Female speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall. Business and Entrepreneurship. Business woman.

The Best Government Conferences of 2017

It’s time to start planning your professional development in 2017 with GovLoop’s updated list of the best government conferences.

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.

Our previous 2015 and 2016 roundups of the best government conferences have been consistently valuable and popular. This year, we even created another list featuring the best state and local government conferences, which you should also check out.

This updated list of the best government conferences should help you plan ahead and advocate for those precious professional development dollars. We’ve dug deep to find the dates for as many events as we can to help you have a great 2017. But, that level of thoroughness means that not every event below will have lots of details available.

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 13, 2017 | Washington, D.C. or virtual | #FSS2017
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.


Esri Federal GIS Conference
February 13 – 14, 2017 | Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. | #FedGIS
The Esri Federal GIS Conference provides government professionals insight to help navigate their missions and ultimately save time and money. Attendees learn more about products, solutions, and services related to ArcGIS software that can improve collaboration, deliver better services, and meet current mandates. The conference is free for federal government and NGO personnel. Also check out the Esri Federal GIS Conference (FedGIS).

Federal Networks Conference
February 14 – 15, 2017 | Washington, D.C.
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 15 – 16, 2017 | 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.

RSA Conference
February 13 – 17, 2017 | 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.


South by Southwest (SXSW)
March 10 – 19, 2017 | 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.”

Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Homeland Security Conference
March 14 – 16, 2017 | Washington, D.C. | ##AFCEAHomeland
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.

American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Annual Conference
March 17 – 21, 2017 | Atlanta, GA | #ASPA2017
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. It brings together public administrators from across the discipline. The call for proposals is open through September 23, 2016.

Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC)
March 23 – 27, 2017 | Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C. | #17NTC
The NTC is the nonprofit sector’s signature technology event. It assembles over 2,000 of the best and brightest nonprofit and public sector professionals from around the world. Together, they collaborate, innovate, and discover new ways to spark change with technology. The 2017 D.C. event promises to attract a special group of people working in government and at foundations and international organizations. The NTC is produced by NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network.

International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE)
March 27 – 31, 2017 | Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV | #IWCE2017
IWCE is for communications technology professionals in the working world. It features over 400 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.


Government Social Media Conference & Expo (GSMCON)
April 10 – 1, 2017 | Dallas Sheraton, Dallas, TX | #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. You can also catch Government Social Media’s regional trainings starting in 2016.

Transforming Local Government Conference
April 18 – 21, 2017 | Tulsa, OK | #TLG2017
Called “the premiere thinking conference for local government,” this event is hosted by the Alliance for Innovation. 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.

National Council on Public History (NCPH) Annual Meeting
April 19 – 22, 2017 | Westin Indianapolis, IN | #ncph2017
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 Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear Conference
April 22 – 25, 2017 | Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, VA | #NASCIO17
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.

National Public Employer Labor Relations Association (NPELRA) Annual Training Conference
April 23 – 27, 2017 | Hilton Long Beach, Long Beach, CA | #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
May 7 – 9, 2017 | Bespoke, 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.

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada Annual Conference
May 21 – 24, 2017 | Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado | #GFOA2017
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.


SAIGE National Training Program
June 5 – 8, 2017 | We Ko Pa Resort and Conference Center, Scottsdale, AZ
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.

Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) Bid & Proposal Con
June 13 – 15, 2017 | New Orleans, LA | #APMP2017
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.

ServiceUnites: Conference on Volunteering and Service
June 19 – 21, 2017 | Seattle, WA | #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.


Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Professional Development Training (PDT)
July 9 – 12, 2017 | John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, Boston, MA
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.

Esri User Conference
July 10 – 14, 2017 | 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 future Esri User Conferences and check out the Esri Federal GIS Conference (FedGIS).

AHEAD Conference
July 17 – 22, 2017 | Hilton Orlando Hotel, Orlando, FL
The AHEAD Conference may be 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.

Next Generation of Government Training Summit
July 27 – 28, 2017 | Renaissance Downtown, 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.

World Congress 2017
July 23 – 26, 2017 | Chicago, IL | #NCMAwc
Over 2,000 professionals in contract management, procurement, and acquisition attend this annual event hosted by National Contract Management Association (NCMA). World Congress offers 115+ breakout sessions relevant to all career levels, engaging keynote and panel speakers, as well as many networking events. Attendees receive 20 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours. Registration opens in January 2017.


Federal Dispute Resolution (FDR) Training
August 7 – 10, 2017 | Marriott Marquis, San Francisco, CA | #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.


IPMA-HR International Training Conference & Expo
September 16 – 20, 2017 | San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, TX
This event by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) gathers professionals working in public sector human resources.

National Association of Government Web (NAGW) Professionals Annual Conference
September 19 – 22, 2017 | Hyatt Regency LaJolla, San Diego (LaJolla), CA | #NAGW2017
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.

National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference
September 30 – October 3, 2017 | JW Marriott Austin, Austin, TX | #NASCIO17
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.


NASPAA Annual Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017 | Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. | #NASPAA2017
The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) annual conference features speakers and breakout sessions on current public affairs education issues.

International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual Conference
October 22, 2017 | San Antonio/Bexar County, TX or virtual | #ICMA17
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 future ICMA Annual Conferences.


Salesforce’s Dreamforce
November 6 – 9, 2017 | Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA | #DF17
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.

ARNOVA’s Annual Conference: Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Government: Policy and Partnerships in an Era of Change
November 16 – 18, 2017 | Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids, MI | #arnova17
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 issues, 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—we might just add them when we update this list in January 2017.

Lauren Girardin is a marketing and communications consultant, writer, and speaker based in San Francisco. She helps organizations and do-gooders engage their communities and tell their stories. Her website is laurengirardin.com and you can connect with her on Twitter at @girardinl.

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Profile Photo Kevin Lanahan

Drupal GovCon is held in July in the DC area. It is a fantastic way to share and see what other government agencies are doing with Drupal. And it’s free!

Veronica Vasquez

Suggest you review the National Image, Inc. National Training Program (NTP), scheduled for Sept 11-15, 2017 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The National Image, Inc. NTP includes Top government and agency speakers, over 20 professional interactive workshops, Executive Mentoring Session, Agency Forums and excellent outreach outreach/recruitment opportunity: a Student Leadership Symposium , Veteran Track and Career Fair. Registration is very cost effective. National Image, Inc. is a non-profit organization serving the Hispanic Federal Workforce and Community for over 44 years, http://www.national-image.org/

Jordan Fuhr

Lauren, check on the nonprofit USGIF.org and its training and education events geared toward the government. It’s most well known for its annual GEOINT Symposium http://geointsymposium.com, which takes place June 4-7 in San Antonio this year, and its fall GEOINT Community Week of events.

Anthony Kissoon

Hey Lauren and Steve,

We have 2 large conferences that connect 3 levels of government here in Canada. The first is the Institute of Public Administration Canada’s Annual Conference (IPAC) and the second is IPAC’s New Professionals Conference or IPAC NP. We actually had the the esteemed privilege of having Steve come and speak at the NP Conference on Personal Branding. Thanks again Steve. It was a great presentation and a great pleasure to meet you.

Hope you both have a Happy New Year!