Government meeting professionals to host premier event in Huntsville


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Government meeting professionals from across the US will meet in Huntsville for the annual Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) National Education Conference (NEC).

The NEC is scheduled for May 18-20, 2021, at the Von Braun Center. According to the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), they expect roughly 500 in-person attendees.

“Travel and tourism is a major economic driver for our area, bringing in roughly $1.6 billion in economic impact in 2019,” said Judy Ryals, president/CEO of the CVB. “While 2020 numbers will certainly look different, we feel confident that 2021 will be a start on the road to recovery as we welcome groups like SGMP and others. Being home to Redstone Arsenal and various other federal entities makes Huntsville the perfect host city for this event, and we look forward to showing attendees everything we have to offer.”

The 2021 convention will be SGMP’s first-ever hybrid event, offering both in-person and virtual programming out of consideration for current CDC health guidelines.

Marie Arighi, director of sales and event services for the Von Braun Center and 2nd Vice President of the SGMP National Board of Directors, said, “The SGMP NEC is the largest annual event where government professionals come together for education, professional development, and networking. The core competencies of the society are beneficial to anyone working in the government meeting sector. Hosting this event is a wonderful opportunity not only to showcase Huntsville and the Von Braun Center to planners with a reported buying power of $1.2 billion but also because it’s the 40th anniversary of the NEC. We’re looking forward to providing a great celebration for the organization.”    

The Society of Government Meeting Professionals was founded in 1981 and is the only national organization in the US dedicated exclusively to individuals who plan and execute government meetings.

The NEC is SGMP’s premier annual conference, bringing together meeting professionals from 19 individual chapters covering 16 states, plus Washington, D.C.

For more information, please visit the Society of Government Meeting Professionals’ website at

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