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Top Five Takeaways from the ICMA 2017 Conference

November 13, 2017
Top Five Takeaways from the ICMA 2017 Conference

-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!

ICMA 2017 _San Antonio Riverwalk_photo by NRC

See our entire ICMA 2017 photo album on Facebook

1. Managers are moved by emotion.

ICMA 2017 _Keynote Sessions_photo by NRC

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.

ICMA 2017 _Networking_photo by NRC

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.

ICMA 2017 _Discussion_photo by NRC

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.

ICMA 2017 _Discussion_photo by NRC

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.

ICMA 2017 _Exhibit Hall_photo by NRC

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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