best government conferences
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The Best Government Conferences of 2018 [UPDATED]

It’s time to start planning your professional development in 2018 with GovLoop’s list of the best government conferences.

This is the fourth year we’ve made this list for you. You’ll find brand new trainings, symposia, summits, forums, expos, seminars, workshops, conventions, and conferences worth checking out as well as established events that might be new to you. If you work in federal, state, or local government, you’ll discover events you cannot do without.

This list of the best government conferences will 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 2018. Our roundups of the best government conferences have been so valuable and popular that we created another list just for the best state and local government conferences.

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


Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Financial Systems Summit (FSS)
January 17, 2018 | Washington, D.C. or virtual | #FSS2018
The 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.

National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) National Conference and Global Forum
January 23 – 24, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #NCSE2018
The NSCE conference explores how systems thinking and a sustainability framework can serve society through education about an investment in natural, built, cyber, and social infrastructure. More than 1,000 leaders in science, technology, government, business, civil society, and education gather to consider cutting-edge issues, explore new technology and best practices, identify research priorities, and recommend solutions for policy and practice.


New Partners For Smart Growth Conference
February 1 – 3, 2018 | San Francisco, CA | #npsg
This smart growth and sustainability event places a strong emphasis on implementation tools, innovative strategies, and new technologies that will help communities work toward a common goal of creating safe, healthy, equitable, economically vibrant, and livable communities for all.

AcademyHealth National Health Policy Conference (NHPC)
February 5 – 6, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #NHPC18
At the NHPC, leading health care decision makers and policy experts use the latest evidence to inform the most critical issues and immediate policy priorities in United States health care. This two-day event puts policy insights and perspectives from diverse sectors of health and health care decision-making into context with the latest evidence and examples from science and practice.

Federal Networks Conference
February 12 – 13, 2018 | 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.

Public Sector CIO Academy: California
February 27 – 28, 2018 | Sacramento, CA | #govtechlive
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.

Association of Government Accountants (AGA) National Leadership Training (NLT)
February 27 – 28, 2018 | 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.

Climate Leadership Conference
February 28 – March 2, 2018 | Denver, CO | #TheCLC
The Climate Leadership Conference convenes a global audience of climate, energy, and sustainability professionals to address climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. It is an opportunity to collaborate with peers, learn from experts, and together, navigate the latest climate and energy solutions.


International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE)
March 5 – 9, 2018 | Orlando, FL | #IWCE2018
IWCE is a venue for communications technology professionals in the working world. It features hundreds of 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.

Global Partnerships Week
March 5 – 11, 2018 | various locations | #GPW2018
Global Partnerships Week (GPW) is a time for private sector, government, civil society and philanthropy to come together and share how they are working together in public-private partnerships. GPW features self-organized events around the world, from large-scale conferences and panels to intimate networking gatherings or webinars that serve to illuminate existing collaborations as well as potential partnership opportunities.

American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Annual Conference
March 9 – 13, 2018 | Denver, CO | #ASPA2018
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, scholars, and students from across the discipline.

South by Southwest (SXSW)
March 9 – 18, 2018 | Austin, TX | #SXSW
SXSW is a series of conferences and festivals that offer a convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. SXSW Interactive features a government track that focuses on areas related to government policy on all levels as well as privacy issues on both the personal and corporate level. Specific topics include policy and civic engagement on the local, state, and federal level; the relationship between government and technology; big data tracking; and surveillance concerns.

Federal Managers Association (FMA) National Convention and Management Training Seminar
March 11 – 14, 2018 | Alexandria, VA
Federal Managers Association (FMA) advocates excellence in public service through effective management and professionalism. The national convention provides an opportunity to discuss how FMA can promote excellence in the federal government.

Federal Information Systems Security Educators Association (FISSEA) Conference
March 14 – 15, 2018 | 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.

Esri Federal GIS Conference
March 20 – 21, 2018 | 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 User Conference (EsriUC).

Digital Government Institute’s (DGI) Discovery, Records & Information Management Conference
March 22, 2018 | Washington, D.C.
As the volume of digital information continues to grow, the scope of electronic records management has expanded exponentially and is an increasingly critical issue, particularly as it relates to providing secure storage, access, and retrieval of government records. At this DGI event, government and industry experts discuss technology solutions, requirements, and policy updates and changes, and review examples of successful electronic records and e-discovery programs. Free for government professionals.

Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo
March 26 – 29, 2018 | Kansas City, MO | #smartcitiesconnect
The Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo, co-located with the US Ignite Application Summit, convenes 400+ global city leaders, representing 250+ cities and communities to advance citizen engagement, improve citizen life, and to enhance partnership opportunities between innovative technology and solution providers.

ACT-IAC Acquisition Excellence
March 27, 2018 | Washington, D.C.#AE2018
At Acquisition Excellence attendees discover the latest developments and best practices on acquisition and get tangible strategies for procurement success.


Transforming Local Government Conference
April 3 – 6, 2018 | Tacoma, WA | #TLG2018
This event, hosted by the Alliance for Innovation, 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.

American Association for Budget & Program Analysis Spring Symposium
April 4, 2018 | Washington, D.C.
Government work is good work even when the funding is uncertain and the mission is huge. AABPA take a fresh look at what public sector employees do and why they do it. Speakers and panels explore the challenges of public service and the important role of budget and program analysis in government decisions.

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) Annual Conference
April 9 – 11, 2018 | 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.

Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC)
April 11 – 13, 2018 | New Orleans, LA | #18NTC
The Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), hosted by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), is the nonprofit sector’s signature technology event. It assembles thousands 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 AIIM Conference
April 10 – 13, 2018 | San Antonio, TX | #AIIM18
Join 600 information professionals from across the globe and discover the best techniques for managing your organization’s information from the world’s top experts.

National Public Employer Labor Relations Association (NPELRA) Annual Training Conference
April 15 – 19, 2018 | Charleston, SC | #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.

RSA Conference
April 16 – 20, 2018 | San Francisco, CA | #RSAC
RSA Conference helps drive the information security agenda worldwide. Attendees can learn about new approaches to info security, discover the latest technology, and interact with top security leaders and pioneers.

Advanced Learning Institute’s (ALI) Strategic Internal Communications for Government
April 17 – 19, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #ALI_GovComms
This event explores how to engage your employees by utilizing cost-effective tools, measure effectiveness, and achieve mission-critical results. Meet leading government communicators and learn how they developed their communications strategy, improved employee engagement, and much more.

National Council on Public History (NCPH) Annual Meeting
April 18 – 21, 2018 | Las Vegas, NV | #ncph2018
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 – 24, 2018 | Baltimore, MD | #NASCIO18
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.

Professional Services Council (PSC) Annual Conference
April 22 – 24, 2018 | Williamsburg, VA
The conference addresses the most important legislative and regulatory issues related to acquisition, business, and technology facing the government professional and technology services industry. Must be a PSC member to attend.

GITEC Summit
April 22 – 243, 2018 | Annapolis, MD | #2018GITECSummit
The GITEC Summit highlights the transformation of government IT programs, initiatives, and policies, as well as the evolution of those technologies we use.

GEOINT Symposium
April 22 – 25, 2018 | Tampa, FL | #GEOINT2018
The annual gathering for those working in geospatial intelligence. Provides training, education, and professional development to thousands of attendees, including government personnel, intelligence officers, members of the military, and industry specialists. The host, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) also hosts the GEOINT Community Week each fall.

Government Social Media Conference & Expo (GSMCON)
April 24 – 26, 2018 | Denver, CO | #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.

National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program
April 25 – 27, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #nejc2018
Three days of interactive training sessions showcase voices of experience, research, discussions, and thought-provoking dialogue. The program addresses the needs and challenges of communities, governments, municipalities, tribes, and others with an interest in environmental justice.


May 1, 2018 | 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.

Summit on Government Performance & Innovation
May 1 – 2, 2018 | Los Angeles, CA | #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 services, engage residents and improve government outcomes in their communities. The event is organized by Governing magazine, which also hosts other summits on infrastructure and public/private partnerships, financial leadership, and health and human services.

Broadband Communities Summit
May 1 – 3, 2018 | Austin, TX | #bbcsum18
The Broadband Communities Summit features telecommunications trends in broadband technologies for communities. It attracts broadband system operators, network builders, and deployers of all kinds. Many of the country’s major property owners and real estate developers attend the summit each year, along with independent telcos and cable companies, municipal and state officials, community leaders, and economic development professionals.

