NIGP Annual Forum Bridges Practitioners and Purchasing

The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) brings its educational conference and exposition to Tampa Bay

By Catherine M. Radwan, Associate Editor

With goals for professional development in tow, purchasing agents, buyers, contract managers, finance managers, and hundreds of practitioners in public-sector purchasing will converge on the city of Tampa, FL, this summer when the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) calls to order its 61st Annual Forum and Products Exposition on August 5 to 9 at the Tampa Convention Center and Marriott Tampa Waterside Hotel and Marina.

This year's forum, "Spanning the Future--Building Professional Bridges," is an educational conference exclusively for public purchasing and a once-a-year opportunity for procurement officials to engage in professional development and network with peers in the field from across the United States and Canada and abroad. Attendees also can discover new products and services as well as meet face-to-face with over 75 suppliers to the government markets at the products exposition held in conjunction with the forum.

Pre-Forum Events

NIGP's schedule of pre-forum seminars, workshops, and networking and plenary sessions addresses the conference theme of linking--bridging--the public procurement profession and its practitioners through synergistic education and research programs, professional support, and advocacy initiatives that reflect the association's mission to "develop, support, promote" programs that benefit both members and constituents.

These pre-forum events held August 3 to 5 enable attendees to earn points toward Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council (UPPCC) certification and recertification. A two-day seminar, Get What You Need Through Successful Negotiation Strategies, will introduce best principles used in negotiating win-win situations, characteristics of a good negotiator, basic negotiation strategies and tactics, and more. Back by popular demand, the Chapter Leadership Symposium one-day seminar for current and aspiring chapter leaders takes place on Saturday, August 5.

In addition to the pre-forum seminars, a two-day national review on Thursday and Friday for the CPPO examination and a one-day review on Friday for the CPPB examination will prepare pre-registered attendees to test on-site for UPPCC certification on Saturday, August 5.

NIGP encourages members to register for pre-forum events before July 17.

Professional Development

After a meet-and-greet reception on Saturday evening, the forum officially launches on Sunday morning, August 6, with the opening breakfast and keynote address, followed by a four-day schedule of intense educational sessions and workshops.
Topics include Dealing With Negative Attitudes in the Workplace; The Art of Networking; Leadership 101 for CPPBs; Leadership 101 for CPPOs; Can You Hear Me Now? The Value of Listening; "Trust But Verify"--Gaining (and Maintaining) Empowerment from Your Elected Officials and Citizens; Navigating Through Procurement Turbulence; Buying Responsibly: Green Procurement Initiatives; Contract Law 101; Disaster Recovery: Rita, Katrina, and Life; and more. Presenters include procurement officers, purchasing directors, business school and university professors, government procurement officials, and experts in purchasing, risk management, finance, information technology, and business.

Agency-based networking sessions offer attendees a choice of one of numerous topics within each of four areas: Connecting With Your Fellow Agencies and Connecting With Your Workplace on Sunday, August 6, open to public purchasing officials only; Connecting With Your Profession on Tuesday, August 8; and Connecting With Your Future on Wednesday, August 9. The latter two sessions are open to all attendees.

LEAP Seminar

As an educational alternative within the context of the forum, NIGP offers a LEAP Foundation (Learning and Education to Advance Procurement) seminar. This year's class is the Legal Aspects of Public Procurement, presented in seven sessions over four days from Sunday, August 5, through Wednesday, August 9. These sessions are in lieu of other workshops and require separate mail registration before Friday, July 21. On-site registration will not be available. Registrants for the LEAP seminar also may participate in the Saturday welcome reception, opening breakfast, products exposition, host chapter social event, closing general session, and presidential banquet.

Tampa Play

Aside from the serious business of education, the NIGP Forum offers attendees opportunities to relax with peers at special social events in and around the city sponsored by the Tampa Bay Area Chapter of NIGP. All events are optional and require separate registration.

The fun starts with tickets to St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field where the Tampa Bay Devil Rays will host the Boston Red Sox on Friday, August 4. Game time is 7:15 p.m. Transportation and refreshments are included in event pricing. Register before July 10.

The 2nd Annual LES Foundation Benefit Golf Tournament takes place on Saturday, August 5, at the Tournament Players Club--Tampa Bay, a PGA Tour facility. Registration includes tee/green/cart fees, box lunch, two beverage tickets, and transportation. Sponsorships with tax-deductible benefits are available. Register by June 30.

