-By Tom Miller–
With well over 3,000 local government professionals in attendance, this year’s Annual International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Conference in San Antonio, TX has been said to be the largest one yet. We found San Antonio to be a lively and welcoming city, the conference exhibit hall to be pleasantly filled with resources, and the all-star list of speakers and sessions to be as illuminating as ever. Though National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) has gone to the ICMA conference for close to 20 years, we always return with fresh takeaways and ICMA 2017 was no exception!
1. Managers are moved by emotion.
The opening keynote by Rabia Saddique was laden with raw and touching detail about a life of challenge, battle and success. So many managers spoke about how her stories moved them and helped them see what resilience really means.
2. Social connections are the foundation for solutions and professional development.
Attendees who get to know one another better because of time spent at the conference find colleagues who have tried an idea, tool or a solution that they can trust and bring home. These connections also prove instrumental to help individuals grow in their careers.
3. A whole lot of learning goes on.
There are hundreds of sessions and discussions to participate in at the conference. Attendees ask a lot of questions in sessions and workshops and share their own experiences. So much so that attendees are not the only ones learning and mining great ideas. Instructors often do best by facilitating discussion rather than lecturing.
4. ICMA staff and volunteers make it look easy.
Use the ICMA bivouac center in the conference hall and you will see it abuzz with staff working furiously, fueled by coffee and dedication to make sure that all the venues are properly functioning and that members, trainers and exhibitors get where and what they need to make their experience a success.
5. The exhibitor hall is a hive of resources and ideas.
From the ICMA Pavilion to the far corner aisles, the exhibit hall is a candy-shop of innovation for city and town management. Those who engage in conversation with the many vendors there will inevitably come away with the tools they need to achieve their goals for their community.
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National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) is a leading full-service survey research and evaluation firm focusing on the information requirements of the public sector, including local governments, health care providers, foundations and non-profit organizations. Visit our home on the Web at www.n-r-c.com. Check out our media page for more news, tips and human-interest stories from NRC.
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