Top 5 Reasons to Attend

The ICMA Annual Conference is the one event of the year that brings together the foremost experts and resources in local government management.

The four days of the ICMA Annual Conference will be the most cost-effective professional development opportunity you have all year. You’ll come away with twelve full months of benefits in the form of new and enhanced knowledge that you can apply directly to your job.

The ICMA Annual Conference will provide an unique opportunity to meet and speak with your peers and practitioners in the field and to exchange ideas, strategies and to build partnerships. It is also an opportunity to meet with hundreds of public service experts on hand to offer creative solutions to the problems you face.

Top 5 reasons to attend:

  • The ICMA Conference is the foremost professional development opportunity for local government managers
  • Top rated educational sessions
  • World-renowned speakers
  • Meet and mingle with the people who "speak your language" and face the same challenges day to day that you do. You will come away with the experiences of real lessons learned, dozens of ideas, and innovative solutions that you and your team can use immediately
  • World-class Exhibit Hall: with Innovative products and services to make your job easier.  


Read what some of your colleagues have said about the lasting value of attending the ICMA Annual Conference. 

"While ICMA University Workshops, ICMA University Forums, keynotes and session speakers are top-notch and not to be missed, I always take in the field demos and the Solutions Tracks at the conference. They provide a unique opportunity to see how a program or project could be implemented in my community. I enjoy the chance to get outside and network with people doing these projects/programs during the Conference"

Mark Nagel—Assistant City Administrator, City of Elko New Market, Elko New Market, MN (pop. 3,373)


"Baker Tilly has been a sponsor and active participant in this important conference for years and finds it valuable to stay on top of innovative strategies in government and to ensure we understand the challenges confronting our local government clients.  We appreciate the dialog the conference creates – it allows practitioners, partners and academics to come together, highlight successes (and failures sometimes), and have a meaningful discussion about the direction that our field needs to take."

Shelley Fulla—Senior Manager, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP


"I find the ICMA Annual Conference to be one of the most rewarding training opportunities for a manager.  It has so much to offer all in one location and in one conference setting.  There are so many different learning opportunities offered for every unique manager that is out there.  From the mobile tours, to the ICMA University workshops, to breakout and general sessions, there is something for everyone.  The Annual Conference also provides you with an opportunity to connect with managers across the States and even internationally!  You find yourself having more in common with others that you normally would not have expected."

Shaunna Johnson—City Administrator, City of Waite Park, Waite Park, MN (pop. 6,715) 


"... I love ICMA and I never miss a conference (if I can help it). It is so well organized and such a good time both professionally and personally. It always sends me back to my community recharged and recommitted.  See you next year!"

Kimberly Newman—City Administrator, City of Lyndon, Lyndon, KS (pop. 1,040)


"ICMA; where else can you go to acquire the tools and develop the skills and knowledge needed to be a successful public manager.   Being able to discuss issues of importance to my community with colleagues from across the country at the ICMA Annual Conference has been an invaluable asset."

Robert Reece—County Administrator, Pottawatomie County Kansas (pop. 21,920) 


"The ICMA Conference is really a rich professional development experience. As a manager in a smaller community, with limited professional development resources, it is not only an opportunity to check in professionally with your colleagues, but provides that annual additional reassurance that we are making a difference in our communities and making them better for future generations."

John Kross, ICMA-CM—Town Manager, Queen Creek, Arizona (pop. 5,396) 


"As a long-time ICMA member, I can say that attendance at the annual ICMA conference has not only accelerated my county’s knowledge and implementation of leading edge practices in local government, it has also helped us achieve concrete performance improvements, like a bond rating upgrade despite a budget that was 26% higher just four years ago and 13% unemployment in our County. Without what we have learned through our ICMA colleagues, our county staff couldn’t have successfully managed these past four years."

Katy Simon—President, Simon and Associates Consulting, Reno, Nevada, former county manager, Washoe County, Nevada (pop. 421,000) 


"The ICMA Annual Conference provides the premier value-added learning opportunity for local government career professionals. Peer-developed learning tracks and sessions are always timely, informative, and replete with cutting edge ideas and practices that can be tailored and put to quick use in your organization. The conference is without equal in providing one of the most stimulating and immediate return on investments you can make for your community and for yourself professionally. And you get to enjoy it in a top class, albeit value-conscious, setting while reconnecting with old friends and colleagues." 

