6 Must-Dos at the Socrata Customer Summit
With chances to connect with 100 of the most influential practitioners in open government, and over 50 sessions to choose from, this conference is packed with opportunity. Here’s your quickie guide to six of the can’t-miss-this happenings.
1. Have a Blast
The Summit is a fantastic chance to renew and recharge with your open data peers. Join us Sunday night for the Welcome Happy Hour at the rooftop bar of the W Hotel — the best view in the city! On Monday, dine with us and enjoy some open data comedy at Customer Appreciation Dinner. Then on Tuesday evening, raise a glass after the final session at the Reagan Building, and join us for the quintessential D.C. experience: a private walking tour of the National Mall, rated #1 in Trip Advisor’s best things to do in D.C.
2. Got an Issue? Pick a Panel
The lineup of speakers for the Socrata Customer Summit is a who’s-who among digital government champions. These experienced practitioners have been doing open data every day, and are ready to share their mistakes, hindsights, successes, and fresh ideas with you.
If you’ve already browsed the session listings, you know it’s going to be hard to choose. We feel you, and we’ll dive into them more in an upcoming post. Today, go ahead and check out some of the much-talked-about sessions:
- What I Wish I Knew Then — Lessons from the Private Sector
- Running Open Data in the Open — Chicago’s Best Tools
- Data for Health — Focusing Open Health Data Initiatives on Impact, Action, and Results
- Data Currency — Unlocking Value With Visualization
3. Harness the Power of Civic Dev
The Summit offers excellent chances to learn to engage your civic tech community.
Learn how Chicago and Seattle have boosted citizen awareness on critical local issues through civic coding, and how you can do the same in your area.
Also, find out how Austin created hackathons projects with real, lasting impact by collaborating with its civic dev community. Plus: Join Austin’s Data Camp workshop session on Wednesday, where you and the Austin team will go hands-on through the Civic Tech Project Planning Canvas.
4. Build Your Base
The open data movement at its heart is about people. Whether you’re in an established open government program, still at the idea stage, or somewhere in between, the Summit’s networking opportunities will help fuel your efforts once you’re back home — all year long. You’ll make a stream of connections that come with inspiring stories and practical tips you can implement in your own work.
The Summit is also a great opportunity to develop your personal career goals. In meeting and chatting with this huge open data community, the stories and tips will be flowing strong: From finding out how others have carved out dedicated open data goals within their existing positions, to how jurisdictions have established justification for CDO positions, you’ll come away with a revitalized view of your career options.
5. Data Camp: Learn DIY Skills
After soaking up inspiration on Monday and Tuesday, come to Wednesday’s Data Camp to make it all real. Led by Socrata’s Customer Success Team, we’ll spend the day in customer-led small groups working through ideas and challenges around data integration, internal use cases, data sharing, data standards, and policy enforcement and motivation.
This is a prime opportunity to tap into the best practices and vast learnings of the Socrata network — we’ve helped hundreds of governments use their open data program to move the needle, and can do the same for you.
6. See New Ways to Secure Budgets
Funding doesn’t have to be a struggle. At the Summit, you’ll gain new understandings of how open data creates phenomenal internal efficiencies and is revolutionizing government operations. You’ll also learn from the nation’s leaders about open data’s growing and vital role in commerce.
Your takeaways on the interplay between operations, business value, and open government will help drive productive conversations with your budget decision-makers on the opportunity and savings that your open data program can deliver.