Why has FedID moved to Atlanta?

Written by: Ben Smith • June 8, 2022

As Duane Blackburn noted in an earlier post about our upcoming conference, the Federal Identity Forum (FedID) will not be held in the Washington, D.C., area this year – by design. The conference historically has been held outside of DC as federal officials desire a remote venue to ensure an immersive experience. DC is an expensive place to host a conference in terms of actual costs for space rental, AV, and catering, as well as per diem/lodging and other costs to our attendees, so hosting it at a venue outside of DC means we can offer more to our attendees for the same registration fee, and we put less of a burden on attendees who would be traveling from outside the DC area.

Between 2008 and 2019, FedID (and its predecessors, Global Identity Summit and Biometrics Consortium Conference) had been held in Tampa, Florida—with the exception of 2017, when it was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. While we still love Tampa, the planning committee felt it was time to find a new home—at least temporarily—after more than a decade in the same place. We had selected Atlanta as the host city for FedID 2020, but the global pandemic temporarily halted in-person events and instead we held virtual events for 2020 and 2021. After two years of ongoing uncertainty, we are finally able to bring the event to Atlanta as planned!

So why Atlanta?

  1. Cost. As noted above, the combined daily lodging and M&IE rate is nearly $100 less than it would be if we held the conference in DC.
  2. Travel. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a primary hub or focus city for three major airlines. It is easy and relatively inexpensive to travel to Atlanta from most domestic and international locations, and there are dozens of daily flights from DC regional airports. The airlines and related government agencies based at the airport are also major consumers of identity technology.
  3. Stakeholders. An extremely diverse group of local, state and federal organizations are either headquartered or have major regional offices in and around Atlanta. Additionally, the planning committee will conduct outreach to interested students at several nearby colleges and universities.
  4. East Coast Technology Hub. With Apple, Microsoft and Google joining the hundreds of established companies and startups operating in the tech and identity space, Atlanta is fast becoming a go-to destination on the East Coast for technology advancement.
  5. Support. AFCEA has a strong Atlanta chapter whose local knowledge helps the planning committee identify and engage with those local government, industry, and academic leaders mentioned above.

We look forward to hosting FedID 2022 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and will, of course, seek your feedback as we execute this year’s event and look ahead to 2023. Please feel free to reach out any time if you have any questions or concerns.

Ben Smith is a co-chair of the Federal Identity Forum and has been planning events and supporting AFCEA’s mission and programs since 1998.

The 2022 Federal Identity Forum (FedID) is coming to Atlanta 6-9 September!

Written by: Duane Blackburn and Ben Smith • March 3, 2022

FedID has been the U.S. Government’s annual identity conference since 1995. Its mission is to bring together identity experts to exchange information and enhance public-private collaboration to solve the federal government’s toughest identity challenges and help ensure a vibrant identity community.

The federal government typically holds FedID outside the Washington, D.C., area to provide an immersive environment where attendees can fully dedicate their time and attention for multiple days. FedID is a safe space for identity professionals from the federal government, private sector and academia to jointly explore new technologies and discuss innovative applications that could enhance our nation’s security and prosperity.

COVID-19 forced us to host FedID virtually in 2020 and 2021, and while each event was both awesome and beneficial, the negative impacts on the federal identity community from not being able to collaborate and debate issues in-person has been noticeable. We need face-to-face interactions that forge beneficial relationships! We are therefore planning to host FedID 2022 in-person unless we’re absolutely forced not to by a future COVID variant.

Within the formal program we will enable federal departments to provide updates to attendees on their identity programs and to highlight their future plans. We’ll also have a host of sessions focused on interagency and public-private identity matters, such as the role of identity in a modern society, authoritative sources of USG identities, overcoming misinformation, and the criticality of the soft sciences in identity system planning. Alongside the formal program we’ll also have a large exhibit space so attendees can gain hands-on experience with the latest commercial capabilities, open and invitation-only workshops to collaboratively tackle important issues, built-in time for sidebar conversations, and Thursday evening excursions to allow attendees to forge relationships while enjoying Atlanta hospitality. (We encourage private entities that host their own receptions alongside FedID to do so on Wednesday night this year to maximize their attendance/value and minimize disruptions to FedID’s evening activities on Tuesday and Thursday).

We’ll provide periodic blog updates on the planning throughout the year, with logistics and program specifics also being added on the FedID 2022 website as they become available.

We look forward to reconnecting with everyone in Atlanta!