2012 SAME Small Business Conference: Day 1
The 2012 SAME Small Business Conference (SBC) for DOD Engineering, Construction and Environmental Programs commenced Monday, Dec. 10 in Grapevine, Texas. The three-day, annual conference is well-attended. As of date, the number of registered participants is 1,500 and counting!
The 2012 SBC features an increased number of technical sessions focused on the heavy know-hows of procuring federal contracts. However, the first day was dominated by lighter, refresher-type activities like the First Time Attendee Orientation and the SBA Info Session, serving as an excellent warm-up for what’s to come in the days ahead.
The First Time Attendee Orientation covered the basics of small business policies. The introductory event also discussed the purpose and highlights of the conference. Nancy Alvarez-Hernandez, Supervisor, Business Opportunity Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration, explained industry terms such as set-aside and federal contracting certifications. On the other hand, speaker James Bud Brown Jr., P.E., VP, RMD Consulting, focused on giving the first timers some informative tips on how to get the most out of the conference. Brown advised the attendees to choose wisely on which sessions to attend. His top picks: Air Force Small Business Opportunities, NAVFAC Small Business Opportunities and both of the Speed Networking Sessions. Brown reminded the attendees to bring their business cards and company brochures for speed networking. ”You will get out as much as you put in the conference,” he said. ”Be aggressive in making the most out of your networking opportunities!”
If the First Time Attendee Orientation covered the basics, the SBA Information Session provided the update. John Shoraka, Assistant Administrator for Government Contracts and Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, discussed policies and trends impacting small business owners. He also emphasized that the SBA strives to overcome road blocks to achieve the goal of awarding 23% of federal contracts to small businesses.
Later in the day, the Exhibit Hall opened for the Ice Breaker Reception. The attendees relaxed and formed teaming connections while browsing through nearly 200 exhibitors.
The 2012 SBC is just warming up! Gear up for the upcoming plenary and breakout sessions scheduled Tuesday, Dec. 11.
See event photos below. More will be uploaded later.