YTH Live: the youth + health + tech conference
May 6 – 7, 2018 | 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, and tech gather at YTH Live to showcase what works, share ideas and learnings, and launch new collaborations. Connect with vibrant thinkers, makers, and doers, and use what you learn to improve the lives of the youth you serve.

Association for Talent Development (ATD) International Conference & Exposition
May 6 – 9, 2018 | San Diego, CA
ATD 2018 gathers the game changers, the individuals who are shaping the industry, the legends who defined best practices, and the practitioners in talent development. The conference helps attendees effectively develop talent, giving organizations a competitive advantage. Note: ATD did not hold its Government Workforce Conference in 2017 and has not announced if it will hold the event in 2018.

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada Annual Conference
May 6 – 9, 2018 | St. Louis, MO | #GFOA2018
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.

National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Health Equity Conference
May 8, 2018 | New Orleans, LA
The Health Equity Conference offers attendees the opportunity to meet with peers and experts who share the an interest in health equity issues in rural America. This conference is designed for those who are dedicated to bringing quality health care and services to the underserved and often under-represented U.S. rural population. NRHA hosts other events throughout the year, including the Annual Rural Health Conference.

Governing Leadership Forum: Michigan
May 8, 2017 | Lansing, MI | #govlive
State and local government convene at this one-day event organized by Governing magazine. Participants will be inspired to take action and advance better government. Governing magazine hosts similar government leadership events in other regions.

National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Annual Rural Health Conference
May 8 – 11, 2018 | New Orleans, LA | #NRHA2018
The Rural Health Conference is for anyone with an interest in rural health care, including rural health practitioners, hospital administrators, clinic directors and lay health workers, social workers, state and federal health employees, academics, community members, and more. It is the nation’s largest rural health conference. NRHA hosts other events throughout the year, including the Health Equity Conference.

Igniting Innovation Conference and Awards
May 11, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #IgnitingInnovation18
Igniting Innovation is an annual event that showcases innovations to improve services to citizens and government operations.

Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) National Leadership Training Program
May 13 – 18, 2018 | Arlington, VA
A destination for training in leadership, diversity, inclusion/EEO, and career advancement and management. Open to all federal employees. Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) is a nonprofit representing the civilian and military Asian Pacific American (APA) employees in the federal and D.C. governments.

Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) Bid & Proposal Con
May 15 – 18, 2018 | San Diego, CA | #APMP2018
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.

Socrata Connect
May 17 – 18, 2018 | Austin, TX | #SocrataConnect
Public servants from federal, state, and local governments and other public sector institutions from the U.S. and around the world gather to share best practices on data-driven government, open data, and performance management.

Advanced Learning Institute’s (ALI) Social, Video, and Mobile Communications for Government
May 22 – 24, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #ALI_IC
Learn how to drive engagement, boost user generated content, and improve the employee experience and culture through digital communication channels.

Code for America Summit
May 30 – June 1, 2018 | Oakland, CA | #CfASummit
The Code for America Summit is a roll-up-your-sleeves conference that brings together government innovators, civic-minded technologists, and entrepreneurs to tackle big problems to deliver government that works in a digital age.

dg.o Conference: Digital Government Society (DGS) International Conference on Digital Government Research
May 30 – June 1, 2018 | Delft, The Netherlands | #dgo2018
The dg.o conference is a forum for presentation, discussion, and demonstration of interdisciplinary research on digital government, political participation, civic engagement, technology innovation, applications, and practice.


Asian American Government Executives Network (AAGEN) Leadership Workshop
June date TBA, 2018 | Location TBA
This leadership training is designed for emergent leaders in the federal civilian or military workforce who are currently at O5/O6 or GS-13/14/15 or equivalent management level who want to gain effective and actionable executive-level skills.

Government Fleet Expo & Conference
June 4 – 7, 2018 | San Diego, CA | #GFX2018
At this conference, public fleet professionals can have real conversations with their peers about daily challenges, get public fleet-specific training, and access the latest vehicles and technology in the exhibit hall. It provides an opportunity to learn from the industry’s top public fleet professionals from across the country, connect and share ideas, and learn new strategies for efficiency, increasing ROI, and cutting costs.

Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) National Education Conference & Expo (NEC)
June 5 – 7, 2018 | Norfolk, VA | #SGMPNEC
The National Education Conference (NEC) is the largest annual event in the government meetings industry and is where government professionals from across the country come together for education, resources and networking.

