Unconventional Facts About Conventions: Democratic Convention

DNCWe continue our look at interesting facts about conventions past and present. The Democrats are the focus of today’s post, with their convention slated for July 25-27 in Philadelphia, PA.

While the Democratic candidates’ delegate counts heading into the conventions may not be as close as the Republicans’, a nominee still needs to have at least 2,383 delegates out of 4,765 to secure the nomination. What gets a bit complicated is the Democratic Party’s use of superdelgates, as they are not bound to align their votes with the outcome of a state’s primary or caucus. While this seems counter intuitive to the democratic process, it actually falls in line with what the founding fathers envisioned. The Constitution originally allowed only state legislatures to elect U.S. senators until passage of the 17th Amendment. This was seen as part of our system of checks and balances to protect against votes of the “uneducated masses.”  Continue reading

Unconventional Facts About Conventions: Republican Convention

GOPThe 2016 Democratic and Republican conventions look to be full of drama and historical significance. With the wild election cycle this year, we were inspired to look beyond the basics and find some interesting facts about how these conventions are organized and how they run.

Cleveland and Philadelphia will play host to the Republicans and Democrats respectively. For host cities, besides the revenue brought in by the influx of conventioneers, the convention provides an opportunity to highlight what their town has to offer to an international audience. Selection committees look at a number of factors when choosing host cities including available venues and infrastructure. In fact, Baltimore hosted many of the early conventions because it was an accessible port on the eastern seaboard. With the arrival of the transcontinental railroad system, the Midwest became a more viable location and has remained popular. In fact, Chicago has hosted Democratic and Republican conventions 25 times – more than any other city. Continue reading

How Venues are Changing to Meet Event Needs

bellEach day there is a new article out talking about how the meeting and event industry is changing. From use of social media, to the growth of virtual events, to attendee and sponsor budget constraints, the meetings industry has embraced change as the new normal. As part of the industry, hotels and event venues are also making some changes in what they offer to event planners and attendees.

Below we share some of the more interesting changes or enhancements venues are making to entice planners and attendees alike. 

  • Social Media Manager – The Hilton Anatole Hotel, near downtown Dallas, TX is offering a social media manager to support the social media efforts of event organizers. At the Hilton, this role includes doing social media for the property as well as providing social media strategy and tools to people using the property for events.
  • Light – This may seem like a really minor thing, but traditionally natural light has been hard to come by for events. Windowless ballrooms may be great for projecting to screens, but as events veer towards more collaborative sessions rather than power point- heavy presentations, the use of natural light becomes logistically desirable. New facilities are building meeting spaces with views that can inspire creativity or at the very least help attendees better gauge what time it is.
  • Wellness – Hotels are offering more healthy and sustainable catering options including more spa-like food and drink choices. Water stations are being set up rather than offering all attendees bottled waters. Event planners can also add on extra perks for guests like the “Sleep Advantage Program” at the Crowne Aire Plaza in Bloomington, MN which offers upgraded bedding and aromatherapy kits for guests.
  • Technology – The network capacity of a venue is quickly becoming a discriminating factor. Hotels and conference centers alike are upgrading their technology infrastructure to offer fast WiFi that can accommodate all attendees using it on multiple devices.
  • Flexible Spaces – Venues need to offer more than a massive room to house attendees for keynote presentations. More and more hotels and conference centers are taking care to build in smaller spaces designed to facilitate collaboration and small group discussion.

We’d love to hear from you what are some of the newer amenities you see offered by venues? How are they impacting where you hold events?

Defense in Depth: A Look at Defense Industry Events

defenseWhile the defense community is well acquainted with meeting and defeating big challenges, the dynamic nature of the cyber world is proving to be a daunting adversary for our military. From arming soldiers at the tip of the spear not only with weapons but also with data to fending off threats to cyber networks, defense professionals are in a constant learning mode while being on constant alert.

At GovEvents we are proud to be the defense community’s one-stop-shop for finding training and networking events. We hope that our site takes some of the strain of this new tech frontier off their shoulders.

In this post we want to highlight some of the key events coming up for defense professionals through the end of the year.

Continue reading

The Complexities of Government Acquisition

AcquisitionAcquisition – it’s a complex topic for the government market. Private sector companies must navigate a complex system to make their solutions and services available to government customers. Federal acquisition professionals are working to ease this process and adapt decades old policies to meet the needs of modern technology buys such as cloud and as-a-service offerings. There are also new mandates and government-wide policies like FITARA that IT and procurement personnel have to understand and comply with.  Add to this the fact that the acquisition workforce is in an incredible state of turnover with older professionals retiring and new ones coming in without the guidance of procurement veterans.

The ACQUIRE Conference and Expo that took place in June in Washington, DC was designed to help government agencies create, manage, and run successful programs. The conference program offered federal agency-led training sessions, and government & industry thought leadership panels and keynotes. At the event, the Professional Services Council (PSC) issued their biennial Acquisition Policy Survey that more definitively outlined the challenges detailed above. Some of the findings included: Continue reading