ALEXANDRIA, VA-January 14, 2015 - The Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) announced today that its 2017 National Education Conference & Expo (NEC) will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

"Our national leadership team is excited to announce Fort Lauderdale as the host city and education partner for our 2017 annual conference," said SGMP national president Rob Coffman, CGMP. "The NEC is the best opportunity to master important best practices and to earn education contact hours." SGMP is the only national organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to government meetings and expands the expertise of its members while promoting the cost-effectiveness of government meetings.

SGMP's Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) course and exam-with specific instruction in ethics, contracting, travel regulations, risk management and protocol-will be offered with the conference. It is the highest professional designation available specifically for government meeting professionals.

"Greater Fort Lauderdale will be thrilled to welcome SGMP to our 60+ distinct neighborhoods," said Nicki E. Grossman, president and CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Our bureau is a proud SGMP member and we know the members will appreciate the incredible convenience of our airport-just three to five miles from our host hotels and convention center." The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is one of the fastest growing in the country. It is classified as a major hub and features several low-cost carriers.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center was the first in Florida to receive the LEED Gold certification from the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), an arm of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It is one of only three in the nation to achieve this status for an existing building. Approximately 30% of the city's 10 million annual visitors attend conventions at the center.

Fort Lauderdale served as host of SGMP's 17th annual conference in 1999. "It will be great to be back to this exceptional destination for the one-stop and non-stop education, resources and networking that our NEC provides," said SGMP executive director & CEO Rob Bergeron, CAE, CGMP. "It is a critical time for our industry and SGMP is aggressively moving forward to promote the fact that our members' professionalism benefits citizens and makes our government more effective."

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The Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) was founded in 1981 and is the only national organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to government meetings. SGMP is a non-profit organization of nearly 3,000 members in 30 chapters who are involved in planning and executing government meetings. Our mission is to enhance and promote the expertise of government meeting professionals. We accomplish our objectives-to improve the quality of and promote the cost-effectiveness of government meetings-through education, resources and networking. For more info, visit

Rob Bergeron, CAE, CGMP
Executive Director & CEO
Society of Government Meeting Professionals
908 King Street - Ste 200, Alexandria, VA, 22314
Phone: 703-549-0892 Fax: 703-549-0708

Kim Butler
Vice President, Marketing Communications
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
101 NE Third Ave., Ste 100, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33301
Phone: 954-767-2442 Fax: 954-765-4117