Yesterday I delivered the keynote at the 10th annual SEWP conference in Austin, Texas. For those of you who do not know the government market, SEWP is a government-wide contract (GWAC in our parlance) for high-end information technology products.
First - I had a great time. I learned that SEWP is not simply a contract and that the conference is not simply an event, but that SEWP is a community comprised of the SEWP staff, agencies buyers, and the contractors. These people know one and respect one another and truly enjoy themselves when they get together.
Second- We have all been to events where have either been or seen the "fringe" people - those who are too new to an event to feel a part of it and who will go to their rooms for meals. This event did everything possible to be inclusive, with the SEWP staff acting as ambassadors, seeking out all the attendees.
Third, looking at the agenda and talking to the attendees, I know that Joanne Woytek, Marcus Fedeli and the rest of the SEWP staff put together a great program, chock full of stuff people could use as soon as they got to the office.
Finally - the content guy as keynoter. As soon as I hit the stage I felt at home. I knew some of the attendees from before, met several others at dinner the night I arrived, and I just felt good. It is not for me to say how I did, so I will ask some of the folks who attended to comment - but I had about 20 people come up to me after the speech to say how much they enjoyed it. As I was only there for about 20 minutes after I was done spoeaking, I think that I must have been OK.
All things considered, I am honored to have been a small part of the event.