Behind the Curtain: AWS Public Sector Summit 2017

As federal, state, and local agencies look to implement cloud solutions, either in response to mandates or in an effort to reap cost savings and IT efficiency, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been in the forefront of helping government make the move to cloud. Now in its eighth year, the AWS Public Sector Summit brings together innovators who are changing the world with cloud computing to share their successes and lessons learned to guide wider cloud adoption in government. The conference aims to send attendees back to their office with new strategies and techniques for kicking off new projects, maximizing budgets, and achieving mission goals.

We highlighted the history of the event last year and, once again, Tricia Davis-Muffett, Global Public Sector Marketing Leader for AWS, took some time out from planning the Summit to share what is new for 2017 and what first-time attendees can expect.

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Behind the Curtain: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software Government Summit

The seventh annual Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software Government Summit, or HPE Gov Summit for short, takes place on March 22 in Washington, DC. This annual event has evolved over the years as HPE's focus has expanded as a company. The event was originally designed as way for IT management involved in the data center to get hands-on experience with the latest technologies to help with data center operations. Through acquisitions and organic growth, HPE grew their customer base beyond the data center and began working with developers, testers, integrators, and business management. The conference has followed this evolution, staying true to its hands-on roots while expanding to include technologies supported by HPE. The event has expanded to also incorporate the business and policy side of this traditionally tech-heavy event.

Lewis Carr, Senior Director Industry Solutions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has been involved in planning this event for the last six years. He took some time to give us a sneak peek into what to expect this year. Continue reading

A New Look For GovEvents

goveventsWe've written numerous posts about the importance of refreshing events to attract new attendees and keep repeat attendees engaged. Now we've taken our own advice and refreshed GovEvents.com to provide a new look and better functionality.

On the revamped site you'll notice:

  • New Home Page - Includes highlights of and access to open calls for papers/presentations, exhibitor/sponsor opportunities, as well as the top trending events.
  • Important Message Banner - This bar, visible across the main site pages, will be used to highlight upcoming deadlines, announce weather-related event cancellations or changes, and special offers.
  • Exclude Items in Search - You can indicate phrases or categories you do not want included in your search results.
  • Search Confirmation/Suggestion - In entering a search, if you misspell a word or there is another closely aligned search term with more relevant results, the site will give you clarification options.
  • Event Suggestions - When viewing an event you are interested in the site will recommend up to three similar events.
  • Easier than Ever to Add Events - Now all government users can add events without having to register as a vendor or an event organizer.
  • Mobile Responsive - The updated site is more mobile friendly for members that access GovEvents on a smart phone or tablet.

Many of these updates were made based on user feedback. Have more ideas? We always welcome new ideas. Let us know what you think of the refreshed site in the comments below.

Put Down the Phone, Let’s Get Active!

In recent posts on gamification and IoT we talked about some ways to use technology to better engage modern event audiences. While the tech is here to stay and it is important to integrate it into events, every new twist you add does not have to involve technology.

In a recent survey, 99% of respondents said that in-person meetings have helped them succeed in their careers. Meetings are seen as critical to business and personal success and the rise in spending on attending them (both in the general market and the federal market) backs up that belief. Attendees want more than a technology-heavy experience (they get that in other facets of their work day). They want experiences that are uniquely real world. So how do event planners keep events fresh without making them a virtual reality experience?

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Playing Games

While the topics discussed at government events can be incredibly serious -- national security, cyber threats, defense -- that does not mean events have to be solemn. We've talked here before about bringing some fun to federal events without undermining the critical nature of the content.

Whether we realize it or not, Gamification has made its way into our professional lives. From "medals" awarded during mandatory online training to challenge.gov-type procurements to department contests for holiday cube decorating or charitable collections, we've inserted gameplay seamlessly into our work lives and it can also be done at our events. This game motivation goes back to our school days when teachers would post stars next to classmates' names for good behavior or excellent grades.

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