We Ranked the Biggest Influencers at the World’s Largest Water Conference

24 Sep 2018  |  Reese Tisdale

WEFTEC 2018 in New Orleans­– the world’s largest annual water conference– is fast approaching (30 September- 3 October), and Bluefield Research has been preparing to address critical questions facing clients, companies, and the industry as a whole.

Bluefield’s team of water experts has been doing its own analysis– as we like to do– on the key themes and topics to be discussed among the +32,000 conference and tradeshow attendees.  We analyzed the more than 856 planned presentations and 2,307 authors and co-authors to identify the movers and shakers: who is presenting, which people and companies are most represented, and what will be discussed?

“We analyzed the 856 presentations and 2,307 authors and co-authors to identify the movers and shakers…”

One thing that stands out in Bluefield’s deep dive analysis is the roster of companies shaping the messaging during the three-day conference. The impact could be significant and not to be overlooked this year– and going forward– by business development and marketing teams, particularly given the conference scale and increasing strategic interest in the municipal water & wastewater infrastructure.

Competition across the sector is growing, whether it be among established players or outsiders looking in, so staying ahead of the trends and on top of industry themes is even more important. Five takeaways from our upfront analysis and preparation include:

1.     Top 25 companies are presenting in 36% of all of the proceedings. For a highly fragmented market, a select few control the messaging.   

2.    Engineering firms control the messaging. 16 of the top 25 companies ranked are engineering firms, most of which are play pivotal roles in municipal water and wastewater utility decision-making.

3.    Brown and Caldwell ranks no. 1 as the biggest influencer this year. The California-based company (and its employees) have authored and co-authored 81 presentations– they are delivering 39 presentations. The firm represents 12% of the 314 presentations delivered by top 25 company employees.

4.    As expected, technology topics dominates the discussion. Our analysis shows 74% of presentations are focused on technical applications. In contrast, business model strategies and economics make up 7% and 5%, respectively, of the total.

5.    Seniority does not guarantee influence. According to our analysis, 34% and 19% of the authors/co-authors are Technicians/Engineers/Scientists and Manager/Associates, respectively. C-level executives make up 24%.

Where does Bluefield fit in?

Companies approaching water as a business are often challenged by a lack of high quality, reliable intelligence to form stronger business decisions. Our team will be meeting with clients and speaking at corporate dinners to share our unique insights on our expanding portfolio of water, wastewater, stormwater, and digital market opportunities in the municipal and industrial sectors.

At the forefront of our discussions, which are driven by client interests will be: digital waterwastewater reuse, decentralized treatment, alternative wastewater revenue streams, and data. Our meetings on these topics will happen, while the lion’s share of WEFTEC presentations focus on technology and their applications. We see sizing key markets, business model deployments, and strategies to overcome employee attrition and aging assets as some of the sector’s biggest challenges and critical to improving municipal and industrial water and wastewater infrastructure.

For this reason, executives and marketing teams from companies across the industry value chain– including the ranked engineering firms and vendors– rely on Bluefield’s suite of industry-specific research services to address critical questions, strengthen strategic planning, and see beyond the traditional technology analysis.

Take advantage of the time and meet with Bluefield. 

Members of our team will be in New Orleans on 1-3 October and would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and your colleagues. Our schedule is filling up, so contact us as soon as possible to secure a spot on our calendar. You can always contact us here to set up a meeting.