It's almost time for the 2007 Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON). This is the third year for this important event. It runs 15-16 October, 2007 in Portland, OR. It's growing year on year and they expect 500+ people this year. I attended the first year, and was invited to speak last year.
The thing I've found most interesting about this conference over its first two years is the level of information exchange between attendees. It is still small enough that it feels almost intimate. There's no trade area so you aren't swamped with marketing and PR flaks pushing product agendas. There are great participative presentations between government employees that have done real things with free and open source software to departmental advantage and their audience colleagues there to learn. The calibre of speakers is very high. I first met both Linda Hamel (General Counsel for State of Mass., ITSD) and Beth Noveck (Peer-to-Patent program) here. Luncheon and hallway conversations are very engaged. Sponsorship does not convey a speaking slot to pimp products and services, and the few vendor speakers that do present have been smart enough to inform the attendees and not anger them with product pitches. I really can't say enough good things about this event.
Deb Bryant has done an exceptional job growing and maintaining the quality of this conference. It is an excellent event if you have anything to do with free and open source software from a government perspective.
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