Key Executive Leadership Conference
June 6, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #KeyLeadershipConference2018
This is an opportunity to explore principles, industry trends, and best leadership practices by talks given by exceptional leaders in the field from the federal government and public sector as well as non-governmental and nonprofit organizations. The conference is provided by the School of Public Affairs Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University.

M-Enabling Summit
June 11 – 13, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #mEnabling18
The M-Enabling Summit is dedicated to dedicated to promoting accessible and assistive technology for senior citizens and users of all abilities. It connects leaders in government, private sector and industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations to advance discussion and decisionmaking at the intersection of mobile technology, aging disability, and policy in the United States and abroad.

Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) National Training Program
June 11 – 14, 2018 | Green Bay, WI
SAIGE hosts this annual training featuring workshops and professional development opportunities for all government employees. The program has trainings in American Indian and Alaska Native topics, including government-to-government relations and Federal Indian Law. It includes a program for veterans and a youth leadership track.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Public Affairs and Government Summit
June 15 – 16, 2018 | Kansas City, MO | #pagprsa
This summit focuses on the multi-disciplinary interests of communicators who hold public affairs roles in the private and NGO sectors, as well as in local, state, or national government bodies, and the military. The event features informative sessions on topics including social media, crisis management, the use of polling to define messaging, public record requests, and best practices for issue advocacy campaigns.

ServiceUnites: Conference on Volunteering and Service
June 18 – 20, 2018 | Atlanta, GA | #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.

National Disability Rights Network’s P&A/CAP Annual Conference
June 18 – 21, 2018 | Baltimore, MD | #NDRN2018
The Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System and Client Assistance Program (CAP) Annual Conference is an event for anyone who supports meaningful choice, empowerment, and independence for all people with disabilities. Attendees build skills, and also renew and deepen their commitment to equality for people with disabilities.

National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) Communications School
June 19 – 21, 2018 | Ft. Myers, FL | #NAGC2018
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.


National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Biennial Conference
July 3 – 7, 2018 | Hartford, CT | #2018NAD
NAD ensures that the needs and concerns of the nation’s deaf and hard of hearing community are well represented on the federal level. The NAD Conference is specifically tailored for deaf, deaf-blind, late-deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing professionals, federal and state employees, civic and community organization employees, and more. In partnership with Deaf in Government (DIG), NAD offers Government Employee Training (GET) sessions during the conference.

Esri User Conference
July 9 – 13, 2018 | 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 check out the Esri Federal GIS Conference (FedGIS).

EEOC’s EXCEL Conference
July 10 – 12, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #EEOCEXCEL
The EXCEL Training Conference, sponsored by the EEOC’s Training Institute, is a national training conference for federal and private sector EEO managers, supervisors, practitioners, HR professionals, attorneys and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) specialists looking to gain knowledge for making tough HR decisions.

Federally Employed Women (FEW) National Training Program (NTP)
July 16 – 20, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
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 16 – 21, 2018 | Albuquerque, NM
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.

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Convention & Federal Training Institute (FTI)
July 17 – 21, 2018 | Phoenix, AZ | #LULAC18
The LULAC National Convention draws over 15,000 participants including top leaders from the government, business, and the Latino community. The convention includes the Federal Training Institute (FTI), an intensive and structured career development program for government and public sector employees, with sessions that enable them to develop their Executive Core Qualifications.

Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Professional Development Training (PDT)
July 22 – 25, 2018 | Orlando, FL 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 2018
July 22 – 25, 2018 | Cleveland, OH | #NCMAwc
Over 2,000 professionals in contract management, procurement, and acquisition attend this event hosted by National Contract Management Association (NCMA). World Congress offers 100+ breakout sessions relevant to all career levels, engaging main stage speakers, as well as many exciting networking events. Attendees receive 20 CPE/CLP credits.

Annual Conference on Independent Living
July 23 – 26, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #NCIL2018
The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) conference attracts grassroots advocates, government representatives, and people from major organizations that work to advance independent living andsmart the rights of people with disabilities.

International Personnel Assessment Council (IPAC) Conference
July 29 – August 1, 2018 | Alexandria, VA
A collaborative environment to learn about trends and best practices in recruitment and merit-based assessment practices, and to work through I/O related challenges.


