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Best of 2010: 15 Fabulous Events

So as my frequent flier points show, I went to a lot of conferences this year, speaking on a ton of great panels and even keynoting in front of 1,000 people (that’s insane). In fact, the whole GovLoop team did…as Community Manager Andy K. did a ton of traveling himself and Megan coordinated over a dozen GovUps in cities across America. So we decided to team up with each of us posting our Top 5 fav events of 2010.

Steve’s Picks

It’s dangerous to pick my 5 favorites (as I loved them all) but here’s my top 5 events of the year:

1 – MISA – A conference for municipal CIOs in Canada. Was awesome because – it was in Niagra Falls. My rent a car was a Ford 350. I got to hang out with David Eaves and Jury Konga and tons more awesome (Rob, Stephen, David, etc).

2 – CityCamp – Was the best barcamp I’ve ever been to. So much passion. I love local gov. Chicago is amazing place. And this has had the best community built after any conference I’ve ever been to from an amazing listserv to their GovLoop Group. And it inspired local CityCamps across the globe.

3 – Syracuse – Not a conference but I spoke to 150 Masters of Public Administration students at Syracuse Maxwell School. It was awesome to meet Ines Mergel, leading Gov 2.0 professor in world. Plus amazing to see so many passionate future public servants.

4 – Gov 2.0 Expo/Summit – I always dig the O’Reilly events cause they get great speakers and it’s both hip and polished. Plus, I actually hung out with my 2nd favorite Dave McClure (500 Startups – VC dude)

5 – Seattle Rocking – I went to 2 awesome conferences in Seattle. At IPMA-HR, largest gathering of government HR leaders, I got to speak on a panel with a guy nicknamed Bureaucrat Jedi and threw a GovUp that night with rockstar Bill Schrier. At the Microsoft Public Sector conference, I got to rock a stage with Drapeau, travel across the huge MS campus in crazy Priuses, and have about 10 free amazing lattes

P.S. – Every event I went to this year was awesome. Other awesome ones included Gov 2.0 LA, ALI Social Media conference in Chicago and Dallas and the great LDR Conference in Atlanta (learned a ton about HR).

Andy’s Picks

Wow – so I actually scaled back the travel and speaking this year due to the arrival of my firstborn son. But I still got a chance to see a bit of the country and meet a bunch of great people – some new and many I already knew virtually but hadn’t seen in person yet. That’s the best part of these things – the people (pic to the right is summer GovLoop team at Gov 2.0 Expo). Four bullets below with 5+ events:

1) National Association of Government Webmasters – As I mentioned to folks at the event (and to several people afterward), this event felt the most like coming home to family. Hosted in St. Louis, I had a great room with a view of the Arch…but it was the time in the conference hall and sessions that made this trip amazing. Believe it or not, I hadn’t met Adriel Hampton until this event…I also got to meet Carol Spencer, Susan Christopherson and Ron Pringle of NAGW, John Moore, Sid Burgess of SeeClickFix, Chad Ostroff of Sugar Land, TX, and Kristy Fifelski of Reno, NV. Plus, there were some great sessions led by Adriel and Kristy and a fantastic keynote by Jared Spool.

2) Toasting Texas – I was in Austin a couple times this year: once for the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officer’s annual event along with a workshop for the TX Certified Public Manager, and another time for Manor. GovFresh. Since I was in the Lone Star State, I felt like I needed to tie my talks into a historic event, so borrowed “7 Lessons for Winning the Gov 2.0 Revolution” from the Alamo story. While at Manor.GovFresh, I met some awesome people for the first time like Luke Fretwell of GovFresh, Alex Howard of O’Reilly and White House Deputy CTO Beth Noveck…AND continued to forge connections with folks like Dustin Haisler and Kevin Curry. I also have to give a shout out to my fellow panelists: Sandra Fernandez of Houston Public Library, TCU professor Jacque Lambiase and Richie Escovedo of Mansfield School District outside Dallas/Fort Worth, TX.

3) There’s No Place Like Home (North Carolina) – Two events were right in my backyard. The first was the National Conference of State Legislatures professional development series, where I heard what I consider to be the most influential talk of the year for me – a keynote by a UNC professor on what Census stats tell us about America’s future. Here are all the Power Points – worth checking out!. Best part: I got to see my friends Meagan Dorsch and Natalie O’Donell Wood of NCSL and met cool people like Mariam Asmar of Time Warner Cable. The other great event I attended just 2 hours down the road in Charlotte, NC, was the Social Media for Responders conference in Charlotte, NC. It was there that I met organizer Mark Basnight of the Charlotte Fire Department, Hal Grieb from City of Plano, TX, Bob Greenberg and Sara Moore of G&H International…and many more.

4) National League of Cities – finally, two weeks ago, I had the chance to travel to Denver, Colorado, for the National League of Cities Congress and Expo. I was on a pretty sweet panel with people like the aforementioned Mark Basnight, MuniGov 2.0’s Pam Broviak, author John O’Leary, PTI’s Alan Shark and Obama campaign phenom Andrew Bleeker. I also sat in on an excellent workshop by Patrick Ibarra. Here are all my notes from the sessions.

I know, I know – there are so many more excellent events! Honorable mention goes to IPMA-HR in San Diego – one of most fun presentations and got to meet awesome GovLoop’er Savi Swick. And I was also at Gov 2.0 Expo, Open Government and Innovations, and the National Association of Government Communicators event – all in DC. But I really wanted to highlight the great stuff going on in other parts of the country. What did I miss?

Megan’s Picks

Compiling a list of top 5 events for 2010 is pretty much impossible and brought me back to my Dr. Suess days…

There are BIG events, small events;

Health events, Law events;

AABPA events, ALI events

SO…instead I decided to pull together the top 5 events hosted by GovLoop:

1) Next Generation of Government Summit. Very motivating conference which brought together nearly 300 emerging leaders in government to enhance tactical skills, networks and knowledge. Save the Date: July 28-29, 2011.

2) Government Doesn’t Suck Rally. GovLoop members came together to bring a positive vibe to government workers from government workers with great signs and smiles during the Restore Sanity/Fear Rally.

3) GovUps. We toured the nation this year and brought together nearly 500 govies in 12 different cities to enhance collaboration, spark networking and teach folks about cool things that are happening in their back yards.

4) GovLoop Training Series. This series of webinars started in August and will continue through 2011. Check out the Citizen Engagement Session and Social Media Sessions. Next Free Session: Harnessing the Power of the Cloud on Jan. 13, 2011 from 2:00 – 3:00 EST.

5) GovLoop Chats. Take an informal approach to webinars and throw them in a conversational chat. Fast typer’s are appreciated J

Now, let’s hear from you…

What was your favorite event of 2010?

Have a favorite series of events that you attend every year? Why?

What event is NOT TO BE MISSED in 2011?

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Ron Pringle


Thanks for including the NAGW Conference in your top 5 list! We’re humbled and honored. It’s nice to hear someone who attended the conference for the first time talk about the friendly, familial atmosphere. While the Board is proud of all the work we do to facilitate the conference, it’s really the attendees that make it what it is. Our hats are off to them (and you!). I hope you’ll come join us again in Cincinnati in 2011!

Andrew Krzmarzick

You bet, Ron – we’ll definitely plan to have a representative in Cincinnati! Really enjoyed it and sincere when I say that it was one of my favorite conferences of the last few years!

Attia Nasar

Steve – I am glad your trip to Syracuse made the list!

Thanks for posting that lovely pic of us Andy!

The NGG Conf and the Gov 2.0 Expo also topped my favorites this year.