Two optional day tours offered by BayArea Destination Management, Inc., include a trip to Lowry Park Zoo and a tour of Busch Gardens. Register before July 14.
On Thursday, August 10, after the forum ends, join fellow attendees on the Dixie Queen for a day of fishing on the Gulf of Mexico. Bait, tackle, and ice are provided, and the crew will clean and wrap the catches of the day for travel home. Enjoy complimentary lunch and beverages on the sun deck before heading back to Clearwater Beach Marina. Register by July 10.

The city of Tampa also offers a variety of shopping, dining, and attractions within walking distance or via the light rail system adjacent to the convention center and hotel.

Registration Information

Registration for the NIGP Forum and Products Exposition can be completed online, by fax, or by mail before July 23. Registrations after that date will be processed on site at the forum in Tampa. There is a three-tiered fee for national members, chapter-only members, and non-members. First-time attendees receive a $50 discount from the published fees. Retired NIGP members are eligible for complimentary forum and LEAP seminar registration, special NIGP room rates at sponsoring hotels, and can purchase tickets to various social and meal functions. Registration for some sessions and social events must meet separate deadlines as noted. Guest registrations are welcome and special needs will be accommodated.

For complete information about the NIGP Forum and Exposition and links to registration forms, go to

2006 NIGP Forum Program

Tampa Convention Center • August 5-9, 2006 (Schedule Subject to Change)

Thursday, August 3
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.– CPPO Review Session * **

Friday, August 4
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.– CPPO/CPPB Review Session * **
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.– 2-Day Pre-Forum Seminar--Get What You Need Through Successful Negotiation Strategies *
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.– NIGP Board/Committees Plenary Sessions
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.– NIGP Committee Meetings
7:15 p.m. – NIGP Pre-Forum Baseball Outing-- Tampa Bay Devil Rays vs. Boston Red Sox, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg * (registration/payment before July 10)

Saturday, August 5
7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.– 2nd Annual LES Foundation Benefit Golf Tournament, Tournament Players Club of Tampa Bay * (registration/payment before June 30)
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.– UPPCC Exams * (written and oral, pre-registered candidates only)
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.– Chapter Leadership Symposium *
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.– 2-Day Pre-Forum Seminar--Negotiation Strategies (cont.) *
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.– Meeting, Quality Control Team Volunteers
2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.– NIGP Board of Directors Meeting
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.– Meeting, Program Leaders
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.– First-Timers Meeting
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.– Meet-and-Greet Welcome Reception

Sunday, August 6
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.– Opening Breakfast and Keynote Speaker, Steve Gilliland
10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.– Networking Sessions
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.– LEAP Legal Aspects of Public Procurement Seminar (pre-registered attendees only)
12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.– Lunch on own
1:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.– Workshops
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.– LEAP Legal Aspects Seminar (cont.)
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.– Networking Sessions

Monday, August 7

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.– Plenary Session--Confessions of an Enron Executive: A Whistleblower's Story, Lynn Brewer **
8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.– LEAP Legal Aspects Seminar (cont.)
9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.– Workshops
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.– Day trip: Lowry Park Zoo * (registration/payment before July 14)
11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.– NIGP Business/Awards Lunch
1:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.– Products Exposition/ Chapter Showcase/Reception
1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.– LEAP Legal Aspects Seminar (cont.)
6 p.m. to 11 p.m.– Social Event--Halfway to Gasparilla Day--A Celebration of Tampa Bay (Raymond James Stadium)

Tuesday, August 8

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.– Plenary Session--You Get What You Negotiate, Alan Ovson **
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.– Products Exposition/Lunch
12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.– Workshops
12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.– LEAP Legal Aspects Seminar (cont.)
2:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.– Networking Sessions
4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.– Workshops

Wednesday, August 9
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.– Plenary Session/Panel Discussion--
The Perfect Storm--The Imperfect Aftermath **
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.– LEAP Legal Aspects Seminar (cont.)
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.– Day trip: Busch Gardens * (registration/payment before July 14)
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.– Workshops
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.– Lunch on own
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.– Networking Sessions
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.– LEAP Legal Aspects Seminar (cont.)
3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.– Closing General Session--Communicate Your Way to Successs, Amanda Gore **
6:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.– Presidential Banquet/Dance

Thursday, August 10

7 a.m. to 1 p.m.– NIGP Post-Forum Fishing Trip aboard the Dixie Queen * (registration/payment before July 10)

* Event requires additional registration/cost. ** Event held at Marriott Tampa Waterside Hotel.