Advanced Learning Institute’s (ALI) Engaging Citizens & Improving Outcomes: Digital Communications for Government
August 7 – 9, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #ALI_GovComms
This training is tailored for the government communicator who wants to enhance how you connect with your citizens. Learn how to grow citizen engagement by identifying the right channels to connect with your audience and choosing the right type of content. You can expect great content, inspirational speakers, hands-on workshops, and plenty of networking opportunities.

DEF CON Hacking Conference
August 9 – 12, 2018 | Las Vegas, NV | #DEFCON
DEF CON is the world’s longest running and largest hacker convention. Government security researchers, cyber staff, developers, IT employees, and law enforcement join black and white hat hackers at this conference to better understand the significant vulnerabilities facing public and private sector technology, systems, and products.

Next Generation of Government Training Summit
August 9 – 10, 2018 | 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. The two-day summit inspires federal, state, and local govies to be positive change ambassadors.

Federal Dispute Resolution (FDR) Training
August 13 – 16, 2018 | Orlando, FL | #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 13 – 16, 2018 | New Orleans, LA
The National Training Institute (NTI) is attended by public servants across the federal, state, and local government levels. It is designed to elevate the day-to-day work performance of government employees to include methods on how to recognize and embrace a leadership role in the thrust of government transformation.

Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Homeland Security Conference and Federal Identity Forum & Exposition (FIFE)
August 15 – 17, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #AFCEAHomeland & #FedID
The AFCEA Homeland Security Conference brings together the people in charge of ensuring mission success for open discussion. The conference will be co-located with the AFCEA FIFE, an outreach and collaboration-building event between the federal government and the worldwide identity community. The two events share an exhibit hall but operate separately.

Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Annual Conference
August 19 – 22, 2018 | Quebec, Canada | #IPAC2018
The IPAC Conference showcases cutting-edge best practices, models, and collaborative efforts that have achieved excellence in public service delivery, governance, and policy development. Attracts attendees from across Canada working at all levels of government and the public sector as well as representatives from Indigenous governments and institutions, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and academia.

Energy Exchange
August 21 – 23, 2018 | Cleveland, OH | #EnergyExchange2018
The Energy Exchange is the Federal Energy Management Program’s event that brings together subject matter experts from a wide range of technical disciplines to share their knowledge of government best practices with the federal energy management community. The Energy Exchange actively supports the development of federal energy efficiency champions by offering a comprehensive selection of training sessions and a technology-focused trade show.

Drupal GovCon
August 22 – 24, 2018 | Bethesda, MD | #drupalgovcon
Drupal GovCon brings together people from all over the country who use, develop, design, and support the Drupal platform with a focus in government. Drupal GovCon features presentations on the cutting edge of the current state of Drupal and how to leverage your skills to better serve your community.

National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) Annual Conference
August 26 – 27, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
The NATOA Annual Conference is the premier event for local government IT, government access programmers, and communications and cable decisionmakers.

August 28, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #930gov
930gov is a free, one-day, multi-track conference and trade show where government technical communities gather to connect, exchange, and gather ideas in one location from thought-leaders from each community.


United States Conference on AIDS (USCA)
September 6 – 9, 2018 | Orlando, FL | #USCA
The USCA is the largest conference on AIDS in the nation. It is hosted by National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), a nonprofit that leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America.

National Image’s National Training Program
September 10 – 13, 2018 | Kansas City, MO
Provides government employees, including those involved in the management of Hispanic employment and outreach programs, the education and skills necessary to reach their full leadership potential and to fully manage their employment programs. Includes a career fair for federal agencies to talk to attendees, students, and the public about government employment opportunities.

Professional Services Council (PSC) Tech Trends Conference
September 11, 2018 | Washington, D.C.
The PSC Tech Trends Conference is an opportunity to hear from senior government officials and engage on the top IT issues facing the federal government. At this half-day conference, you’ll be the first to hear the results of PSC’s survey of federal IT and cybersecurity leaders and gain insights on how to help the government deliver more effective mission results through technology adoption.

National Association of Government Web (NAGW) Professionals Annual Conference
September 12 – 14, 2018 | Pittsburgh, PA | #NAGW2018
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.

Global Climate Action Summit
September 12 – 14, 2018 | San Francisco, CA | #GCAS2018
The Global Climate Action Summit brings together leaders from state, tribal, and local governments, business, and citizens from around the world, to demonstrate how the tide has turned in the race against climate change, showcase climate action taking place around the world, and inspire deeper commitments from each other and from national governments — in support of the Paris Agreement.

