The ICMA Annual Conference is the premier educational and networking event for local government professionals in the world. In addition to the professional development opportunities offered during the day (the main educational programming will be held on October 7–10, with preconference learning opportunities on Saturday and Sunday morning, October 6–7), the conference offers evening social events that complement your learning experience by providing relaxing and convivial backdrops for networking, discovery, and exchange of new ideas among peers.
Our conference is located in the heart of the city at the Phoenix Convention Center, with a variety of entertainment options just a short walk away. Shopping, dining, and nightlife are nearby at CityScape Phoenix, a mixed retail environment.
But there’s so much more. Phoenix offers ICMA Annual Conference attendees a rich selection of entertainment options to complement the educational program. Use these opportunities to continue the professional networking discussions you have each day with your colleagues. For information and free guides on things to do, dining, and events, check out VisitPhoenix’s ICMA conference microsite here as well as the Conference Host Committee’s Guide to Exploring Phoenix.
First Fridays. If you plan to arrive in Phoenix early, consider participating in the nation's largest, self-guided art walk, which Phoenix hosts on the first Friday of every month from 6 to 10 p.m. Enjoy the spirit and culture of downtown Phoenix as you mingle with thousands of other residents and visitors. Tour more than 70 galleries, venues, and art-related spaces to see a variety of artwork and enjoy the spirit and culture of the city. To get from place-to-place, take advantage of a free shuttle that will start at the Phoenix Art Museum and make all the major stops on each route.
Major Evening Social Events Planned by the 2012 Conference Host Committee
Saturday Evening Reception: Native America at the Heard Museum
Saturday, Oct. 6, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Open exclusively for ICMA for this event, this one-of-a-kind, internationally acclaimed venue explores American Indian history through the voices of its people, while celebrating the creative innovations of today’s artists. With a commanding presence on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix, the Heard Museum hosts nearly 250,000 visitors a year and, according to Arizona Highways, October 1999, "provides Indian artists with a wonderful home that will excite and inspire visitors from around the world." Drawing from a collection of 40,000 objects, the Heard Museum showcases 10 exhibit galleries, where you can examine the changing nature of Native art from ancestral artifacts to contemporary creations. Hors d’oeuvres with local flavor will be featured and entertainers will perform as you connect with old friends, meet new ones, kick off your conference experience, and learn a little about American Indian history.
Tuesday Evening Event: Mexican Charreada and Western Show at Corona Ranch
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6–10 p.m.
Located in the shadow of Phoenix’s beautiful South Mountain yet only 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix, the Corona Ranch in Old Mexico is one of Arizona’s most unusual venues! You’ll start the evening off with a professional show that combines the most exciting portions of both a Western rodeo and a Mexican charreada: a Mexican rodeo that highlights different feats of horsemanship, including riding and roping, as well as accuracy, courage, and style. This will be followed by an authentic Mexican dinner and live entertainment), all enjoyed under the stars.
To register for these events and for a complete listing of all conference offerings, visit the conference website.
All photos courtesy of the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.