Thursday, September 13

8 to 9 a.m. (Breakfast)


Join us for breakfast on day two of the 2018 NAGW conference.

Location: King's Garden 4/5

9 to 10:30 a.m. (Thursday Keynote)

Thursday Keynote: 7 Secrets to Creative Content from your Favorite Songwriters

Inspiration is elusive. Writing content for government doesn’t seem particularly exciting. And stakeholders and politics seem to get in the way of “out of the box thinking”—all of the time.

Learn how to fix this with this fun session that will focus on some of your favorite songs, their creators and what they can teach us about creativity, collaboration and creating content that stands the test of time.

Location: King's Garden 4/5

10:45 a.m. to noon (Sessions)

Using Technology to Boost Human Connection

Are websites, blogs and social media really enough when it comes to communicating with your constituents? While these are useful tools for displaying information, they cannot compete with talking directly to another person. That is why our team at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) integrated the option for verbal communication right into our digital communications strategy. We created multiple hotlines and live chat interfaces that are used hand-in-hand with custom search engines of frequently asked questions. This was done by incorporating CRM, telephony and knowledge database services. The outcomes? Boosts in entrepreneurship, foodborne illness prevention, regulatory compliance and a human connection with the public. In this presentation, I will describe how we incorporated this technology and how your agency can too.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. FSIS, a public health and regulatory agency, created hotlines and chat services for segments of constituents and incorporated further technology and services.
  2. In addition to the typical benefits of using a CRM, our system will record each contact according to the questions that they ask and the feedback that they submit. It allows anyone to use the search engine feature created and optimized by us at the Agency.
  3. While it’s important for Federal agencies to keep up with the latest technologies, there are still many constituents who benefit more from being able to call and speak with a voice they have come to recognize rather than find information on a website.
Location: Birmingham (Bridges)

The Shifting Paradigm

Technologists in local government across the US are battling three key forces that are bound to disrupt the way IT organizations (and local government overall) function, how they are staffed, what services they deliver and how they are perceived across the community. The Shifting Paradigm highlights these 3 forces and discusses the reasons for the current state of local government before presenting ways to turn these challenges into opportunities to move our communities forward and re-tool our organizations for sustainable success.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Local Government is increasingly pressured by outside forces that are disrupting the way it functions
  2. The old approach to technology and process is no longer sustainable and requires a shift 
  3. Intelligent application of technology and process offers a way to capitalize on this ""shifting paradigm"" and move our communities forward
Location: Ft. Pitt (Bridges)

Using Chrome Developer Tools to Debug Your JavaScript

The song we developers all know and love: ""99 little bugs on the wall, 99 little bugs... take one down, fix it around... 127 little bugs on the wall!""
Debugging is a fact of life for a developer, but did anyone ever teach you how to debug your JavaScript? No? Me either, really. I took what I learned WAAAAY BACK when I first learned C++ programming (before it was standardized!) and, well, extrapolated. 
As web developers, we have a lot of debugging tools available to us now, and this session will take you through using one: Chrome DevTools.
Learn a repeatable process to debug your code using breakpoints, watches, and stepping through your code, and discover what all those different panels are about in the DevTools.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. How to access Chrome Developer Tools
  2. Tour of the features available in Chrome Developer Tools
  3. Breakpoints, watches, and stepping-through - oh my!
Location: Smithfield (Bridges)


Scenario 1: You're putting out an RFP for a new website and one of your top goals is to improve the experience. How do you evaluate potential bidders? How do you know that users will get a new and improved experience? 
Scenario 2: You have an existing site and want to improve the experience. Where do you even start? What do you measure? 
We've got you covered. We'll explain cover how to separate the buzzwords from the definable metrics within User Experience. 

Three Key Takeaways

  1. How to word a proposal and what to include during an interview to weed out those who are unqualified but know some of the lingo.
  2. What to do when you have a site already, but a redesign is years into the future. What can you do now to get a baseline measure and improve? 
  3. Tools and tips for quantifying the user experience AND actually improving it.


Location: Sterlings 1/2/3

noon to 1 p.m. (Lunch)


Join us for lunch on day two of the 2018 NAGW conference. Vendor giveaways will also be conducted towards the end of lunch.