Predictive Analytics World for Government (PAWGOV)
September 17 – 18, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #PAWGOV
PAWGOV is a practically-focused conference that highlights case studies of how government agencies are currently using data analytics to solve real world problems. PAWGOV is for government executives, program managers, financial and HR managers, CIOs and CTOs, law enforcement, and analytics professionals, covering today’s deployment of predictive analytics and data mining across government agencies and across software vendors.

African American Federal Executive Association (AAFEA) Annual Training Workshop
September 17 – 19, 2018 | College Park, MD
The AAFEA Training Workshop focus on the programs, policies, practices, and processes that promote career-enhancing opportunities and the fundamental competencies needed to become and succeed as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES). Designed for federal and military professionals with experience at the GS-13 and above levels.

Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Internal Control & Fraud Prevention Training (IC&FPT)
September 20 – 21, 2018 | Washington, D.C. or virtual | #Fraud18
The IC&FPT gives attendees ways to find solutions and make a difference in the workplace and the government finance profession. The agenda includes a range of timely and valuable information including fraud detection, data analytics, improper payments, and risks with government payment cards.

International Open Data Conference (IODC)
September 21 – 22, 2018 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | #IODC18
The IODC attracts senior government officials, policy experts, academics, and open data advocates to meet, make connections, and work together to enable the open data revolution. The IODC helps to chart open data’s future and, in turn, strengthens democracy, generates jobs, and builds prosperity.

IPMA-HR International Training Conference & Expo
September 22 – 26, 2017 | Phoenix, AZ | #IACP2018
Whether you are new to human resources, or in a senior human resources position, the IPMA-HR International Training Conference & Expo can help you stay current in the ever-changing field of human resources.

International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual Conference
September 23 – 26, 2018 | Baltimore, MD | #ICMA18
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
September 25 – 28, 2018 | San Francisco, CA | #DF18
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.


Out & Equal Workplace Summit
October 1 – 4, 2018 | Seattle, WA | #OESummit
The Out & Equal Workplace Summit convenes attendees to share strategies and best practices to create workplace equality, inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions. The event attracts executives, human resource professionals, leaders, and individuals working at their company, government agency, or organization to create a workplace free of discrimination.

Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change (BECC) Conference
October 7 – 10, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #BECC2018
The BECC conference focuses on understanding the behavior and decision-making of individuals and organizations and using that knowledge to accelerate our transition to an energy-efficient and low-carbon future.

GLMA Annual Conference on LGBT Health
October 10 – 13, 2018 | Las Vegas, NV | #GLMA2018
GLMA’s Annual Conference is the premier, interdisciplinary LGBT health conference and the world’s largest scientific gathering devoted to LGBT health issues and concerns. It educates practitioners, policy advocates, educators, administrators, researchers, and students about the unique health needs of LGBT individuals and families.

National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) Annual Conference
October 10 – 13, 2018 | Atlanta, GA | #NASPAA2018
The NASPAA annual conference features speakers and breakout sessions on current public affairs education issues.

Imagine Nation – ELC
October 14 – 17, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA | #ImagineNation2018
ATC-IAC’s Imagine Nation – ELC offers an experience designed to spark the imagination, inspire bold thinking and fresh ideas, foster collaboration and dialogue, and spotlight the newest and most relevant technology. The conference brings together forward-thinking agencies and companies focused on improving mission delivery, and offers neutral ground where government and industry can work together as true partners.

National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference
October 20 – 23, 2018 | San Diego, CA | #NASCIO18
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.

October 25 – 27, 2018 | Montreal, Canada | #Clarity2018
Clarity is a conference that examines the importance of plain language in law, government, and business. The event promotes accessible writing and the consequent benefits for organisations that communicate with clarity. Speakers at the conference investigate the link between clarity, reputation, and effectiveness. The conference is held ever 2 years.

PSC’s Vision Federal Market Forecast Conference
October 29 – 30, 2018 | Falls Church, VA
The Vision Federal Market Forecast addresses the defense, civilian, and federal IT markets. It is where industry and government convene to present and discuss the results of the Vision Federal Market Forecast, which delivers insights from hundreds of government executives, think tank experts, congressional staff, and Wall Street analysts who take part in non-attribution interviews, providing a concise, quantifiable assessment of the budgets, programs, priorities, and issues in a rapidly changing environment.


