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As the team here gets ready to open up registration next week for Accela Engage, I can’t help but think back on Accela Engage conferences of years past. I first attended Engage in 2013, only about six weeks after joining the company. I was impressed by the strong sense of community among attendees and Accela staff, something I hadn’t seen to such a degree at other companies’ conferences I’ve been to.

Accela Engage has grown significantly in the past several years, and now brings together more than 1,000 customers, government leaders, business partners, thought leaders and Accela staff for a week of training, networking and inspiration. We’ll be returning to Los Angeles in 2016 for an event packed with more training, more breakout sessions and more chances to learn about the latest innovations than ever before.

For many, this is the one time each year they get to really focus on learning about new and better ways to use civic tech to improve internal processes and better engage with residents and customers. I ask attendees every year what their favorite things about the conference are, and a common theme is always getting to talk to, and learn from, all of the great people who come to the event. We’ve received the most submissions we’ve ever had this year, proving that governments are passionate about embracing technology to improve back-end processes and better engage with residents.

Below are just a few examples of breakout sessions attendees can look forward to enjoying:

  • The City and County of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses continues to pave the way in marijuana licensing, and will provide an update on staff’s efforts. Ever the innovators, the Denver team will also share on their progress managing short-term rental licensing.
  • The City of Evanston will share its secrets to building a successful 311 contact center in one year or less, as well as how it’s grown and what the City has accomplished in the five years since, including the ability to engage the public with live chats, texts and mobile 311.
  • The City of Tampa processed 70 percent of its building permits online during its first year after implementation; attendees will also learn how staff are using Civic Insight to engage the public with planning and building data.
  • San Diego County will share how it’s tracking emerging mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, Dengue and West Nile Virus through its Vector Control Program and the Accela Civic Platform.

As usual, we will be offering extensive training opportunities for our customers, including classes around environmental health, finance and administration, utility billing and web payments for our newest Accela family members from Springbrook and Decade Software. This will be their first opportunity to join the conference and learn about all the great things our other customers across the country (and the world!) are doing.

We’re also going to have some exciting new sponsorship opportunities that should be a lot of fun. Attendees can try their hand at flying a drone to perform a “rooftop inspection” and get professional headshots taken — after all, what’s LA without a little celebrity treatment?

Stay tuned for more information and be on the lookout for registration to open up next week!


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