What's new at the annual conference and how to prepare

Sep 13, 2023

The League of California Cities Annual Conference and Expo is the largest gathering of California city officials. Just figuring out which session to attend can be exhausting. We’ve compiled a list of tips to ensure you get the most out of the conference.

The mobile app is back!

Planning your annual conference experience just got easier. The Cal Cities mobile app provides everything you need to know about the conference. You can view the full program, build a custom schedule, import events into your calendar, view exhibitor information, and more. Find the Cal Cities mobile app by searching “League of California Cities" or “Cal Cities” in your device’s app store.

The General Assembly is scheduled for Friday morning

Each year, members can propose new Cal Cities policies through the annual resolutions process, which are then voted on during the General Assembly. Cal Cities did not receive any policy resolutions by the July 22 deadline. However, members may introduce petitioned resolutions until Sept. 21 at 8:30 a.m.

All voting delegates must check in at the voting delegate desk before the General Assembly. They should also visit the desk after 8:30 a.m. on Thursday to see if there are any qualified petitioned resolutions. If any petitioned resolutions do qualify, the General Assembly will start at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 22. If not, enjoy the extra hour of sleep!

Want to connect with other young professionals? Now you can

Come to this informal gathering to meet other attendees also dedicated to bettering their cities and growing their professional networks. Swing by the ConnectLounge in Hall ABC on Sept. 21 at 12:30 p.m.

Plan your schedule in advance

The annual conference is jam-packed with educational sessions and opportunities to connect with colleagues. Take time to review the full schedule with your team before attending. If you’re attending the conference as a group, divide the educational sessions up to maximize the conference’s benefits.

The conference also has plenty of opportunities to meet other colleagues. Even between activities, you may find yourself meeting and exchanging ideas with people from across the state. Make a plan for who you want to connect with in advance and remember to bring a stack of business cards.

If this is your first time attending the conference — or if you need a refresher — join Cal Cities staff for an attendee orientation at 12:45 p.m. on Sept. 20.

Earn your continuing education credits or complete ethics training

The annual conference officially starts with the Opening General Session at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. However, there are plenty of pre-conference activities for those who arrive beforehand, including opportunities for education credits. Arrive early for AB 1234 Ethics Training or earn CMC/MMC Advanced Education Points at the City Clerks Workshop.

City attorneys can also earn education credits throughout the conference.

Connect with peers at your department meeting or regional event

The annual conference is also a chance to wrap up old business and prepare for the year ahead. During department meetings, city officials in similar professions gather to discuss pressing issues, hear timely legislation updates, and brainstorm solutions for their work on unified department goals.

City managers, city clerks, fire chiefs, public works officers, employee relations managers, and fiscal officers will meet on Sept. 20. City attorneys and mayors and council members will meet on Sept. 21.

Want to deepen regional connections? Many of Cal Cities’ 16 regional divisions meet during the annual conference to share and reflect on issues impacting their region. For information about division events, review the conference schedule or contact your regional public affairs manager.

Find exhibitors and Cal Cities Partners in the expo

Don't forget about the second half of the conference — the expo floor! With over 200 exhibitors, this year’s expo floor will be brimming with opportunities to discover city-focused services and organizations for a wide range of mundane and unusual city challenges.

While you’re there, be sure to check out the winners of this year’s Helen Putnam Award for Excellence. The annual award program honors and promotes the outstanding work of member cities throughout the state that have made unique contributions to community residents and businesses, which have resulted in lower costs or more effective delivery of services.

Attendees can participate in a scavenger hunt for the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence winners. Find all the Helen Putnam booths for a chance at a prize courtesy of Cal Cities Partners.

In addition to the exhibitors, the expo also has a special pavilion for Cal Cities Partners and an exclusive Speakers Theater brimming with quick, bite-sized education sessions.

Swing by, say hi, and learn about available services

Cal Cities has a wealth of information and opportunities designed to help city leaders better their communities. Visit the Member Services Desk to get information on the year-round services available to you and your city, including legislative advocacy activities, ongoing educational opportunities, and how to meet other professionals.

Don’t forget to pack the conference essentials

Last, but most importantly: The annual conference includes a lot of walking and conference room temperatures may vary! Pack comfortable shoes, chargers for mobile devices, and a jacket as conference rooms may be cold to some. Be sure to allow for extra time to pick up your conference badge before arriving at your first event.

Sessions and speakers are subject to change. For more information, contact education@calcities.org.