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The Best Government Conferences of 2016 [Updated]

GovLoop’s roundup of the best government conferences of 2015 has been so valuable and popular that we decided to give you a list of what to look forward to in 2016. This list should help you plan for 2016 and start advocating for those precious professional development dollars.

Below you’ll find brand new events you might want to check out as well as established events that might be new to you. Many are essential conferences that those working in government cannot do without.

As a bonus for the social media savvy, the listings include event hashtags, when available, for those who can’t attend but still want to participate in the virtual conversations.


Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Financial Systems Summit (FSS)
January 19, 2016 | Washington, D.C. or virtual
FSS unites federal financial managers and private sector executives to discuss the near-term and future prospects of federal financial management systems in a budget-constrained environment. The summit will provide new insights into the burgeoning federal financial systems modernization strategy over the coming decade and beyond.


Federal Networks Conference
February 17 – 18, 2016 | Sheraton Tysons Hotel, Tysons, VA
This conference brings together senior decision-makers from key agencies across the government to share their latest plans for how they will design, purchase, and operate their networks as well as the IT services that these networks enable and deliver.

Association of Government Accountants (AGA) National Leadership Training (NLT)
February 23 – 24, 2016 | Washington, D.C. or virtual
The NLT provides developing and training to help government financial professionals excel as leaders in today’s competitive market. It’s an opportunity to share best practices, find solutions to shared challenges, network with your peers, and learn from the top financial management leaders and industry experts.

Adobe Digital Government Assembly
February 24, 2016 | The Rennaissance Hotel Downtown, Washington, D.C. | #AdobeGovAssembly
The digital landscape is constantly evolvingófrom mobile apps to smart technology, on-the-go citizens demand engaging, efficient and secure access with more turnkey solutions. Our citizens, military service members, and government agencies need a secure, streamlined, and personalized digital experience. This one-day event will focus on the tools and techniques for achieving an effective digital government strategy that builds on your agency’s mission.

California Public Sector CIO Academy
February 24 – 25, 2016 | Sheraton Grand Sacramento, Sacramento, CA | #cacioacad
If you can score a spot at this invitation-only event, you’ll meet C-level professionals addressing the most important policy, management and leadership issues surrounding the future of digital government and the role of the public sector CIO in the State of California. Developed by and for government by Government Technology, which hosts other events around the country for those who can’t make it to California.

RSA Conference
February 29 – March 4, 2016 | Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA | #RSAC
RSA Conference helps drive the information security agenda worldwide. Attendees learn about IT security’s most important issues through first-hand interactions with peers, luminaries and emerging and established companies. RSA Conference plays an integral role in keeping national security professionals connected and educated.

Advanced Learning Institute’s Government Social Media: Driving Results Event
February 29 – March 2, 2016 | The Westin Crystal City, Arlington, VA| #ALI_Gov
Discover how your government communication peers have successfully improved customer service, communicated their messages, and increased citizen engagement by using social media.


Federal Information Systems Security Educators Association (FISSEA) Conference
March 15 – 16, 2016 | NIST Main Campus, Gaithersburg, MD
FISSEA is a volunteer organization run by and for federal information systems security professionals with an interest in awareness, training, education, and certification. The FISSEA Conference assists federal agencies in meeting their computer security training responsibilities.

Governing Leadership Forum: Michigan
March 10, 2016 | Lansing Center, Lansing, MI
State and local government convene at this one-day event organized by Governing magazine. Participant will be inspired to take action and advance better government. Governing magazine hosts similar government leadership events in other regions.

South by Southwest (SXSW)
March 11 – 20, 2016 | Austin, TX | #SXSW
SXSW is a series of conferences and festivals that offer a convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. As pointed out by GovLoop member Patrick Fiorenza, “SXSW has a bunch of interesting sessions, many of which are public sector focused even though [it’s] not typically a public sector oriented conference.”

Cloudera Government Forum
March 15, 2016 | Mead Center for American Theater, Washington, D.C. | #govdataforum
The 2016 Cloudera Government Forum will bring together public and private sector practitioners to discuss the state of data analytics and share case studies of how agencies are leveraging their data to enable improved decision making.

