What’s That You Tweet?

September 15, 2009

A variety of staff, members, and exhibitors have been tweeting about the conference.  Here’s a real-time look at what they’ve been saying. If you’re on Twitter, make sure you’re following @localmanagers, ICMA’s official feed, which has also been reposting all of the blog entries.


Last Day to Visit the Exhibit Hall

September 15, 2009

Yesterday was a great day in the Exhibit Hall.  Attendees were able to meet their private sector colleagues and brainstorm around the top issues in local government today.

One of my favorite things yesterday was the driver safety technology at the Runzhiemer International booth 504.  Here’s a sample http://60secondbraingame.com/, check out their booth to try more of these fun and instructional brain games.

The 2009 Educational Exhibit Hall will close at 2:00pm today.  Don’t miss the opportunity to check out valuable private sector solutions to your local government challenges. 

There are still 7 Solutions Track sessions taking place in the three theaters in the exhibit hall between 9:45 and 2pm today.  See the schedule in your program, on the website or on signage in the hall and around the Palais.

What was your favorite thing in the hall this year?


Great Ideas on Managing Requests and Complaints

September 14, 2009
I just sat in on a Solutions Theater session titled “New-Generation Portal Technology: Worldwide Case Studies,”  which brought in a diverse and interesting panel.  Lorry Hempe, Assistant City Manager of the City of Lynwood, California shared details of the CRM portal that her city has operated since 2001.  It was great to and it was inspirational to see how diligent this team has been with their solution for managing the request and complaint process. Kathryn Bruning, Deputy Assistant Director of the Department of Regulatory Affairs at the City of Houston, Texas actually joined via live video feed from Houston and she shared how the Houston portal for permits and licenses was launched just a few months ago but is already a growing success. And Samir Bustami, Program Manager of the Building Permits Center at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates had a fascinating case study to share of how they launched the world’s first permit portal to manage the entire development process via the web. The three portals showcased were delivered by the e-Government firm GovPartner. And Gabriela Dow, Vice President of GovPartner talked about her experience serving on the ICMA 311/CRM committee.

I’m looking forward to hearing more about the Abu Dhabi case study straight from the officials that traveled from the Municipality at the sepcial session they are holding on Tuesday afternoon — “Managing Growth: How Online Technology Can Streamline the City Development Processes.”


Solutions for your Community

September 14, 2009

Times are tough, budgets are tight, but the show must go on.  Your constituents still want the services they have come to expect.  So if you have been racking your brain for solutions to your local government challenges look no further.  Along with a variety of topics addressed in the Educational Program conference attendees can find answers in the 2009 Solutions Track.  22 sessions will run in three Theaters in the Exhibit Hall Monday from 9:45am-5:15pm and Tuesday 9:45am-2:00pm.

A full list of the Solutions Track sessions can be found in your final program, some of the subjects covered in the solutions track include: Community Branding, Tackling Economic Challenges, Performance Measurement, Public Safety, Service Delivery, Sustainable Communities, Technology, and Workforce Issues.

Thank you to all our speakers and sponsors for contributing to this year’s program.


Building Social Media Networks

September 13, 2009

Just got out of my first pre-conference session and was happy to see three old friends presenting at the front of the room. Jon Lewis (Palm Bay, FL), Tracy Miller (AFI) and Pam Antil (Novi, MI) gave a great overview of the potential presented by social media, web 2.0, or whatever your term of choice may be. For those of you unable to attend, I’d say there were a few key things to keep in mind:
– Use your tech-saavy employees to their fullest potential in developing social media sites
– Know why you’re using them and make a commitment…launching them and never using them is worse than not having them at all
– Have clear guidelines in place, but don’t over-regulate
– Realize that Facebook, Twitter, etc. are here for the foreseeable future, and develop an agile policy that can adapt to the ever-changing nature of the Internet landscape…a six-month window is plenty when you’re talking about social media policy.

It’s been great to already see some familiar faces this year, and to get out of the oppressive central Texas heat! See everyone in a few hours at the welcome reception!


Don’t Forget to Check Out ICMA on YouTube!

September 13, 2009

ICMA has its own channel on YouTube and, over the past several days, we’ve been filming low-budget, but very informative segments highlighting various ICMA programs and services. You’ll also find the latest information from your colleagues around the country, winners of the 2nd annual ICMA video contest, and other videos focused on local government innovation.


Keep Research from 311-CRM Study at Your Fingers

September 13, 2009

Conference participants are encouraged to pick up free mousepads with the web addresses to the latest information from  the ICMA National Study of 311 and Customer Service Technology as well as other available resources on 311-CRM technology.

The study has two new publications available at this conference.  Durham One Call examines the links between the city’s popular CRM system and how it is linking that data to its performance measurement and budgeting processes.  Also new is Philly311 which looks at how the city of Philadelphia used its new 311 system to engage its citizens in recent discussions on budget reductions.

ICMA member Rick Machaud and Spencer Stern with the Government Finance Officers Association discuss how this technology can be used by other communities to improve overall customer service.