As many of you know, the Air Force IT Conference held each August in Montgomery, Alabama was cancelled this past year. It had been held annually since 1983 and was the largest IT conference within the Department of Defense.
Now it looks like it's not coming back.
According to an announcement on Friday by Montgomery AFCEA President Joe Besselman, "the Air Force has no plans to ever restart an Air Force-led conference like AFITC." Besselman continued: "...the earliest one could expect a conference similar in nature is 2014. AFCEA International is working with the Air Force to gauge the need, content, and potentially the location."
This provides further evidence that DoD in particular is looking to consolidate trade shows and conferences to eliminate duplication and save taxpayer money. I'm all for that, but this takes a great marketing vehicle off the table for those looking to pitch their offerings to the Air Force IT community. This show was always a source of qualified leads and great relationship-building opportunities for us.
For those immixGroup clients who need to find a way to stay in front of this community, please contact us and we'll see what we can do. The Montgomery AFCEA chapter hosts a number of other events, including MITS 2013 in June. There's a tentative Air Force Industry Day event planned for the same time.
As I said in a previous post, keep your marketing plans and budgets fluid this year to accommodate changes like this. More are coming.