13K attendees welcomed in-person I/ITSEC’s return to Orlando
ARLINGTON, VA – More than 13,000 attendees from about 50 countries gathered for the world’s largest modeling, simulation and training conference, as I/ITSEC 2021 came alive at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Nov. 29-Dec. 2, the National Training and Simulation Association said.
“We termed this year a ‘recovery show,’” said retired Navy Rear Adm. James Robb, NTSA’s president, of the 2021 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, which returned to Orlando after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the 2020 I/ITSEC to be a virtual event. “All in all, the core group that comes to the conference is here, with full business as usual on the conference side.”
There were 420 organizations – businesses, nonprofit groups, academia and military entities – that displayed within 180,000 square-feet of show-floor space. I/ITSEC welcomed many new vendors as well as industry stalwarts, small through large defense businesses alike.
The thousands of attendees represented government, academia, corporations and the military and explored cyber, big-data analysis and critical national security issues through special events and dozens of professional papers and presentations. There also were tutorials, special events, a congressional caucus, professional workshops, a serious games competition and STEM events for teachers and secondary students.
This year’s theme was “Innovating and Accelerating Training: Adapting to an Unexpected Future.” The Navy and Marine Corps were the featured services, and I/ITSEC opened with an unprecedented fireside chat with Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday.
Robb said I/ITSEC returned to Florida full of excitement and confidence. “It is important to bring together, in person, this highly engaged community to share ideas, network and learn from each other,” he said. “It was a great return in-person.” Covid effects continued to affect attendance, especially on international travel, although about 1,000 attendees were from outside the United States. “We expect a better return to normal in 2022,” Robb said.
Full COVID-19 protection measures were in place. NTSA, an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association of Arlington, Virginia, had COVID-19 attendance policy and mask updates and offered COVID-19 testing at the convention center.
I/ITSEC 2022 plans are under way, and the show is set for Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. For more information, visit iitsec.org.