Location: King's Garden 4/5

1 to 2:15 p.m. (Sessions)

3 Social Media Legal Threats Every Web Professional Must Defend Their Agency From

What happens when you receive that dreaded First Amendment complaint? Or a records request for a comment that a citizen has already deleted? Or the moment you check Facebook, you find out that your agency has gone viral? What if, instead of screaming for help, you could simply say, “No problem--I’ve got it covered!” Join Jennifer Chapman, Digital Communications Manager for the City of Johns Creek, GA, and Frankie Rios, Web Coordinator for the City of Santa Clarita, CA alongside Anil Chawla, CEO and Founder of ArchiveSocial, as they explore this crucial issue. Jennifer and Frankie will share their experiences developing social media policies and taking steps to proactively defend their cities against legal risks. Because they have been so proactive, Anil will supplement with horror stories of less fortunate agencies across the country and explain how web professionals can bring real solutions to the table.
Attendees will leave with deep knowledge about the current legal climate and hear stories about real challenges that agencies have faced...and what they’re doing to protect themselves.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Learn about the latest horror stories from around the country...before you find your agency starring in one
  2. Hear two NAGW members discuss their cities’ journeys towards becoming better protected on social media
  3. Identify concrete steps you can take to be a proactive hero for your own agency
Location: Birmingham (Bridges)

Creating 508 and ADA Compliant Online Services

Over the past few years, accessibility has become a vital consideration in the realm of government innovation. While federal agencies are now required to make their websites accessible to users with disabilities, state and local governments are increasingly expected to adhere to Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 standards. 

But creating accessible and compliant web pages is only part of the puzzle. What about all of the forms and applications that live on these pages? Posting PDF applications on municipal websites poses major challenges for disabled users, who cannot easily see the text or modify it for assistive technologies. Additionally, these applications often need to be printed and mailed in, or physically brought to the office, further violating WCAG 2.0 guidelines. Now more than ever, governments are desperately seeking compliant alternatives to these paper processes.
A few years ago, Montgomery, AL decided that they were going to make strides toward improving the accessibility of their services. In particular, the City was looking for a solution to automate Public Records Requests in a fully compliant manner. Previously, this was a paper-based form that required signatures and certain information, but often this form was submitted without required fields, launching a whole back-and-forth between a citizen and the Records Officer that added weeks of processing time. The City of Montgomery knew that this process needed to be brought online, and wanted to do so in a way that would benefit all constituents.

In searching for a government-focused form solution, Montgomery found SeamlessGov at the forefront of providing accessible, and 508 and ADA compliant solutions. The SeamlessGov platform allows governments to build fully compliant web forms from scratch and convert existing PDF forms into online services, with eSignatures, payments, attachments, and workflow. With drag-and-drop capabilities, our Form Solution empowers staff with no technical experience to quickly and easily transform cumbersome paper processes into robust digital versions, while optimizing accessibility for all users. 
In this session, we will be co-presenting with Kimberly Wright, the Webmaster in Montgomery, AL, who is working with us to bring the City’s paper forms online. Together, we will showcase the SeamlessGov-enabled online services that Montgomery provides for its constituents, and discuss the importance of developing services for citizens with accessibility in mind.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. 508/ADA compliance are becoming the new standard for governments nationwide.
  2. Most existing form processes do not adhere to the accessibility guidelines in place.
  3. SeamlessGov is partnering with governments (such as Montgomery, AL) to transform paper-based forms processes into accessible, compliant online services.
Location: Ft. Pitt (Bridges)

Telling a Data Driven Story: The Larimer County Jail Dashboard

The rising population in Larimer County has led to higher home values, more traffic and, sadly less available beds at the County Jail. Many factors play into what causes this, but lack of readily available/consumable data leads to a misinformed public, and could lead to misinformed ballot decisions come election day. We partnered with the Jail, the County's Business Intelligence Team and built a online, real-time dashboard using Angular to tell the story of what impacts the count of jail beds available.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Let the data tell the story 
  2. Discover the correct data, its current location and the steps taken to make it available via public APIs powered by SAP Hana
  3. Best use of searchable data tables, graphs and infographics to complete the narrative
Location: Smithfield (Bridges)

Get your content under control: Developing a communications strategy that increases engagement

Every government agency has a specific mission. Whether its promoting or transforming services, enhancing public awareness or improving citizen involvement, agencies need a unique content and communications strategy to get their audience the information they need to participate in programs and utilize services. The main goal, no matter what mission is, is to maintain a large and active audience. 
 This presentation will go over key ways to do this including: developing a concise email subscription process, using personalization, leveraging segmentation, and mapping content to demand. The presentation will also feature a case study from The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that will go over how they implemented a new digital communications strategy that tripled their subscriber audience and allowed them to develop content to engage different audiences, including employees, retirees and businesses.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Actionable tips to creating or revitalizing their organization’s content strategy. 
  2. Strategies to meet their organization’s mission by increasing subscribers, developing consistent and recognizable branding and getting executive buy in to execute the strategy. 
  3. Best practices from ATF on how to overhaul a content and communications strategy, overcome common challenges and replicate their success.
Location: Sterlings 1/2/3

2:30 to 3:45 p.m. (Sessions)

Why You Must Ensure That Accessibility is Part of Your UX Process

Learn why it is a must to ensure that accessibility is part of your UX process from the beginning. Tips and tricks will be provided to assist you in simplifying this implementation. The potential negative impacts of attempting to address accessibility late in the process will be covered. Including costs, not only from a development standpoint, but also the extremely negative impact of a website compliance lawsuit.
Estimates state that 6% - 8% of the population is unable to navigate websites without the use of assistive devises and/or keyboard combinations. That's nearly 2 times the population of the United States! The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically establishing that equal access to state and local government' programs and services are a legal requirement. Furthering this cause, The Access Board revised, and updated, its standards for electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by Federal agencies covered by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Compliance with the section 508-based standards was required by January 18, 2018. Those not in compliance are at risk of litigation and the loss of funding. 