National Council on Public History (NCPH) and Society for History in the Federal Government Joint Meeting
March 16 – 19, 2016 | Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, MD | #ncph2016
NCPH’s annual meeting is for professionals, students, faculty members, and anyone else interested in public history, and attracts academic historians, federal employees, archivists, museum workers, and teachers. The conference provides professional development, networking, and community connections.

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) Annual Conference
March 16 – 19, 2016 | Capital Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C. | #JustEconomy
The NCRC conference gathers community nonprofits, policymakers, government officials, small businesses, media, and academia to focus on how we can create a more just economic framework to improve the lives of American families, our workers, our older adults, our children, and our environment, while strengthening global access to credit and capital.

American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Annual Conference
March 18 – 22, 2016 | Westin Hotel, Seattle, WA | #ASPA2016
The ASPA Conference showcases state-of-the-art practices used in modern public and nonprofit administration while exploring new approaches and opportunities for continued innovation.

International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE)
March 21 – 25, 2016 | Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV | #IWCE2016
IWCE is for communications technology professionals in the working world. It features over 370 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends in the industry. Attendees are a diverse group of industry professionals including government and military, public safety (law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical and 911), utility, transportation, and business enterprise.

ACT-IAC Acquisition Excellence
March 22, 2016 | Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C. | #AE2016
AE 2016 is an education and training event that will bring together the government and industry acquisition communities in order to collaborate on the latest acquisition challenges and generate innovative solutions for potential implementation. This year’s event examines the future of acquisition through four unique lenses: acquisition innovation, how government relates to industry, cyber, and services acquisition.


Government Social Media Conference & Expo (GSMCON)
April 6 – 8, 2016 | Atlantis Resort & Spa, Reno, NV | #GSMCON
GSMCON attendees can collaborate with a network of city, county, state, and local social media managers, learn strategy and technique from experts and peers, and maximize their program to bring value to citizens.

National Public Employer Labor Relations Association (NPELRA) Annual Training Conference
April 17 – 21, 2016 | The Peabody Hotel, Memphis, TN | #NPELRAduck
NPELRA provides progressive labor relations advice that balances the needs of management, and the public interest. The Annual Training Conference is open to supervisors, managers, or representatives of management in the public sector, not representing any union.

YTH Live: The Youth + Health + Tech Conference
April 24 – 26, 2016 | Hotel Kabuki, San Francisco, CA | #ythlive
YTH Live is the premier conference for trailblazing technology that advances youth health and wellness. Each year the brightest minds in youth advocacy, public health, government research, and technology gather at YTH Live to showcase what works, share ideas and learnings, and launch new collaborations. Connect with vibrant thinkers, makers, and doers in the YTH Live community, and take what you learn to improve the lives of the youth you serve and support.


National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear Conference
May 2 – 5, 2016 | Hyatt Regency on the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD | #Midyear16
NASCIO conferences are the go-to events for state IT leaders. It hosts both a mid-year event in the Spring and a larger annual conference in the Fall.

May 13, 2016 | Washington Marriott Metro Center, Washington, D.C.
The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) and the Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM) host this educational event on the intersection of policies and management issues that impact CFOs and CIOs and how they are working together to improve efficiency and transparency, reduce risk, and strengthen their workforce. Free for individuals who work for government.

Advanced Learning Institute’s Strategic Government Communications & Employee Engagement Event
May 17 – 19, 2016 | Washington, D.C. | #ALI_Gov
This training is designed to provide you with actionable tools and practical tips that can be applied immediately to drive employee engagement, streamline processes, and drive mission critical results. Discover how your communication peers have successfully connected employees, communicated change, and increased engagement.

ACT-IAC Management of Change (MOC)
May 22 – 24, 2016 | Hyatt Chesapeake Bay, Cambridge, MD | #MOC2016
Leaders need to look beyond the immediate problem and quick fixes to consider the foundations of how government delivers its mission, what the public needs and expects, and how we can best prepare ourselves for the challenges of the future. Our cyber infrastructure, the tools we use, the ways we provide services to customers, and how we develop our leaders all offer significant opportunities for transformational change. MOC engages people in discussions on how to navigate the current IT crossroads.

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada Annual Conference
May 22 – 25, 2016 | Toronto, Canada | #GFOA2016
Thousands of public finance professionals gather each year for this three-day conference to share ideas, develop technical and managerial skills, view new products, and network with peers.

Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) Bid & Proposal Con
May 25 – 28, 2016 | Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston, MA | #APMP2016
The world’s largest event for proposal, bid, tender, capture, business development, and graphics professionals, including government contracting. Attendees learn about tested information, proven strategies, and best practices to help capture, write, produce, manage proposals and increase win rates.


SAIGE National Training Program
June 6 – 9, 2016 | Hard Rock Hotel, Catoosa, OK
The Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) hosts this annual training featuring workshops and professional development opportunities for all government employees. The unique program has specific training in American Indian and Alaska Native topics, including government to government relations and Federal Indian Law. It includes a special program for veterans and a youth leadership track. Participants are addressed by federal and tribal officials on current issues, and local tribal members provide cultural presentations.

NAGC Communications School
June 7 – 9, 2016 | FHI 360 Conference Center, Washington, D.C. | #NAGC2016
Hosted by the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC), the Communications School provides networking opportunities and practical educational sessions to help government communicators increase their skills. It attracts a mix of federal, state, and local government communication leaders.

Summit on Government Performance & Innovation
June 15 – 16, 2016 | The Seelbach Hilton, Louisville, KY | #govlive
The Summit on Government Performance & Innovation is a policy and leadership event focused on strategies and technologies that will enable government to deliver better service, engage citizens, and ultimately improve performance. The event is organized by Governing magazine, which also hosts other summits on infrastructure and public/private partnerships (May), financial leadership (September), and health and human services (October).

Transforming Local Government Conference
June 15 – 17, 2016 | St. Paul, MN | #TLG2016
Called “the premiere thinking conference for local government,” this event is hosted by the Alliance for Innovation. The 2016 Transforming Local Government Conference will be co-located with the League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference. The conference attracts participation from local governments that are seeking new and innovative ways to connect people, information, and ideas that support their efforts to be the best communities in which to live, work, and prosper.

Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Homeland Security Conference
June 21 – 22, 2016 | Ronald Reagan Building & Int’l Trade Center, Washington, D.C. | #Homeland2016
AFCEA Homeland Security Conference brings together the people in charge of ensuring success, from subject matter experts to frontline responders, for two days of open discussion about the various aspects of homeland security.

ServiceUnites: Conference on Volunteering and Service
June 27 – 29, 2016 | Cobo Center, Detroit, MI | #ServiceUnites
People who care about the future of volunteer service convene at Points of Light’s annual conference to work together to increase the number of volunteers in the world and the impact of the work they do. It is the largest service-related convening of nonprofit, government, business, and civic leaders in the world.

Esri User Conference
June 27 – July 1, 2016 | San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA | #EsriUC
The Esri User Conference has long been a favorite at GovLoop. It’s a conference designed for users of the Esri platform and for those who want to learn more about geographic information systems (GIS), data visualization, and other geospatial applications. Be sure to save the dates for the 2017 and beyond Esri User Conferences.


Federally Employed Women (FEW) National Training Program (NTP)
July 11 – 14, 2016 | Hilton Anatole, Dallas, TX
This event trains federal workers for personal and professional career growth. FEW maps every training session to the guidelines of the Office of Personnel Management’s Senior Executive Service, Executive Core Qualifications (Leading Change, Leading People, Results Driven, Business Acumen, Building Coalitions) and the underlying fundamental core competencies.

AHEAD Conference
July 11 – 16, 2016 | J.W. Marriott, Indianapolis, IN
The AHEAD Conference is sponsored by the Association on Higher Education and Disability, but the topics are not just related to higher education. There is a heavy emphasis on diversity, disability, policy, technology, current trends and issues as they relate to the law and disability. Those presenting are leaders in their fields, and have included professionals from the Department of Justice, the Office of Civil Rights, and others.

Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Professional Development Training (PDT)
July 17 – 20, 2016 | Anaheim, CA or virtual
AGA’s Professional Development Training brings together top financial officials in federal, state and local government, as well as from academia and the private sector, for valuable training and networking.

World Congress: The Innovative Edge to Contract Management
July 24 – 27, 2016 | Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Kissimmee, FL
Over 1,600 professionals in working in contract management, procurement, and acquisition attend this annual event hosted by National Contract Management Association (NCMA). Be sure to save the dates for the 2017 and beyond NCMA World Congress events.


