We’re a week into 2019, but it’s already shaping up to be the busiest year yet for the Global SOF Foundation (GSF)… Read on to get some insights on what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how you can get involved.
Global SOF Symposium – US, March 5-7, 2019
As you’ve probably heard by now, the GSF’s flagship event is moving to a new location this year. It’s still going to be held in Tampa, FL, but in a much more convenient location that is just 3 miles from Tampa International Airport and around 10 miles from the main gates of MacDill AFB. And somehow, it still manages to be a waterfront location! Thanks, Florida!
The new location brings new opportunities for attendees including:
- Academic Sessions: The space allows for a variety of small group learning opportunities, which will take place in the afternoon in the first day and focus on Inclusive Mentorship, General Acquisition Overview & Industry Basics, and the Changing Cybersecurity Workforce.
- TWO Exhibit Spaces: This new larger space provides us with two spaces for industry to showcase their capabilities. The foyer space is located right outside of the General Session rooms, but will only have smaller tabletop options for display. The Exhibitor Pavilion is located a short walk away, but has larger display opportunities and will be the venue for coffee breaks, lunches, and an evening reception–with the popular Beer Garden.
- More Opportunities for Private Meetings: Networking is a big part of GSF events, and this venue is prime for facilitating private meetings. The GSF will have more reservable rooms for meetings, “Casita” lodging options if companies would like to entertain, and we’ll be much closer to MacDill AFB and Downtown Tampa–giving better access to everyone you may want to meet with!
This Symposium, which is now in its fifth year, will continue many other Global SOF Symposium offerings, including a focused agenda, ample networking opportunities, and of course, the presentation of the GSF Lifetime Achievement Award.
Annual Tampa Reception presented by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, May 20, 2019
Come celebrate the Global SOF Foundation’s 5th birthday with us! We’ll be having our Annual Celebration on the Monday of SOFIC week, but this event is also moving to a new location that we’re very excited about– Tampa’s new and trendy Armature Works facility.
As always, this event is a celebration of the GSF and of our Corporate Partners as well, who will have complimentary tabletop spaces around the venue. While they’ll have opportunities to showcase their capabilities, they’ll also have special food and drink sponsorships like Local Beer Tasting, Bourbon, Nitro Ice Cream, and more!
We also plan to continue last year’s addition of Speed Networking, which will be announced and ready for sign-ups soon.
Global SOF Symposium – Belgium, October 1-3, 2019
It’s hard to believe that this will be our fourth overseas Symposium–but it sure will be! Belgian SOF have kindly agreed to be our host this fall, with coordinating support from its neighboring SOF units in The Netherlands and Denmark.
We are excited about this location–the venue (Le Plaza Hotel) is in the heart of downtown Brussels, and it’s close to our friends at the NATO SOF Headquarters (NSHQ) and the EU. In that vein, we are expecting the SOF representatives of both organizations to hold a one-day seminar in our event spaces again this year, just as they did in last year’s Symposium in Madrid.
Even though this event is 10-months away, it’s never too soon to start planning! The prospectus is already online if you or your company have interest in sponsoring or exhibiting.
Modern Warfare Symposium, November 20-22, 2019 (tentative)
We held our inaugural Modern Warfare Symposium on Ft. Bragg, NC in 2018, and it was popular due to its prime location on the base that houses both USASOC and JSOC.
That makes this the only event in 2019 for which we didn’t change the location… but we did change the dates! We expect USASOC to co-host again, and they requested to move it from August to November. That means you have a little more time to prepare for this one… but we fully expect it to sell out for both exhibitors and attendees, so check your GSF emails for details on the event launch.
Additionally, after the success of the hands-on optics demonstration put on last year by Excelitas Qioptiq, we’re also working on adding more demonstration opportunities in 2019. Get excited…
Other GSF Events
If you’re a long-term GSF supporter, you might notice that we’ve cut the Annual National Capital Region (NCR) Reception from the line-up. But we aren’t leaving DC! With GSF Director of Partner Relations Stephen Jones now living in the region, we’ve decided to move to a couple of smaller, more informal “GSF Huddles” this year. These are relatively easy to put on and can be moved around the NCR, allowing us to reach Partners and members of the community across the region.
Our Huddles won’t be limited to DC, either! We’re also planning to hold one in Austin, Texas, and to continue our series of Huddle luncheons at the PALT. If you haven’t yet attended one of these, we do them every-other-month in Orlando, Florida, in between the PEO-STRI and NAVAIR PALT Sessions.
We’re sure that more events will be added this year, so stay tuned to your emails and our website to stay up-to-date!
GSF Programs and Projects
Our events are key to keeping our SOF network alive and growing, but we also have several other endeavors working this year that we’d like to share:
- SOF for Life: We’re continuing and expanding on the SOF for Life program offerings, including a recent tie-in with our GSF Academic Partners for better visibility to their SOF-focused courses, certificates, and degrees. We’ve also put together a SOF for Life Transition Guide, which we strongly recommend anyone leaving the military in the next few (or last few) years reads.
- GSF Podcast: You’ll never feel like we’re too far away once the GSF podcast launches this year! SOFspot will bring in guests from the community and talk about a variety of relevant topics, such as transitioning from active duty and conducting international business. We’ll be launching this month, so keep your eyes for SOFspot in your favorite podcast platform.
- Upgrading our User Portal: We realize that our GSF User Portal isn’t the most user-friendly, so we’re going through a serious re-haul to make things easier for YOU. The new portal should not only be easier to use, but also have more tools to keep our community connected. You’ll see the changes up and running in March.
This is certainly not everything we have coming down the pipeline in 2019, but we hope it has you excited for a busy year. Remember to hang up your handy 2019 GSF Calendar for reference, and we’ll see you soon!