Thurston Economic Development Council: Build Connections and Explore Opportunities in the Government Marketplace at the Alliance Northwest Conference


The Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) is known for providing quality events that connect businesses with opportunities for business and community growth. Their next event is the 36th Annual Alliance Northwest Conference, where business meets government through purposeful networking amongst prime contractors, government agencies and small businesses. This year, the event will be held virtually on Thursday, March 10 with spots available starting at just $75 per person. Be sure to register now for this can’t-miss event.

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Government contracting involves a wide and diverse range of industries. JBLM contracts numerous small businesses for their services, such as concrete repair as pictured here. Photo courtesy: Thurston Economic Development Council

Washington PTAC Program Director Tiffany Scroggs has seen firsthand how impactful this event is for both sides. “PTAC exists to help people navigate government contracting,” she explains. “The most effective way to do that is to understand the market inside and out, showcase the opportunities, ask questions, and get answers. This event does all of that.”  The conference often draws around 1,000 attendees every year, bringing together the who’s who of federal, state and local procurement. It is the perfect place for businesses and government buyers to learn more about the landscape of government contracting and connect with one another.

When it comes to government contracting, there aren’t many industries that don’t have an opportunity to get involved. “It would be easier to provide a list of industries that don’t bid for these jobs,” says Tiffany. “The government buys just about everything, and if the government can buy what you sell, there is definitely more for you to discover at this event.” Government agencies use this annual conference as a way to reach small businesses, so it isn’t uncommon for attendees to come away from the event with some new contacts and prospective opportunities on the horizon.

The main goal of the event isn’t just to sell services and bid on jobs, though. A huge part of Alliance Northwest is keeping businesses and government agencies updated on the world of government contracting. Speakers are featured throughout the event to touch on important topics such as changes in legislation and specific industries that are experiencing growth. This year, the event will feature speakers Senator Cantwell and Congresswoman Strickland as well as legal experts providing updates on federal contracting. One of the most anticipated sessions will cover contract opportunities funded by the Infrastructure Bill that was passed last year.   This year’s event also brings in the popular Pierce County Purchase Forum which is typically held in-person each year in Lakewood.  South sounders will enjoy panel discussions by local agencies, prime contractors, and opportunities at JBLM.

The Perks of Going Virtual

Though virtual events may not sound as impactful as in-person networking, there are some huge advantages to this method. All of the event’s briefings and breakout sessions will be recorded and available for the rest of the year, which is a perk for those wishing to invest most of their time in connecting with others during the event.

Additionally, the Alliance Northwest Conference will be hosted on Swapcard, a professional platform designed for more organic networking. With this kind of virtual networking, it is very easy for attendees to find the person they are looking to connect with, rather than wandering around an event venue. It is definitely very convenient for busy business owners and government agencies looking to make the most out of their time.

Become a Sponsor

Currently, Alliance Northwest is still accepting sponsors and exhibitors that wish to maximize their visibility at the event. Sponsorship levels are available for a range of interests and can include marketing such as logo visibility prior to the event as well as sponsor highlights throughout the day. There are also opportunities for sponsors to target small businesses or specific demographics that they have an interest in. If you are interested in partnering with the Thurston EDC as a sponsor of Alliance Northwest, you can contact Holly House at to learn more.

Regardless of your industry, every business owner will have takeaways from this event when it comes to government contracting. Washington PTAC is largely interested in helping the local level get the most out of this event. They are available to help attendees properly prepare for the event so they can reap the most benefit possible. “If you have never explored government contracting before, this is a good place to start,” says Tiffany. “Here at PTAC, we can help you design a strategy to make the most of the day.”

This event is hugely popular and is an excellent source of information and professional networking opportunities. Business owners and government agencies will walk away from this event with greater understandings of this sector and new connections. Register for your spot at the Alliance Northwest Conference and experience the amazing impact for yourself.


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