“What’s so different about the 2018 Global SOF Symposium?”

That’s a question I hear regularly. It’s not always a simple answer, especially because every person who asks has their own personal or business goals when they attend any conference or similar event. It’s an important question–we’re all busy and none of us have the time or money to waste, so I do encourage people to look at what they get out of the events they attend. I know that any company with legitimate SOF interest or capabilities will see that GSF events are different. In a good way.

PEOPLE:

The GSF is growing in numbers, even at a time when many companies are cutting their marketing dollars. People are still attending, joining, and sponsoring because they see the value of what we are doing. For this Symposium, we are on track to have around 500 people from 25+ nations, and we’re talking official representatives from those nations.

Key leaders are attending and speaking on their own country’s defense dime because they continue to have positive interactions with our Foundation that are leading to good things for their home nations. Many of these leaders are rising stars in their national militaries or governments, and we love building our relationships with them at our events.

INDUSTRY:

We love our industry partners, and we know that SOF cannot function at a high level without them, so this year we’ve added in a compact expo area to bring in relevant exhibits. We are almost sold out with over 30 exhibitors, and that is supplemented by the contributions from around 15 sponsoring companies. At the GSF, we do not run traditional trade shows, but our event attendees asked us to incorporate intimate exhibit opportunities so that products of interest to the SOF community could be available for demos or information.

FORMAT:

Our events are designed to enable networking. I encourage you to attend every session–you may hear something that can help you start a conversation late. You should sit with people you don’t know–it could be your next business partner, colleague, or friend. I recommend that you introduce yourself to our international guests–they have traveled a long way to attend and this is not a common opportunity for engagement. If face-to-face isn’t your forte, try the Whova App for an initial introduction.

FUN:

The 2018 Global SOF Symposium – US is a professional event, but there is no rule that it has to suck. We strive to make our events an experience that is educational but not painful.

We are hosting our second Global SOF Golf Tournament to start the Symposium on Monday, 19 February. If you are a golfer or you just want to have fun and meet people then you should join us to play the Innisbrook North Course. This is a great time to golf in Florida, and we’ve already surpassed the amount of golfers that we had last year. If you are not registered go to https://www.globalsofsymposium.org/us/Golf-Tournament and sign up. If you can’t attend the whole Symposium, the Golf Tournament is a great introduction to the event–you’ll still meet people on the course and at the follow-on Icebreaker Reception at the Osprey Clubhouse.

I look forward to seeing you all there–if you haven’t been before, give us a shot, and if you’re a repeat customer, bring a friend that you think should be in our community.

If you have not registered, there’s still time. Go to https://www.globalsofsymposium.org/us and do so now.