WASHINGTON, D.C. More than 500 government and public-sector IT and technology leaders came together at Sidney Harman Hall in the Penn Quarter section of Washington for the FedTalks conference on October 12. Hosted by FedScoop, a government media and marketing company that specializes in government IT news, the one-day conference focused on how technology can change government. It was designed to feel different from a typical conference.
“There are several IT events that occur every day in town, and the majority of them take place in gray conference rooms or nondescript hotel ballrooms,” said Goldy Kamali, C.E.O. and founder of FedScoop and the host and organizer of the conference. “From the very beginning, we set out to create a different kind of gathering, one that was fashioned after a live show and would stimulate all the senses, from the sights and sounds to the catering and setup.”
Executives from the White House opened and closed the conference, which began shortly after a catered breakfast by Ridgewells at 10 a.m. A wide range of speakers, including Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, and U.S. chief information officer Vivek Kundra, all delivered focused, mini keynote messages from Harman Hall’s amphitheater-style stage. Local comedian Remy and DJ Donald Syriani, who has played at several events at the White House, also performed mini sets between sessions.
The conference coincided with FedScoop’s second anniversary, which was marked with a reception in the second-floor lobby of Harman Hall following the final talk. Syriani performed while sponsors, attendees, and speakers sipped on cocktails and dined on hors d’oeuvres from Ridgewells and cupcakes from Frosting a Cupcakery.