Next Generation of Government Training Summit
August 1 – 2, 2016 | Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C. | #NextGenGov
The NextGen Summit is a place to cultivate and enable the absolute best next generation of government. Whether you’re a millennial just entering the government workforce or a manager tasked with retaining and developing talent, or a seasoned public servant looking for new resources or challenges, the NextGen Summit is where you want to be. Since 2010, the two-day summit has inspired over 4,000 federal, state, and local govies to be positive change ambassadors.

Federal Dispute Resolution (FDR) Training
August 1 – 4, 2016 | New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, LA | #FDRtraining
The FDR Training helps attendees resolve workplace disputes and avoid situations that lead to complaints, ultimately reducing costly litigation for your agency. Sessions span five educational tracks: alternative dispute resolution, equal employment opportunity, executive perspective, attorney/legal, and HR/LR/ER.

Blacks In Government (BIG) National Training Institute (NTI)
August 22 – 25, 2016 | Harrah’s, Atlantic City, NJ
Facilitates the development of workplace skills for federal, state, and local government employees.


Association for Talent Development (ATD) Government Workforce Conference
September 7, 2016 | Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.
A creative and collaborative exploration on the future of workplace learning in government. Includes best practices, tools, and solutions to the governmentís most difficult learning challenges.

IPMA-HR International Training Conference & Expo
September 17 – 21, 2016 | Kansas City Marriott Downtown, Kansas City, MO
This event by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) gathers professionals working in public sector human resources.

National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference
September 18 – 21, 2016 | Hyatt Regency on the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD | #NASCIO16
NASCIO conferences are the go-to events for state IT leaders. It hosts both a mid-year event each spring and a larger annual conference each fall.

Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Internal Control & Fraud Prevention Training
September 20 – 21, 2016 | Ronald Reagan Building & Int’l Trade Center, Washington, D.C. or virtual
Provides up-to-date information on internal controls, risk management, and fraud prevention.

National Association of Government Web (NAGW) Professionals Annual Conference
September 20 – 23, 2016 | Wyndham Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX | #NAGW2016
Designed for local government web professionals, the NAGW conference focuses on the professional development opportunities for programmers, designers, developers, managers, PIOs, CIOs and government technology professionals at all levels of experience.

International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual Conference
September 25 – 28, 2016 | Kansas City/Jackson County, MO | #ICMA16
The ICMA annual conference for local government managers and staff has been going strong for over 100 years. It offers an abundance of educational, information-sharing, and networking tools to help you manage your community in today’s complex environment. Save the dates for the 2017 ICMA Conference and beyond.


Salesforce’s Dreamforce
October 4 – 7, 2016 | Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA | #DF16
A massive conference for users of Salesforce’s CRM platform and tools, with over 150,000 in-person attendees. In addition to the general sessions relevant to any Salesforce user, the conference also has several sessions designed specifically for government and public sector organizations. Count the public sector sessions for the 2015 conference.

International Open Data Conference (IODC)
October 6 – 7, 2016 | Madrid, Spain | #IODC16
The annual event is all about enabling the data revolution. Each year, experts and advocates from around the world gather to take stock of the rapid evolution of the global open data community and help chart its future.

NASPAA Annual Conference
October 19 – 21, 2016 | Columbus, OH | #NASPAA2016
The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) annual conference features speakers and breakout sessions on current public affairs education issues.

Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change (BECC) Conference
October 20 – 22, 2016 | Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace, Baltimore, MD | #BECC2016
BECC focuses on understanding individual and organizational behavior and decision-making related to energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and sustainability. The BECC Conference is convened by the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI), University of California, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC), Stanford University, and American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).


Code for America Summit
November 2 – 4, 2016 | Oakland Marriott City Center, Oakland, CA | #CfASummit
The #CfASummit is a roll-up-your-sleeves conference that brings together innovators from hundreds of governments across the U.S. along with civic-minded technologists, designers, community organizers, and entrepreneurs.

ARNOVA’s Annual Conference: Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Government: Policy and Partnerships in an Era of Change
November 17 – 19, 2016 | Washington, D.C.| #arnova16
The size, reach, and scope of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors have never been greater. Studies have demonstrated that the growth of civil society and nonprofits in the U.S. is inextricably linked to the structure and growth of governments in the U.S. Economic conditions and the federal government’s emphasis on social entrepreneurship and innovation also have led to more formal partnerships between public agencies and nonprofits. The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) conference will explore these issue, especially in relation to policy and partnerships with government.

