Event Recap: SBC 2023

SBC 2023: Powering Your Priorities

SAME returned to San Antonio, Texas, November 1-3, with the record-breaking 2023 Federal Small Business Conference. With over 5,000 attendees coming together for three days of networking, business opportunity briefings, and educational sessions to power the priorities of small businesses, large businesses, and federal agencies. The conference got off to a great start on Day One with an Opening Session sponsored by our Titanium Sponsors. Headlined by Gen. Laura Richardson, USA, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, the Opening Session was a reminder of how important the collaboration taking place across SBC is to the needs of our national security, and how each of us has a part to play on Team USA.

Gen. Richardson highlighted how the conference was not only an opportunity for public and private sectors to collaborate under a single roof and address many of the complex challenges facing the nation’s engineering needs, but also an opportunity for, as she put it, “Team USA” to rally and collaborate to build the brand of U.S. engineering and investment as a trusted, quality partner for democracies in the Western Hemisphere and across the globe. 

“You have a great program set up for the next three days that will generate of a lot of discussion, as well as collaboration to think through how to take advantage of the fleeting windows of opportunity, and how to help counter the challenges…”

Gen. Laura Richardson, USA, Commander, U.S. Southern Command

Rounding out the General Sessions, day two of SBC featured the Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Along with forecasts from the agencies on work and challenges ahead, each also spoke on how they are tackling a common foe—the dwindling number of businesses doing work in the federal marketplace. Each of them highlighted ongoing initiatives and programs taking aim at lowering or removing barriers for small businesses interested in entering or expanding their presence in the federal marketplace and offered an outstretched hand for further dialogue and collaboration.

After all, collaboration is what attendees were here for. Along with the General Sessions, attendees enjoyed extensive workshops, forums, and demonstrations throughout the week; over 40 hours of educational and professional development sessions; a sold-out exhibit hall with over 500 leading A/E/C companies; and multiple opportunities for networking with like-minded colleagues and mentors. SBC in San Antonio this year continues its historic tradition of bringing together industry and government as members of “Team USA.”

group in session sbc 23

Making Connections at SBC 2023

Establishing trusted relationships are the building blocks for successful projects in the federal space. SBC is committed to helping make those connections. All week long, SBC took this to heart by encouraging attendees to meet colleagues and potential new business partners through both a casual series of ice breakers and receptions, and through more formal, organized Matched Networking appointments.

For first-time attendees, a meet and greet on Tuesday afternoon served double duty as a 101 introduction to SBC as well as a chance for newcomers to meet other first-timers and SBC veterans eager to share their knowledge on how to best use your time in San Antonio. That evening, a pair of receptions kicked off the excitement. The President’s Reception got the conference officially underway, with the Young Professional & Fellows Networking Event offering “mingling with a purpose” for young and seasoned members alike.

Aside from formal networking events, each day of the conference encouraged casual opportunities for mingling including continental breakfasts offered each morning, networking lunches provided in the exhibit hall, sponsored snack breaks and networking receptions provided on the exhibit floor where attendees can reunite with colleagues and friends, or build foundational relationships with potential new clients and teaming partners.

Powering Your Priorities

SBC 2023 was all about helping supercharge your objectives. Whatever your short term or long term goals may be, there was a business or educational session to help advance it. SBC offered over 40 such sessions where more than a dozen federal agencies and private companies have gathered to share their expertise and engage with A/E/C industry professionals.

Facing Challenges Together

With so many national security and infrastructure challenges facing our nation today, it has become more important now than ever before that SAME deliver on its mission to unite public and private sector individuals and organizations from across the architecture, engineering, construction, environmental, facility management and maintenance, cybersecurity, project planning, contracting and acquisition, and related disciplines. For many years, SBC has provided an industry-unique forum designed to foster greater collaboration between industry and government, and year after year it has delivered on that goal.

Whether attending one of the business opportunity or education and training sessions, participating in one-on-one networking appointments, or listening to industry and government leaders in our Keynote and General sessions, the over 5,000 attendees at this year’s conference found an experience to help Power Your Priorities.