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5 Reasons You Should Attend GovDelivery’s Annual Digital Communications Summit

digital summit attendees

A scene from the last GovDelivery Annual Communications Summit.

“Citizen experience” has been a popular buzzword recently, spawning new challenges and questions for government agencies. So what exactly is the citizen experience, and why should public sector teams care about it?

Whether it’s citizens or customers, user experience and meeting modern citizen needs and expectations in whatever format they require is key to any successful agency – and that’s what citizen experience is all about. Recent government trends have highlighted its importance; in GovDelivery’s 2016 Digital Engagement Government Trends Report, 82% of the government communicators surveyed identified “improving the citizen experience” as their top priority of 2016.

The GovDelivery’s 9th Annual Digital Communications Summit, “Transforming the Citizen Experience,” comes right on time. Held at the Marriott Marquis in Washington D.C. on April 28, 2016, the half-day summit is the largest gathering of government digital communications professionals in the country. The event is free and open to all government employees and approved contractors (non-government registrants are subject to host’s approval).

If you aren’t convinced yet, here are the top five reasons you should register for the summit now:

  1. The citizen experience is a growing area of concern for government agencies.

A recent NextGov article highlighted a gap between the customer service government agencies think they are providing and the actual experiences users report. In one report, while over 70% government respondents agreed with the statement, “My agency tracks the right information to fully understand the needs of the customers we serve,” only 45% of citizen respondents think agency representative actually understand their needs.

Transforming the citizen experience requires answering challenging questions such as how to meet the growing demands of citizens, how to provide an integrated experience across platforms, and how to use data to better improve and target messaging. The summit will answer those questions through various sessions and help agencies close the gap between the expectations and reality.

  1. Your seat neighbor can teach you as much as the speakers can.

An excellent way to learn about an issue is to talk to your peers who face similar ones, and the summit will provide ample time to network with colleagues and meet with the speakers. Public and private sectors have much they can teach each other, so the opportunity to meet and learn from your private sector communication counterparts can be especially helpful.

Outside of the valuable perspectives, the sheer number of summit attendees means that it is easy to find and network with people who have interesting views and strategies for citizen engagement—over 1,000 government employees and contractors registered for last year’s conference. Attendees were happy, too; in post-event surveys, 97% said they would recommend this event to their colleagues.

  1. No matter what your agency needs, you’ll find something that can help you.

The summit packs a lot of information in its short timeframe—just take a look at the schedule. There will be sessions on learning from private sector leaders; integrating the citizen experience across platforms; using data to drive transformation; taking the citizen experience mobile; new opportunities for learning in citizen experience; and ways to improve the citizen experience.

While engaging citizens and improving customer experience is a goal common to most government agencies, each organization has unique objectives that affect how you will go about transforming citizen experience. The variety of offerings in the half-day setting means that you can experience the highlights of several topics without a heft time investment.

  1. The summit will help you and your agency develop applicable best practices so you can start making a change today.

Being able to take what you have learned and apply it to everyday practices is the true indicator of a successful summit. Each session aims to help you develop an applicable set of best practices through information on the latest trends in citizen engagement, examples of relevant technology, and case studies from the public and private sectors.

The summit allows you to explore ways to employ GovDelivery’s data-driven solutions, such as using the platform to segment audiences for more personalized communications or using analytics to measure communications and improve stakeholder engagement. In the closing session, CEO Scott Burns will share best practices based on the company’s experiences with over a thousand government customers, over one hundred million users, and billions of messages sent.

  1. You won’t go home empty-handed—summit attendees are eligible for CPE credits.

After all you’ll learn at the summit, you deserve to have something to show for it. For government employees in communications, technology, or management roles, attending the entire conference and completing a post-course survey makes you eligible for continuing professional education (CPE) credits. When registering for the conference, make sure you check the “CPE credits” box. After you check-in at the event registration table, attend the event, and complete a survey, you’ll be issued a certificate of completion.

Free and educational, GovDelivery’s 9th Annual Digital Communications Summit offers a timely focus on how government agencies improve and transform their citizen experiences. Attendees will leave the conference with innovative information, best practices, and strengthened relationships with old and new colleagues.

This summit is valuable for any public sector official in digital strategy, communications, or web-based roles, so register now!