Over the decades, technology has been grafted into governments around the world so as to provide their citizens with better service. Today, technology is no longer an additive part of the equation but rather has progressed to an essential component that is vital to the daily operations of governments. And now technology in government is evolving further with the advancement of AI and the security risks it poses.
In November of this year, a new tech event for government will be launched to address technology needs, challenges and solutions so as to better manage and mitigate risks and problems of the ongoing digital transformation within government today. Also, it will serve as a platform for tech companies to share with government new and emerging technologies not only in respect to AI but other areas like cloud and IoT that can offer better, secure and faster service to citizens.
Recently, I spoke with J. Richard Jones, President and Group Publisher of Canadian Government Executive about this event, which CGE will be hosting.
Q: There are many tech events happening quite frequently today. Why this sort of event and how is it different from the rest?
JRJ: We feel that there is a very strong need for a high-quality technology conference in Ottawa. One that reflects the kind of quality that Canadian Government Executive media is known for. It is about having an open dialogue between government and industry by bringing them in the same room to discuss concerns, issues and propose solutions to these problems. That is why we are launching a brand-new event called TechGov, which will take place in Ottawa on November 7th and 8th.
Q: Can you give us some more details about the format of this event?
JRJ: Perhaps, I should start off by describing what TechGov is not. It’s not a trade show and it’s not a traditional event. Although, it borrows from the successful formula of the annual Canadian Government Executive summit that we produce every year, which most public sector executives are familiar with. It’s much more than that. It’s fresh, it’s going to offer dynamic engagement opportunities that are new and of course there will be high-quality speakers and content over two days. So, there will be plenty of time for story swapping and peer to peer interaction.
Q: What is unique about this event that attendees can take away?
JRJ: Recently, I was asked by an up and coming “young pro” for a description of the event as we joked back and forth at a reception. And I said well, are you familiar with the chip dip called “one heluva a good dip” and he said yes. And I said. Well, the dip is really good, isn’t it? And he said, oh yes, in fact, it’s addictive. And I said yes, it can be. I continued on, this event’s mandate could be described in a similar manner. Our goal is to create “one heluva a good tech conference” and for those who have sampled this chip dip know that it is so good that you can’t forget it.
That said, it’s calorically rich so I warn the reader in advance, it’s not something to sample on a regular basis. But this is also the point of our show, it’s going to be once a year and the experience will be so rewarding and impactful that you will look forward to it while not forgetting it.
Q: Who should attend this event?
JRJ: If you’re a public-sector executive or technology executive trying to implement technology strategies in order to solve business issues, then you need to be there. If you are planning ahead and want to hear about the latest trends, product and solution opportunities and want to discuss challenges with your peers, then you need to be there. And finally, If you need just the solution facts from technology solution providers so as to make purchase decisions in the next 6-12 months, then you need to be there. We are going to implement a speed dating approach that allows attendees to get information and data takeaways without delay.
Q: Is this event limited to public sector employees only?
JRJ: No, this conference will have a blend of high-profile public sector executives which is the audience of Canadian Government Executive as well as select private sector executives. This is to encourage dialogue between government and industry. I’m sure that this will make for a great information exchange.
Q: What about tech companies, how can they take advantage of this opportunity?
JRJ: We are doing things differently with this conference. We are focusing on providing opportunities for tech companies to highlight their technology solutions to an audience that has an interest in this. Through this conference, we are providing fresh and compelling partnership opportunities that will demonstrate ROI. What you need to note is that we are bypassing the traditional trade show floor concept and replacing it with a much more targeted and granular approach to working with executives.
By participating in this event it is a win-win strategy for a company. Their expertise will help public sector executives solve technology challenges while hearing about what government needs. It really eliminates the guess work and noise that can often frustrate both parties involved. Let’s face it, technology providers want to help by offering the right solution and service. Public sector executives want to hear about solutions that can help them to do their jobs. It’s not about picking up T-shirts and stress balls.
Q: Where can someone go to learn more about this event?
JRJ: We will be launching the TechGov conference website in the next few weeks but in the meantime, if you’re not doing so as yet, please follow us on Twitter or sign up to receive our weekly newsletter as we will continue to share updates through these platforms and also make the announcement of the TechGov website.