Terry Zerkle—ICMA-CM & ICMA Life Member, Cave Creek, Arizona (pop. 5,478)


"I have worked in local government for over 36 years in Arizona, and during that time, have had the opportunity to attend quite a few ICMA annual conferences.  The educational experience has been invaluable, and the opportunity to discuss critical issues facing local government with other professionals from around the country has helped me become a more effective city manager.  But it is more than just a professional experience.  It is an opportunity to develop new friendships and has also helped my family to understand my passion for the profession."

Tim Ernster—City Manager, Sedona, Arizona (pop. 10,031)


"I attended my first ICMA conference in Denver (1995) as a scholarship recipient and administrator of a small community straight out of graduate school.  I have attended every conference since and between sessions, keynotes, and the unbelievable networking opportunities have never failed to bring something back to my community either personally or professionally.  I look forward each year to attending the conference and revisiting old friendships, developing new relationships, and renewing my professional drive."

Reagan D. Parsons, ICMA-CM—Town Manager, Southern Pines, North Carolina (pop. 12,862)


"The ICMA Annual Conference is a great time to recharge and renew my commitment to the profession. Every year I look for a few specific things I can bring back from the conference and put in place in our city.  The Phoenix conference will certainly provide that opportunity for me.  This conference will be timely and the educational tracks will be exactly what I need to help my community going forward."

Seth Perrins—Assistant City Manager, Spanish Fork City, Utah (pop. 32,643)


"I am a department head in county management. Attending this year’s conference gave me an opportunity to hear challenges and opportunities that my peers experience. The social programs were excellent networking opportunities. This conference also gave me a broader perspective of the concerns that are important to city and county managers. In my career path to becoming a city or county manager, I enjoyed hearing their insights on a lot of different issues. By attending this conference, I was able to obtain some good insight to share with these other organizations on a well-run program including quality educational tracks and networking opportunities."

Scott Kramer—Risk Manager, Montgomery County Commission, Alabama (pop. 202,124)


"Attending the ICMA Annual Conference is a priority for my personal professional development.  Of course, we must seek the most beneficial, relevant, and cost efficient opportunities available to us as local government managers.  I have found that the ICMA Annual Conference offers the greatest bang for the buck and the best return on training resources."

Ed Driggers—City Administrator, Greer, South Carolina (pop. 25,775)


"The ICMA Annual Conference is a great opportunity to break out of the routine and be reminded, once again, that we are not alone in a professional position that can, at times, seem very lonely indeed. Meeting colleagues at the conference who have the same or similar challenges is comforting and, more importantly, hearing and discussing how others are addressing their challenges is refreshing and stimulating. If you return to work with but one new thought, idea or solution your time and money has been well spent. You will be confident that well managed local government is the cornerstone of democracy."

Bill Finger—Town Manager, Middlebury, Vermont (pop. 6,373)


"The ICMA Annual Conferences has provided me with an excellent opportunity to refresh and reenergize with new ideas and examples of successful best practices that are relevant and readily applied to the diverse challenges we are confronted with every day as municipal managers."

J. Michael Joyal, Jr.—City Manager, Dover, New Hampshire (pop. 28 693)


"I find the most value in the conversations and open forums involving other city managers.  It’s refreshing to know that your own community’s problems are not isolated but typically pervasive around the nation. The ICMA conference is a great place to hear methods for handling those problems properly and successfully."

Gary Palmer, ICMA-CM—Assistant Town Manager, Farragut, Tennessee (pop. 20,689)


"The ICMA Annual Conference is the place to connect with like-minded professionals. The combination of networking opportunities, educational sessions, and product information, rolled into an event that is dynamic and fun is too good to miss. Look for the scholarship opportunities offered through ICMA as well as those that may be offered through your state organization. I attended my first conference in 2009 and will do my best to never miss one! This is truly a productive way to support your own professional growth and stay connected."

Kathleen McAlpine, MPA—Guest Experience Manager, Phoenix Convention Center & Venues, Phoenix, Arizona (pop. 1,601,587)


"I find the ICMA Annual Conference to be an invigorating experience where I gather in ideas from my colleagues that can be used to move myself, staff, and community forward in a positive way."

John D. Petrin—Town Administrator, Burlington, Massachusetts (pop. 24,498)


"We need 21st-century leaders who build consensus from an empowered workforce and ICMA provides opportunities for everyone to become this kind of leader. "

Peter J. Crichton—County Manager, Cumberland County, Maine (pop. 281,674)