American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Expo
November 10 – 18, 2018 | San Diego, CA | #APHA2018
The APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition is where public health professionals convene, learn, network, and engage with peers. Conference participants attend to strengthen the profession of public health, share the latest research and information, promote best practices, and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research.

ARNOVA’s Annual Conference
November 15 – 17, 2018 | Austin, TX | #arnova18
The ARNOVA conference is designed to create a public conversation on, as well as opportunities for presenting research about, pressing issues and vital opportunities facing the voluntary or nonprofit sector. It is both a showcase for the best and most current research, as well as a seed bed from which new research is born.

Blockchain Expo North America
November 28 – 29, 2018 | Santa Clara, CA | #BlockchainExpo
Blockchain Expo brings together thousands of delegates across key industries for two days of content from leading brands embracing and developing cutting edge blockchain technologies.

Government Video Expo and Government Learning Technologies Conference (GLTS)
November 27 – 29, 2018 | Washington, D.C. #gvexpo
The Government Video Expo features a broad range of production, post-production, streaming, display, and delivery technologies, providing information to media professionals working for federal, state and local government, law enforcement, education, nonprofits, and publicly-funded institutions. The Government Learning Technologies Conference features presentations on instructional design, cognitive science, gamification and game-based learning, video design for distance learning, LMS integration, 508 Accessibility Compliance, assistive technologies, and more.


Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Conference
December 9 – 12, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA
The COGEL Conference is an opportunity to network with top professionals in the fields of governmental ethics, freedom of information, elections, lobbying, and campaign finance.

International LGBT Leaders Conference
December date TBA, 2018 | Washington, D.C. | #OutPower18
Hundreds of LGBTQ elected officials, leaders, and advocates from across the world come together for the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference. The conference includes three days of networking and skills building to strategize the year ahead in the movement for equality.

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 other events and conferences 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 of government conferences to attend in 2019.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in October 2017. It has been updated with the latest information on the best government conferences.

Lauren Girardin is a marketing and communications consultant, freelance writer, and trainer based in San Francisco. She helps organizations, foundations, and companies with a conscience engage their communities and tell their stories. Her website is and you can connect with her on Twitter at @girardinl.

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Kevin Merritt

Socrata Connect will take place May 16-18, 2018 in Austin, TX and will be co-hosted by the City of Austin. More than 700 public servants from federal, state and local governments and other public sector institutions from the US and around the world will gather in Austin to share best practices on data-driven government, open data and performance management. Website with more info is here:

Shalyn Bridges

Each year on the Monday before Thanksgiving, Executive Women in Texas Government holds its annually professional development conference and a networking reception on the Sunday evening before the conference. The conference brings together more than 800 women in state and local government, higher education, and public-private partners to network with experts, gain practical hands-on experience, develop insight on organizational change, engage with industry leaders, enhance strategic planning and leadership skills, and learn new strategies for overcoming challenges. Detail of this year’s conference are on the EWTG website at

Jim Thompson

Don’t forget Global Partnerships Week in 2018. This conference is now a marque event for private sector, government, civil society and philanthropy to come together and share how they are working together in public-private partnerships. #GPW2018 will kick off with the Forum on March 5, 2018 at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. The event is produced by the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Concordia Summit and the PeaceTech Lab. PPP events will be held the entire week all around the world. More information is at:

Ana Camerano

Hello Lauren, how are you? Not sure if you are only notifying events in North America, but there is the Encuentro Latinoamericano de Innovación Social desde el Sector Público (Latin America Meeting of Social Innovation from the Public Sector) that will take place August 29-30, 2018 in Florianópolis, Brazil. This is the 4º edition of the event that gather public servants, private sector and civil society from more than 10 countries, sharing the best government innovation practices from Latin America. The event will be held by WeGov, an emerging start-up that works for empowering public servants towards an innovative approach, illuminate good ideas from the public sector and bring all the spheres of power together.


Another event held by WeGov will take place June 06 2018 in Brasília, Brazil, called Innovation Tags for Government. This will be the first edition of the event, that will gather public servants and institutions from all the country to discuss disruptive ideas, subjects that matter for the future and innovative practices to start at their own working place.

