media (BMI), Confluence Communications produces training curricula and provides multimedia communications material development, including complete course development, graphic production, voiceover, and presentation moderation. Confluence provides full service and high-quality content creation and production of a wide variety of online courses. The courses are taken by professionals as part of work requirements, or by those seeking to earn continuing education credits.
This work has included:
American Institute of Architects Continuing Education Units
Confluence has worked for a decade crafting articles, presentations, and online courses that qualify for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education Units (CEUs). These courses have covered every aspect of the commercial and residential building process including material specification, design, environmentally sensitive building approaches, and jobsite management. Specifically, Confluence has helped deliver specialized courses that satisfy Health Safety and Wellness (HSW) requirements, United States Green Building Council (USGBC) certification, and more. For examples of this work, visit AIA’s Resilience and Adaptation Online Certificate Program.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District First Responders Training
Working with industry partners and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Confluence helped create a training curriculum and online courses for first responders who encounter electrical equipment when on an emergency call. The courses were designed to offer need-to-know information to help police, EMTs and fire fighters understand the often-lethal dangers associated with electrical components such as transmission lines, downed power poles, and electrical fires.
International Code Council Active Shooter Training for Code Officials
Confluence helped develop training for local building code officials to help them understand the important role they can play in helping address active shooter events. Code officials may be asked to help provide building design information for first responders during an active shooter event, and material produced by Confluence was designed to help educate code officials on how to better serve their community before, during, and after a shooting event to better reduce loss of life and ultimately help prevent active shooter situations. For this highly sensitive material Confluence produced the content, course format and provided voice over narration.
Residential Energy Services Network HERS-H20 Educational Videos
To provide a general overview and introductory training for the newly launched Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) HERS-H20 rating index (an energy and water use rating system used in buildings), Confluence was tasked with developing content and structure for multi-module delivered via streaming video. For this task, Confluence was selected to develop 8 individual nano-courses to help inform and education HERS raters (and potential HERS raters) of the program, how it is administered, and overall benefits.
Unemployment Worker Training
Confluence produced a series of tutorials for the Oregon Employment Division, helping training workers on supporting unemployment claimants. These multi-media courses include design, animation, and voice-over narration.
Weatherizing America’s more than 115 million existing homes is a critical part of reducing our nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and creating healthier living environments for people. Recognizing this, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) allocated funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to significantly improve the performance of qualified low-income homes. Confluence Communications was proud to contribute to this process.
The State of Tennessee’s Higher Education Authority was provided funds through the 2009 ARRA funds to establish an aggressive training program specifically to support the Tennessee Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). This program helps low-income households reduce energy costs by providing assistance to weatherize their homes.
Confluence was charged with creating a full training curriculum that covered all aspects of the weatherization process, from the basics of building science to advanced building diagnostics. With only a 100-day deadline to meet, the project included over 35 individual training videos, study guides, and assessments.
Operated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in conjunction with guidance from the Clean Energy Ministerial, the U.N., and their partners and stakeholders, the Clean Energy Solutions Center offers live, free, live webinar trainings to a global audience a regarding clean energy solutions policies. From 2012-2015, Confluence managed the operation and reporting of these webinars which have audiences ranging from 15 to 500 attendees. With approximately 50 webinars each year, the recordings are now being offered on the Clean Energy Solutions Center YouTube Channel.
"We have worked with Confluence Communications for nearly two years as they have coordinated and executed our training webinars on clean energy policy. Webinar panelists hail from many countries around the globe and attendees can be up to several hundred people at a time."
Project Leader for the Clean Energy Solutions Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory