February 26-28, 2013. The AFCEA Homeland Security Conference tells us it’s about “Working together and keeping the nation safe”. The show offers an opportunity to engage with key Government and Industry leaders on critical Homeland Security matters. These included Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure Protection, Biometrics/Identity Management, Information and Intelligence Sharing, Emergency Management, Mobile Communications, plus Training, Modeling and Simulation. All too often, we heard, cyber and physical protection are considered separately, when really they go hand-in-hand. The conference opened with a half-day of conversation about hackers, terrorists and natural disasters, and addressed concerns involving both physical infrastructure and the cyber environment for all kinds of attacks, be they physical, virtual or even natural in origin. So now we have to worry about hurricanes hacking into our computer networks…?
January 4-6, 2013. The American Economic Association (AEA) gets its members from business and professional groups. The main focus is the encouragement of economic research, especially the historical and statistical study of “the actual conditions of industrial life”. Membership is around 18,000, over half of whom are academics; about 15% are employed in business and industry, and the remainder work largely for federal, state, and local government, or other not-for-profit organizations. Once composed primarily of college and university teachers of economics, the association now attracts an increasing number of members from business and professional groups. AEA, in conjunction with over 50 associations in related disciplines, holds its three-day meeting to present papers on general economic subjects. About 500 scholarly sessions are held each year. “The actual conditions of industrial life” these days are not all positive, so there was lots to talk about…
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. 6-9, 2012. NCSL is the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. NCSL is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of state governments before Congress and federal agencies. The arcane arts of so-called gerrymandering also get covered. NCSL tracks election results and party composition of legislatures, providing 50-state research and analysis on how states run elections and govern campaigns. NCSL’s redistricting resources are comprehensive and cover redistricting law, process and technology. Now, you say you want a district shaped like a spoon…?
June 26-28, 2012. Successful trade shows don’t just happen, we were told, they evolve. Since The Police Security “Supershow” began in 1987, the Police Security Expo earned the reputation of being “the nation’s largest showcase of Goods, Products & Services, in all price ranges, designed for all Law Enforcement, Security, Government, Safety, First-Responder and Homeland Security Professionals”. (Here in law-enforcement land, you quickly learn that, if a thing’s worth saying, It’s Worth Saying in Capital Letters). Products on display ranged from the common flashlight to items such as uniforms, transport vehicles, forcible entry tools, weapons, crime scene investigation aids, wireless services, digital cameras, warning lights, surveillance products, bullet proof vests, computers and more. Hey, over there, isn’t that Dexter Morgan, aka The Bay Harbor Butcher, hiding in plain sight….?
Nov. 30 – Dec. 01, 2011. This conference and exposition is where “Government Professionals Find Green Solutions”, in areas as diverse as energy, transportation, conservation, facilities and spinach soup. Actually we made that last one up. Attendance was free for government and military professionals, who could “gain a valuable overview of the sustainability requirements mandated for every agency and program”, not to mention “learning best practice from successful green leaders across civilian and military agencies as well as the private sector”. Washington was just the place for this since, surprisingly, it’s “where 70% of all federal government and military executives work”. Green leaders? They’re the ones eating the spinach soup.