Names Have Power. Be Sure to Pick the Right One

The government market is not known for having catchy or memorable slogans. Job titles of executives routinely spread over two lines. Legislative actions are named as blandly as possible and then later nicknames are coined for easier pronunciation, quick recall or political branding. Look at how the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act became the Cheeseburger Bill and how the Affordable Care Act became Obamacare.

It's not surprising then that events for the government audience tend to follow these same naming patterns. While music lovers have Lollapalooza and entertainment fans have Comic Con, Federal workers attend Government Software Forums and Data Analysis for the New Threat Landscape. While these are important and serious topics, we'd like to challenge government meeting planners to come up with more creative naming conventions to drive interest and excitement around these critical topics.

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Break from the Norm: Unconventional Event Spaces

Last week we talked about when it is time to revisit the format of an annual event. If that post got you thinking, we're going to challenge you a bit to really make a dramatic change to your event by thinking of unconventional venues.

Earlier this year, we provided some ideas to get your events out of the ballroom. Then we read this article on the Event Manager blog and it got us thinking even more out of the box. While some of their suggestions may not be the best fit for the government-centric/professional development events (Food trucks in an urban parking lot, for example), it does provide some food for thought.

There is a certain well-known rotation of venues that the government community is used to. When your attendees know all of the secret parking areas, make a beeline for the beef wellington, and know the exact location of outlets for recharging phones and laptops you may be at a place that is overdone. If you're looking to make a change, simply thinking outside the box when it comes to a venue may provide the breath of fresh air your event needs to grow its attendee base. Continue reading

The 3 coolest things we saw at the SmartAmerica Expo

Originally posted on FedScoop by Greg Otto.

The Internet of Things is so much more than a Google-backed thermostat or a refrigerator that connects to Facebook.

The expansive possibilities of IT were on display Wednesday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, as the first-ever SmartAmerica Expo showcased 24 projects from more than 100 different public agencies, private companies and academic institutions. The expo was part of the SmartAmerica Challenge, which launched in December as a call to action to show how the Internet of Things, or cyber-physical systems, can have serious socio-economic benefits for the country.

"This isn't gee-whiz technology for the sake of technology,"  said White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park during a keynote session. "As you listen to presentations and watch demonstrations, think about the potential massive societal benefits of the technology involved."

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FOSE 2014: Day One

May 13, 2014 - FOSE kicked off yesterday in Washington, D.C., offering more than 60 educational sessions covering 8 hot-button tracks: Cybersecurity, Cloud & Virtualization, Big Data & Business Intelligence, Mobile Government, Records & Information Management, Acquisition & Procurement, Cybercrime and Cyberterrorism and Project Management.

The morning opened with a keynote address from former National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon, who drew a large crowd as he explored an insider's perspective on America's foreign, defense & cyber policy. Donilon addressed multiple topics including: what a daily presidential briefing entails, how special forces played an integral role in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and the economic opportunities on the horizon relating to U.S.-China relations. Beth Cobert, Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget, continued the trend and provided a packed room with insights from the Office of Management and Budget.

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Highlights From GEOINT2013 Symposium

Originally posted on GovDataDownload

The recent GEOINT 2013* Symposium, which took place in mid-April, was a great opportunity for government agencies and industry representatives  to share ideas and best practices, according to Greg Gardner, chief architect for government, defense, and Intel solutions for NetApp's U.S. Public Sector. Gardner spoke with GovDataDownload about his key takeaways from the recent show.

GEOINT2013* was so named because last year's symposium was cancelled due to sequestration and budget cuts. This year's make-up conference, hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, was a busy one.  Industry, the Intelligence Community and Special Operations Commands all were in attendance and well-represented.

The keynote address by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper set a framework for the show. He debunked many of the myths surrounding the recent Snowden leaks and discussed the impact they have had on the Intelligence community.

Director Letitia Long of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) shared her vision for the agency during GEOINT and outlined its architecture and the five tenets of how they do business.  Gardner said that one of the most interesting aspects of her speech involved both a vision for immersive intelligence as well as the ways in which activity-based intelligence affects the Intelligence Community.

The Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise  (DI2E) panel addressed the ways in which they are integrating IC-ITE and JIE in a manner that optimizes secure information sharing.

Hear more from Gardner about GEOINT2013* here.