By Brian Hagberg
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
More than 140 Schriever Air Force Base members took the opportunity to meet with vendors at a technology expo the 50th Space Communications Squadron hosted at the fitness center April 16.
Schriever participants met with 13 technology and technology education vendors during the event, which returned to Schriever after a 12-year hiatus.
“The turnout speaks to a demand on base for this type of event,” said 2nd Lt. Christopher Babcock, 50 SCS. “The last time we had a tech expo here was 2003.”
Babcock said he was very pleased with the number of attendees; given there were adverse weather conditions and visits from two Air Force officials at the same time.
“[The number of attendees] allows us to come back next year in a strong position to secure more companies that offer technological solutions relevant to our varied base missions,” Babcock said.
The 50 SCS partnered with National Conference Services, Inc. to bring the expo back to Schriever. Schriever seemed like a logical expansion for NCSI, a private company that provides marketing, event planning and production to the Department of Defense, intelligence community and federal government, according to the NCSI website.
“We have expos at Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base every year,” said Kari Sheahan, NCSI event manager. “When going through our records, we discovered a previous partnership with Schriever, and decided to reach out to see if there was interest.”
Sheahan said NCSI wants to bring industry and the military together to provide networking and education opportunities. The company served as a liaison between 50 SCS and the vendors.
“SCS told us what kinds of things they wanted to see, and we contacted vendors who have that technology,” Sheahan said.
Babcock said 50 SCS solicited input from the entire Schriever community to determine exactly what people were looking for and the vendors delivered.
“I was impressed with the quality of the vendors and their understanding of the unique technological requirements the military has,” he said. “These companies were in tune with military trends and eager to show off their innovations.”
The event was presented in a “no buying, no selling” format, to give attendees insight in to new technologies and current technology education available without feeling pressured to purchase goods or services.
“We wanted people to see technology they might not otherwise know is available in a stress-free environment,” Babcock said.
Based on feedback he received from vendors, Babcock said they were appreciative of the opportunity to bring their expertise to Schriever.
“For one small business I spoke with, simply getting their name out there was a huge goal they had,” he said. “They were excited for the opportunity to attend.”
Babcock said NCSI has already initiated talks to bring the expo back to Schriever next year. He said if the expo returns, 50 SCS will reach out to the Schriever community early in the process to find out what members would want to see in 2016.
“We’re very open to feedback to help improve the types of technology being offered [at an expo] in the future,” Babcock said. “That will help ensure that the event is still useful and relevant in years to come.”