March 12-14, 2013. With the national debate on immigration hotting up, border security is one topical issue, and the state of Arizona is a place where the debate is particularly animated. The big theme this year was “Disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations”. Pictures of drones were prominent on many displays, which was a potent clue to how a lot of the “disrupting” is likely to be approached. Teams of experts were on hand — former law enforcement and government officials, as well as industry veterans, who volunteer on advisory boards and direct conference agendas. This organization aggregates information, intelligence and knowledge, and then expertly creates superior, relevant and timely conferences that attract thousands of law enforcement professionals. One session was titled “A Multi-layered Approach Case Study: Southwest Border Operational Coordination of Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement”. If only transnational criminal organizations could be ‘coordinated’ as easily…
February 20-22, 2013. AUSA is the Association of the United States Army, and it works to support all aspects of national security while advancing the interests of America’s Army and the men and women who serve. AUSA welcomes anyone who subscribes to the philosophy of a strong national defense with special concern for the Army. Community businesses and defense industry companies are also welcome to join. The association supports America’s Army – Active, National Guard, Reserve, Civilians, Retirees, Government Civilians, Wounded Warriors, Veterans, and their family members. It also provides numerous Professional Development Opportunities at a variety of events both local and national. AUSA has 125 chapters located worldwide, made up entirely of volunteers, and these provide recreational and educational opportunities to soldiers. Most importantly, they support deployed soldiers and the families they leave behind while on active duty or training. Ten-hut!
January 25-27, 2013. MMA is the Massachusetts Municipal Association, a membership association representing the interests of the cities and towns of Massachusetts. The MMA Annual Meeting and Trade Show is the largest regular gathering of Massachusetts local government officials. This year’s theme was “Pathways to Progress and Prosperity: Local Leaders Look Ahead”. In addition to 20 topical workshops, the 2013 meeting introduced a new feature: discussion forums on key Emerging Issues. Issues like: Housing That Works: The Importance of Housing in Economic Competitiveness; Municipal Human Services: Helping All Ages Together; The Municipal Unemployment Insurance System: What You Need to Know; Cultivating Development: Strategies and Tools to Leverage Economic Assets; Moving Toward a Sustainable Transportation System; and Lighten Up! An Overview of New Regulations for Electronic Billboards. Does the MMA really need its name in lights?
January 29-31, 2013. Apparently more than 150,000 Military and Civilian Government Personnel live and/or work within 35 miles of the West 2013 show location. Co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, West 2013 is the largest event on the West Coast for communications, electronics, intelligence, information systems, imaging, military weapon systems, aviation, shipbuilding, and more. Delegates get an opportunity to engage the military and industry leaders who are designating warfighting strategies and operational platforms. The PlugFest meeting space was a dynamic area on the exhibit floor that highlighted the Rapid Integration Innovation Process (RI2P), and demonstrated to government decision-makers the best practices when sourcing open standard solutions. Industry, academia, and government all had an opportunity to showcase their collaborative efforts, and exchange views. Views? So where’s the viewfinder on this thing…?
July 13-17, 2012. NACo stands for the National Association of Counties. NACo’s Annual Conference and Exposition provided an opportunity for all county leaders and staff to learn, network and guide the direction of the association. The Annual Conference is hosted each year by a member county. This year, the conference was held in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The Annual Conference provides county officials with an opportunity to vote on NACo’s policies related to federal legislation and regulation; to elect officers; network with colleagues; learn about innovative county programs; find out about issues impacting counties across the country; and view products and services from participating companies and exhibitors. Okay, all together now: ”I am a lineman for the county….”
Aug. 18-22, 2012. NIGP tells us it is the largest North American educational conference exclusively for individuals in Public Purchasing. Highlighted exhibits included office furniture and equipment, recreational facilities, computer hardware and software, maintenance, security and communications. From one keynoter, attendees learned about Negotiating in Turbulent Times, a series of innovative techniques for creating an atmosphere of fairness and trust with suppliers and stakeholders, without sacrificing the need to achieve specific objectives. Emphasis was on developing “negotiation consciousness,” the value of listening as a negotiation tool, adhering to ethical problem solving, and dealing with supplier tactics. Another speaker discussed how governments at all levels are fundamentally rethinking how they serve their citizens, with more entities making commitments to change the lack of transparency and accountability in their agencies. Transparency? We see right through it…
Aug. 6-9, 2012. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVSI) is the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. AUVSI’s nearly 7,000 members worldwide came from government organizations, industry and academia. With more than 8,000 attendees and 500+ exhibitors from more than 40 countries, AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America is recognized as the leading event for the unmanned systems marketplace. the premier forum for reviewing, assessing and discussing the current state of the unmanned systems market. The event brought together the key leaders and decision-makers in the industry. Officials from government and user organizations around the world attend and participate in the symposium program. A move to make this a robots-only event was roundly defeated…
Editor’s Note: Check out some pictures we snapped while at AUVSI including our speaker’s corner.