It’s a new year, which means our events team is hard at work and we’re keeping up with our New Year’s Resolutions (eat better when traveling to conferences, for example). We’re finalizing our calendar and highlighting the conferences we’re most excited for in 2023. We wish we could go to all of them!
Before looking ahead, we want to take a moment to reflect on the year that was. There was palpable energy and excitement generated by being back in person to collaborate and learn from each other. This was a moment to celebrate the renewed sense of community, which was clearer than ever before. Local government officials have just encountered one of the biggest public health emergencies of their careers.
Over the course of 2022, the Zencity team attended nearly 70 government conferences across 22 states. Our jetsetting team reached new destinations across the globe – Anchorage, Vancouver, Harrogate, even Melbourne and Sydney! We held 15 speaking sessions with our partner cities and counties and met many of our city and county partners. Although we supported them from afar as they navigated through challenges and celebrated successes, we were glad to see them in person once again.
As we kick off 2023, we’re attending dozens more city, county, and law enforcement conferences to share the message of the Zencity 360 platform. Zencity 360 is a radically new way for local governments to listen to the communities that they serve and take action to increase trust.
Here are our top picks for the best 2023 local government conferences to attend:
When: February; April; May; June
Where: Oklahoma City, OK; Burlington, VT; Louisville, KY; Long Beach, CA
Why? You may be familiar with ICMA’s Regional conferences, but this year they have renewed focus and an innovative spirit. Each conference has a unique theme. The goal is to look ahead and reimagine what the future holds for local government and the impact we can make by working together. We can’t wait to head to these cities to discuss how to tackle current and future issues facing local leaders, and to understand how community engagement is evolving. See you there!
When: May 29-31
Where: Huntsville, ON
Why? We’re thrilled to be CAMA’s newest business partner! This is our first partnership
in Canada and we can’t wait to attend CAMA’s annual conference for the first time. After a three-year conference hiatus, it is sure to be a full house. Our neighbor to the north, Canada’s diverse municipalities range from populations of 5 in Tilt Cove, Newfoundland, all the way to Toronto, Ontario, which is home to nearly 3 million people! CAMA members represent over 85% of the nation’s population. We can’t wait to meet you!
When: May 31-June 3
Where: Orlando, FL
Why? The country’s third largest state, Florida has a unique combination of urban and rural areas, allowing for cities and counties to have both a vibrant city life and a slower, more rural pace of living. If nothing else, this is a guarantee that the discussions will be fascinating, with a diverse array of perspectives. FCCMA is always a highlight for us, as we have the opportunity to meet over 20 of our partner cities and counties.
When: July 4-6
Where: Bournemouth, UK
Why? We attended the UK’s biggest local government event last year for the first time, and we’re heading back again this year! This annual gathering of nearly all of England’s 333 councils and 22 Welsh councils is the place to be to hear from a range of expert speakers discussing the innovation in local government, and the most pressing issues facing districts, counties, and metropolitan areas in the UK. We’re ready to be inspired.
When: July 21-24
Where: Austin/Travis County, Texas
Why? NACo’s annual conference represents the largest gathering of county officials from across the nation, this year we’re heading to the great state of Texas! Counties are responsible for a wide variety of services, ranging from road maintenance to issuing marriage licenses. Each county is different, and we take full advantage of NACo’s informative and interactive sessions, where county officials candidly discuss their successes and challenges. This year, we’re proud to be a National Association of County Administrators (NACA) affiliate member and eagerly await meeting a diverse group of county administrators at the conference. Additionally, we are looking forward to the great music and delicious food in Austin!
When: September 20-22
Where: Sacramento, CA
Why? Each year, we look forward to attending the Cal Cities Annual Conference as it presents the opportunity to meet more than 50 of our partner cities – Zencity’s highest concentration of customers! California is huge and its cities range from urban metropolises to rural mountain communities. Moreover, the sessions at the Cal Cities Annual Conference touch on pressing topics such as homelessness, climate change and water conservation, modern transportation, and so much more. Our team always comes back with insights and new fun facts to share. See you in the City of Trees.
When: September 30-October 4
Where: Austin/Travis County, Texas
Why? This year, ICMA is heading down south to Texas’s capital – and one of our partner cities! Each year, ICMA’s Annual Conference brings together the largest concentration of city and county leadership under one roof. Last year’s host committee in Columbus, OH blew us away with the personal touches (we got stomach aches from how many buckeyes we devoured!) so we can’t wait to see what’s in store in Austin. This year’s ICMA Annual puts a spotlight on the country’s fastest growing city. We all have a lot to learn (and enjoy) from what Austin has to offer.
When: October 14-17
Where: San Diego, CA
Why? Hosted by one of our partner communities, this year’s IACP Annual Conference, with an anticipated attendance of nearly 20,000 people, is by far the largest conference we will attend in 2023! One of the focus points of this year’s conference is how law enforcement agencies can build trust with their residents, with the IACP launching a Trust Building Campaign. This conference brings together law enforcement agencies from across the world under one roof. Law enforcement agencies are constantly innovating and the tech-focus at this conference makes us feel right at home.
When: October 17-19
Where: Birmingham, UK
Why? With a few more local government partners under our belt across the UK, we always jump at the opportunity to cross the pond and learn about the pressing issues facing local government leaders there. We know that residents across the UK are experiencing tough times with the cost of living crisis, and are looking to their local councils for answers and assistance. This pressing issue, and many others, will undoubtedly make for interesting and passionate conversations as local officials from across the country meet over a pint in a Birmingham pub.
We love planning ahead, but we always leave some room for surprises. Every year, we find ourselves visiting a conference we didn’t plan on attending, and it usually ends up being one of the conferences we were most excited for (and we didn’t even know it!). Think you know which conference is going to win our hearts this year? Let us know!