Tuesday, April 7, 2009

FOSE, Government 2.0 Camp and more

Government 2.0 Camp:

Although I was not there, this event created a ton of buzz which continues. Steve Radick has a great post on the event here
Give it a look, take some of the challenges to heart. I will be at the next Camp.


I posted a question on about 20 of my government-facing groups at LinkedIn on FOSE: I simply asked what people thought of it. I did not attend FOSE this year as I was heading over to the UK that week and had some prep to do for my trip.

The consensus is....that there is no consensus. This has been the same for several years now. Here are a few of the unedited responses (without names):

- Mark, I did not go and haven't for a few years now. FOSE has lost interest for me because it became so hardware and even software vendor based. I'd much rather go to a homeland defense/homeland security conference and see the specific items designed for the fields of work rather than a generic IT conference.

- I attended. Thought it was a good conference - presentations, keynotes, exhibit floor. Of course, I might be a bit biased as one of the presentations was mine. :-) The 1105 folks know how to put on a conference.

- FOSE was a solid event this year. Industry particpation was down - but government attendance was strong - and the decision makers were throughout. Its been the best conference of 2009 so far.

- I did go for two days and was disappointed with the turnout at the Gov. 2.0 presentation especially.

- I thought that the show itself was pretty good. I didn't attend last year; however, most I have spoken with who attended last year and this year seem to think that this years show was a lot better than last years. I was only down there one day, but the foot traffic was pretty steady all day, and I really enjoyed some of the topics covered during the breakout sessions... by far, imho, the Web 2.0 panel discussion was great.

-We were actually "exhibitors" at GovSec in the adjoining room at the Center and we were (literally) fifty feet from the connecting door... We received a ton of walk through our booth from folks headed to FOSE. They claimed that they had no idea of the co-joining and if the did they would have brought additional folks from their departments. Personally, I think there was a wonderful opportunity for synergy between the IT folks and Physical Security folks since those worlds are coming so much closer together... If they continue to co-join the events then they should sponsor some "joint presentations" showing the inter-operability of the two sectors... It just makes sense to me!

- FOSE is not worth attending unless you are a big box provider. The big box companies: IBM, CISCO, HP, etc. dwarf any independents from gaining attention. Also, typical attendee is lower level government managers without control over funds who are there to get the swag handed out at the booths.

As you can see, some liked the show and benefitted from it, others did not like the show. Part of this is the expectation and plan you have before attending. Part is the show itself.

Events need to be a part of the government market landscape - no doubt about it. I prefer more focused events as a rule.

If FOSE, along with GovSec, is to remain part of the B2G ecosystem, I think it needs a strong focus and a broader networking appeal - networking in both the web 2.0 sense and the traditional face-to-face sense.

A couple thoughts on what needs to happen is FOSE is to gain broader community support;

1) year-round conversations (via web 2.0 platforms) on what FOSE needs. This will get grassroots feedback that should help planning.

2) continued emphasis on the educational/certification side. I was happy to see this get some emphasis this year.

3) a FOSE groups on various social networks, including FederalContractor.us, GovLoop.com and LinkedIn.

4) semi-related, but in the category of nothing to be done about it....I do not like the DC Convention Center and I am far from alone in that assessment. Parking is minimal and the layout is poor. Again - nothing to be done about this because there is no fall-back venue.

Suufice it to say I heard nothing about big bags - http://www.federaldirect.net/offwhite21.html

Enough said for now.


  1. Mark - thanks for the shout-out here. Government 2.0 Camp was a great event, and I look forward to seeing you more active out there in the Government 2.0 Community. Have you joined GovLoop (www.govloop.com) yet?

  2. Steve
    I belong to GovLoop, FederalContractor, LinkedIn, Facebook and a few others. I concentrate mainly on LinkedIn