On March 18-20, 2018, 627 state procurement professionals, suppliers, small business leaders and government stakeholders convened in New York City to participate in the 2018 NASPO Exchange. This year’s Exchange outpaced last year’s record-breaking attendance by more than 11 percent, demonstrating the continued value of this unique opportunity for engagement between state procurement professionals and the supplier community.
One-on-One meetings between state procurement staff and vendor representatives continue to be the nucleus of the Exchange. Dedicating a large portion of the conference schedule to these pre-scheduled face-to-face meetings allows participants ample occasions to focus on the contract and business needs of the individual states represented at the Exchange.
In addition to One-on-Ones, participants engaged in high-energy, large group educational and learning opportunities on topics ranging from debunking procurement myths, to addressing the ever-changing needs of IT procurement, to solving problems through positive supplier/government procurement relationships.
This year, state members and suppliers also participated in several small “question group” sessions addressing a variety of procurement-related topics of interest, such as emerging technologies, diversity in the supplier community and green and sustainable purchasing, to name just a few.
NASPO Exchange participants continued the tradition of giving back to the conference host city by participating in a service project to benefit the local community. This year’s NASPO Cares Service Project benefitted individuals experiencing homelessness in New York City. Working in cooperation with The Partnership for the Homeless, Exchange attendees assembled 400 individual personal care kits to be distributed to those in need.
While conference feedback is still being collected, enthusiasm for the Exchange was evident in the faces of our participants. We look forward to seeing you in for the 2019 NASPO Exchange, April 8-10, 2019, in Denver, Colorado!