Six Great Reasons to Attend GCMS 2022

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share that was originally posted on Bidscale.

The Government Contract Management Symposium (GCMS) is a key conference in the world of Government contracting. This annual event is run by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), an association dedicated to contract management professionals. In addition to the 41.1 CPE/CLP credits you can earn this year (29.1 for virtual attendees), there are six other reasons Bidscale leadership knew there needed to be an in-person presence for this Bethesda event.

1. Take Part in Immersive Training Simulations

GCMS features a fair amount of interactive learning opportunities. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is not getting any smaller; fresh protests are filed daily. New laws and regulations are constantly changing the rules. Are you looking for a way to test-drive brand-new ideas in a safe environment or maybe you are trying to decide how to handle difficult personalities? GCMS 2022 provides hands-on experience during the TUES 6 DEC immersive workshop, 'Camouflage Conflict: Exercise in Strategic Problem Solving.' If your goal is to learn best practices for the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System, try 'CPARS: Avoiding Pitfalls, Restoring Value.' Would you like to try your hand at the world of source selection? Sign up to attend the all-day Source Selection Simulation. Hungry to learn how to avoid risk or gain insight into Requests for Information? You might want to attend the 'Contractual Risk' workshop or the half-day session on 'Communicating the Acquisition Need: RFIs and Capability Statements.' No matter what, you are sure to get fresh perspectives, gain new strategies, and develop a deeper understanding from these unique, interactive sessions.

2. Create New Connections and Strengthen Old

In-person events are becoming more popular again. A recent survey targeting meeting and event planners showed 81% of meetings in 2022 will have an in-person component, a rapid increase from the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. As an event thrown by NCMA, GCMS caters to professionals in the procurement field. It provides a great space to meet and reconnect with fellow contracting professionals. GCMS is the perfect space to find a new opportunity to advance your career. At least 70% of jobs are not publicized, and 80% have been landed through networking. NCMA expects over 1,000 people to take part in GCMS this year, with an estimated 700 people attending in person. The event provides plenty of opportunities to network; a holiday welcome, two exhibitor breakfast events, four refreshment breaks, two networking lunches, two coffee/dessert breaks, and even a cocktail reception power hour. NCMA is also throwing a Contract Management Career Fair open to all interested contract management professionals, even if they're not registered for GCMS.

3. Support NCMA

Let's face it, there are not a lot of national organizations dedicated to making you a better contract management professional, especially those that devote an entire conference to the Government buyer perspective. Since its start over 60 years ago, NCMA has strived to provide the contracting community with high-quality training and resources to support their professional growth. This event is a diverse, inclusive community of professionals who are seen as leaders, with access to information, advanced techniques, and connections to peers who share best practices, professional insights, and lessons learned in the contracting profession. Since 1959, NCMA has cultivated experts in procurement and acquisitions and gives a voice to this critically important but often overlooked field.

4. Discover Through Experiences

This year's GCMS theme highlights the best of Government contracting talent, skills, and experience applied to getting solutions most directly and recognizes practitioners' critical contributions and achievements. Every GCMS session this year features experiences right from the field. Share strategies for crucial conversations when the stakes are high and opinions are strong. Attend any of the two dozen educational tracks, six deep dive sessions, or two immersive workshops to support your current work, explore new processes, and lead you toward career growth. Join any of the seven in-person discussions around best practices for driving Contracting Officer Representative (COR) collaboration, enhancing the efficiency of proposal debriefs, or communities of practice for innovative contracting. Leave this event with new solutions to problems that you can bring back and share with your team.

5. Learn to Think Differently

GCMS provides a unique and invaluable experience to hear directly from top experts in the field using novel approaches and technology. For example, how do you ensure vendors are incentivized to pursue new and creative ideas even after winning the contract? During their session, the Contracting Chief of Defense Healthcare Management Systems (CD-DHMS), Matt Hudson, alongside Bidscale's Founder, Tony Kwag, will teach you 'How Government Can Buy Like a Venture Capitalist.' Learn from a 2022 NCMA Innovation in Contracting Award winner about leveraging once experimental and now permanent 'Commercial Solutions Openings: Buying What's New at Shark-Tank Speed.' Learn nine new innovative procurement techniques taught by practitioners from the DHS Procurement Innovation Lab - a six-hour boot camp condensed into just 60 minutes. The conference speakers come from all walks of Government and even beyond. During GCMS, there will be several sessions with Johnny Quinn, U.S. Olympics bobsledder, former NFL player, and author. Learn how to 'Think Like an Olympian' and 'Cultivate a Champion Mindset' from this unique speaker. These are exciting lessons you won't find in the FAR. New ideas and breakthroughs often come from outside the field. Surgical innovations have come from theater makeup specialists, escalator innovations have come from mining, and inline skaters have offered ideas for safety equipment in construction. In general, the more distant the fields, the more novel the idea.

6. Experience Innovative Vendor Booths and Demonstrations

NCMA events in the past have often attracted fabulously engaging vendor displays. According to EventTrack, 65% of attendees said events help them better understand a product or service. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports that 92% of event attendees say their main reason for attending is to see new products. What better way to learn about the industry's latest and greatest innovations than from interactive exhibits? Whether it's staying current with NASA SEWP Information Technology (IT) products and services, understanding human capital solutions by Management Concepts, or playing in an arcade to learn how Bidscale's software and playbooks can accelerate acquisition, GCMS is looking to be an exciting and interactive event for all. Whether it be to scout out new opportunities or learn from your nation.

While attending GCMS, visit the Bidscale booth to learn more about the exciting launch of a new SaaS product, Bidscale Connect. A market-intelligence solution that connects Government and Industry, Bidscale Connect is the pioneer way to unlock insights and accelerate the federal acquisition process.

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