NASPO hosted more than 500 state procurement professionals, suppliers and other guests, April 9-11, in Denver, Colorado, during the 2019 NASPO Exchange. The number of attendees included representatives from 42 states, as well as 166 companies that are supportive business partners to state government agencies. This year’s Exchange conference was co-hosted by NASPO ValuePoint. MMCAP, the Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy, also provided support for Exchange by co-hosting the audio-visual for the event.
One-on-One meetings between state procurement staff and supplier representatives remain central to the overall Exchange experience. Dedicating a significant portion of the conference to these pre-scheduled, face-to-face meetings between state procurement professionals and the suppliers who provide goods and services to government allows all participants abundant opportunities to focus on the contract and business needs of the individual states represented at the Exchange. This year’s Exchange also expanded the duration of these scheduled meeting times and offered suppliers more appointment openings.
In addition to One-on-Ones, Exchange participants engaged in high-energy, large group educational and learning opportunities ranging from the Pinnacle Session, which featured a panel of CPOs deliberating issues currently facing procurement officials, to panelists discussing the marketplace perspective of IT procurement. These general sessions were coupled with small-group breakouts on topics ranging from demystifying reverse auctions, supplier best practices and innovative procurements to ethics and getting the best value out of state procurements. Regional Idea Exchange breakout sessions were also held to provide a unique opportunity for suppliers to engage with state members within a specific segment of the country.
At its core, NASPO is a service-minded organization and its members are truly public servants at heart. In recognition of that common value, NASPO Exchange participants continued the tradition of giving back to the conference host city by participating in a service project. This year’s NASPO Cares Service Project benefitted Freedom Service Dogs of America, which prepares shelter dogs to become custom-trained support animals for individuals in need. Working collaboratively, NASPO state members and suppliers assembled 250 snuffle mats and 1,000 tug pulls that will be used to train these highly specialized dogs in their call to service. In addition, Exchange attendees also generously gave more than $800 in personal charitable contributions and donated dog treats that are used as rewards during training. NASPO also made a charitable contribution of $2,000 to Freedom Service Dogs of America in support of their mission to provide life-changing assistance to people in need.
While conference feedback is still being collected, enthusiasm for the 2019 Exchange was evident. NASPO and ValuePoint look forward to welcoming everyone to join us in Nashville, Tennessee for the 2020 NASPO Exchange, March 24-26!
Don’t forget to submit your travel reimbursements for Exchange! It’s easy! Just complete the reimbursement forms available on the NASPO Network. If you have any questions or need assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The registration deadline for the Midwestern Regional Conference has been extended to April 29! If you have not already signed up, register today to reserve your spot!
NASPO regional conferences provide a great opportunity to learn new approaches to your top procurement priorities, share best practices and connect with fellow members in the Midwestern Region. With education and networking opportunities targeted to state procurement staff, this is an excellent professional development opportunity for up to six individuals from your state. NASPO provides full registration and travel funding for your allotted participants, so don’t let this important member benefit go to waste.
Procurement U will also offer a half-day professional development training “Building Effective Customer Service and Agency Relations” on Tuesday, May 21 prior to the opening welcome reception at the Midwestern Conference. This optional complimentary training requires a separate registration.
To register for the Procurement U training, click here and you will be directed to the Procurement U site. Sign up soon to receive the important notifications, pre-work and resources for the training.
Questions? Contact NASPO Staff for more information about the conference.
If your state is not in the Midwest, mark you calendar for your regional conference!
2019 Eastern Regional Conference - July 16-18, Portland, Maine
2019 Southern Regional Conference - July 23-25, Nashville, Tennessee
2019 Western Regional Conference - November 5-7, Seattle, Washington
The George Cronin Awards Program recognizes outstanding procurement initiatives that focus on innovation, transferability, service improvement, and cost reduction as its defining principles. This program provides well-deserved appreciation to states and their procurement personnel who have accomplished projects that result in distinct benefits to their state.
If you have a project that you would like to submit, please do so by Monday, July 15. You can find the submission guidelines and form by clicking here.
In other NASPO news, mark your calendars! The Cronin Award Finalist webinar series is underway, and there are several webinar dates scheduled that you don’t want to miss! These webinars highlight our 2018 finalist submissions, and you can register by clicking the links below:
NASPO’s Procurement Pulse wants to be your go-to site for the most up-to-date information and research on best practices and emerging issues in state procurement. Some of the most recent topics covered on Procurement Pulse include a summary of the 2019 NASPO Exchange and a new NASPO staffer’s take on her very first Exchange experience.
You don’t want to miss all the Pulse has to offer, including the “Day in the Life” series, which allows a behind the scenes peek into the busy life of a CPO. This month, Procurement Pulse talks to NASPO Board member Cindy Lombardi of Colorado who recently hosted more than 500 Exchange attendees in her home town of Denver.
If you have not already done so, you can subscribe to receive weekly updates to the Procurement Pulse here.