Three Key Takeaways

  1. It's much easier to make accessibility part of your UX process from the beginning.
  2. The benefits of developing with accessibility in mind far out way the negatives.
  3. Building accessible websites is not an option, it's the law! 
Location: Birmingham (Bridges)

Online Forms – Making it happen with a limited budget

Hamilton County, Indiana leverages several technologies and workflows for online forms. We support the needs of over 20 agencies, each with their own level of digital sophistication, unique business needs, and different internal systems.  We didn’t find a single method for online forms that will meet all business needs and still provide an acceptable ROI.  So, we did a gap analysis, and found products to fill the gaps. To meet project requirements and minimize overhead, we are using five different methods for online forms. The easiest is through our CMS, which lets our web editors build and maintain very basic forms. The next is Logiforms, a very robust (but economical) online form service. It is more time consuming but supports more advanced requirements and lets us incorporate Adobe Sign signatures.  We also build custom applications using ASP.NET for a few forms with very unusual requirements, such as auto-filling current property data into the form. We also have forms that submit the user's request directly to an internal workflow management system. Our most recent addition is using Cognito forms and Muhimbi to allow anonymous public users to submit forms to our intranet environment (SharePoint 365), convert them to pdf’s, and notify the appropriate staff.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. The goal is to meet business needs, not finding one perfect product.
  2. Get creative in leveraging what you already have. 
  3. Small investments and incremental enhancements can make a big difference.
Location: Ft. Pitt (Bridges)

Transforming Your Website from Blah to Bold

Transforming the City of Sunnyvale’s archaic and failing website into a boldly designed and stable, secure and mobile-friendly system was a three-year project that successfully used a data-driven and user-focused approach. Learn how we created a compelling business case for the project, evaluated and reported on site analytics to convince staff to let go of content (e.g., 90% of our traffic was to only 20% of our pages), collected user needs through surveys and in-house data mining, and inspired design and information architecture decisions through extensive benchmarking. The new site, launched in July 2017, now reflects our City’s new brand and status as the Heart of Silicon Valley where innovation and technology abounds.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Have an agreed upon vision and strong champion;
  2. Be willing to try new approaches;
  3. Base solutions on data and stakeholder input
Location: Smithfield (Bridges)

Open Data for Direct Public Engagement

The burgeoning open government data movement focuses largely on passive engagement: agencies publish raw data, reports, and possibly a dashboard of key metrics, to be consumed by the most interested public at their leisure. But a more active strategy of publishing and marketing your open data resources can foster similarly active interest in, and involvement with, the local political process. In this session, we'll discuss the benefits and pitfalls of encouraging greater public feedback on open data; how to work with the industry and hobbyist technical community to produce value-adding products and analyses; and how open data can interact with more traditional methods of direct public engagement, such as public meetings, community forums and surveys, to create a more participatory environment for discussion, policy, and community improvement.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. How good public engagement policy and good open data policy overlap and coexist
  2. How to leverage your local tech and community leaders to drive data use and public engagement
  3. How to encourage data engagement at all levels of technical expertise
Location: Sterlings 1/2/3

3:45 to 4:15 p.m. (Sponsor Break with snacks)

Sponsor Break

Meet in the Sponsor Lounge for drinks and snacks. NAGW will be conducting prize drawings and you must be present to win.

Location: Commonwealth 1/2

4:15 to 5 p.m. (Member Meeting and Giveaways)

Member Meeting

Join the board and staff as they present on the state of NAGW. Member feedback and questions are encouraged. There will be special giveaways just for members at this meeting.

Location: Sterlings 1/2/3

6:30 p.m. (Pinnacle Awards Banquet)

Pinnacle Awards Banquet

At the Pinnacle Awards Banquet NAGW conference attendance pins (5, 10, 15 and 20 years) will be awarded and the CGDSP gradudates class of 2018 will be recognized. The Pinnacle nominees will be presented and the winners will be announced in each of the award categories. 

Location: King's Garden 4/5

Conference Registration

Late registration rates in effect now through the start of the conference.

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Title, Award, Reception & Showcase Sponsors


Hotel Location

Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
600 Commonwealth Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 391-4600

Hotel Website >>

Conference Summary

2017 Executive Summary
View the Executive Summary with of all the benefits of attending.

About NAGW

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For general information about nagw/conference, including registration, please contact us at:
National Association of Government Web Professionals

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