Thanks! 🙂

Karen Kunz

The Association of Budget & Program Analysts will host its annual symposium on April 4th. In celebration of public service the theme is Government Work is Good Work. Keynote speaker, John Koskinen, completed his term as Commissioner of IRS last November and is well known for his willingness to accept challenges. In addition, AABPA’s President-Elect, Michael Sieverts, formerly Budget Director for NSF, will talk with Holly Harvey, Deputy Assistant Director of CBO from 2009 to 2017, about the challenges of providing large amounts of timely, objective information for legislative decisions by Congress. Other panels include disaster preparedness, and pracademics.
The event will be held Wednesday, April 4th, 9:00am-4:00pm at the Auditorium of the Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave SW, Washington DC For information and to register go to

Key Executive Leadership Programs

The Ninth Annual Key Executive Leadership Conference takes place on June 6, 2018 in Washington, D.C! The Annual Key Executive Leadership Conference is a 200-person conference provided by the School of Public Affairs Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University. This event provides participants with the opportunity to explore principles, industry trends, and best leadership practices through key plenary and concurrent session presentations given by exceptional leaders in the field. Set in the heart of Washington, D.C., Key conference participants are from the federal government and public sector as well as non-governmental and non-profit organizations. The 2018 conference theme focuses on Innovation in a Box.
For schedule, session & speaker information, sponsorship details and how to register, visit: #KeyLeadershipConference2018

Jolly Holden

Lauren, could you please add this free Conference and Government Symposium to the Nov. 2018 schedule?

The 2018 Government Video Expo ( and Government Learning Technologies Conference (GLTS) will be held at the Washington D.C. Convention Center, Nov. 28 – 30, 2018. The GV EXPO is the East Coast’s largest technology event designed for video, broadcast, and AV professionals. The GLTS, co-located with the GV EXPO, is sponsored by the Federal Government Distance Learning Association ( and includes two days of consecutive sessions featuring presentations on instructional design, cognitive science, gamification and game-based learning, video design for distance learning, LMS integration, 508 Accessibility Compliance, assistive technologies, and much more. The FGDLA is also hosting its annual awards, recognizing Federal Government agencies and organizations for their excellence in distance learning. There is no registration fee for the GV EXPO and the GLTS. To view the 2017 GLTS program, click this link:

Thank you
Jolly Holden, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Federal Government Distance Learning Association (

Jolly Holden

Lauren, could you please add this to the December Government Video Expo and Government Learning Technologies Conference (GLTS):
The FGDLA is announcing the call for papers and awards supporting the Government Learning Technology Symposium (GLTS). Please go to to submit your presentation abstract (due date June 29) and for the awards submission form(s). There is no cost to attend the GVEXPO and/or GLTS.
Thank you
Jolly Holden, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Federal Government Distance Learning Association


Hi Lauren!

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) has a brand new conference: FEDcon18, taking place August 26-28 in Jacksonville, FL.

The premier training conference for the federal community, FEDcon18’s experts deliver:
–Practical, easy-to-understand knowledge to ensure that feds capitalize on your federal benefits and leave nothing on the table at retirement and beyond.
–A close inspection of legislation and policies threatening the security of current and retired Feds – and what you can do
–Best practices and leadership development to enhance the federal community’s contribution at the local level.

FEDcon18 in Jacksonville, Florida, sets the stage for a one-of-a-kind forum celebrating the dedication of America’s civil servants. Get ready for a fast-paced, two and one-half days of thought-provoking speakers, leadership training, intensive benefit education and the opportunity to engage and connect with your federal colleagues.

OPM Director, Dr. Jeff Pon will speak to attendees in the General Session on Monday, August 27. Keynote speakers include NPR’s Nara Liasson, Former Astronaut, Mike Massimino, Nationally-known Federal Benefits Expert, Tammy Flanagan, and many more.

A bargain at $175 for NARFE members or $235 for non-members, FEDcon18 is a one-of-a-kind conference for Feds!


Hi Lauren,

This is an excellent list of influential conferences, and I think I may have one more to add. This June, Geographic Solutions is hosting the 15th Annual Workforce Technology Conference. The conference highlights online employment software solutions for job seekers, employers, state and local workforce staff, labor market analysts, economic development professionals, career counselors, and training providers across the country:

This one may also be a good add for the state and local government conference list.