Not Yet Scheduled

The dates for these events have not been announced:

Other Government Events?

You’re out in the world discovering fantastic events for government workers all the time. What events and conferences do you attend that should be included on this list? Add your suggestions in a comment at the end of this post.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in July 2015. It has been completely updated with the latest information on the best government conferences.

Lauren Girardin is a marketing and communications consultant, writer, and trainer. Find her on Twitter at @girardinl.

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Dan Gephart

Hi Lauren. Once again, a great list. I wanted to give you an update on the Federal Dispute Resolution (FDR) Training in 2016. The event will be held Aug. 1 – Aug. 4 at the New Orleans Marriott.

Cindy Osga

The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) has several other conferences, in addition to the Professional Development Training noted in the list. The Federal Financial Systems Summit is January 19, 2016 in Washington D.C. The National Leadership Training is February 23-24, 2016 in Washington DC. Visit agacgfm.org to learn more.

Leslie Labrecque

Thanks for mentioning NAGW on this list. We work so hard to bring our a-game and the best conference possible for our attendees. We really appreciate the mention here. 🙂

Adrienne Nelson-Reynolds

I would like to add the FSIS Escalade Leadership Development Program which is a program designed to increase leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities of employees of the Food Safety and Inspection Service. This is the second year of this program; we will have a conference this August in Virginia (I believe last year’s class was also held in Virginia). This is a prime opportunity for employees looking for better communication and management skills!

Emily Sadigh

Very helpful! Governing Magazine hosts regional events such as the Governing Leadership Forum in Michigan in March: http://www.governing.com/events

For those working on environmental issues, I’d add the Green California Summit April 21-22 in Sacramento (http://www.green-technology.org/gcsummit16/index.html: “For those who are responsible for creating and managing programs for state and local government and educational institutions, it provides an annual opportunity to find out what’s new and what is working.”) and the Behavior Energy and Climate Change Summit October 20-22 in Baltimore ( http://beccconference.org/: “focused on understanding individual and organizational behavior and decision-making related to energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and sustainability.”)

Karen Willis

Blacks in Government (BIG) 38th National Training Institute is August 22-25, 2016. It will be held at Harrah’s in Atlantic City, NJ.

Kayleigh Weaver

Thank you – a great listing with diverse options!

Here is another to consider (disclosure: I work for the event host):

Measurable Impact 2016 – A Results-Based Accountability Conference will be held in Baltimore, MD June 1st to 3rd. Measurable Impact focuses on introducing government leaders to the concepts and tools government agencies around the world are using to achieve accountability and transparency, improve agency performance, make better budgeting decisions, streamline grant management, and achieve positive community impact. This is a great opportunity for those interested in learning more about the Results-Based Accountability framework and how it can be used to make drastic improvements in agency/program performance. Many government officials filling a variety of roles from around the country will be in attendance. Baltimore speakers include Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Andrew Kleine (Budget Director), and Molly McGrath Tierney and (Director of Social Services). More info can be found at: measurableimpact2016.com.

Thanks for considering!


Great list, but I do not see the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference on here. It will be held July 22nd – 25th in Long Beach, Calif. Are state and local government conferences shown some where else?


Lauren Girardin

We don’t have every conference on this list, but that looks like a good one to add when we do our next update. Thanks for sharing, Anthony.

The list also focuses on conferences not specific to one state or region. Perhaps we’ll see if we can put a list together that offers that information. Intriguing idea!

Lashay Mara

Thoughtful writing ! I Appreciate the details , Does someone know where my company could possibly get access to a fillable OPM RI 79-9 example to use ?

Staci McKee

I would like to suggest another addition to your list:

i2 Summit for a Safer Planet
August 30 – 31 – Washington DC

This is a focused government event that brings in industry experts and current and ex-government leaders to share insights across the areas of National Security & Defense Intelligence, Fighting Cyber Threats, Law Enforcement solutions (such as body worn camera software) to keep officers and citizens safe as well as Emergency Management professionals sharing best practices for how to deploy resources effectively during a natural disaster and/or emergency situation.

Conference is sponsored by IBM but organizations like NCFTA and Former Ambassador to North Korea, Joseph DeTrani will be speaking in addition to a host of other industry thought leaders.