Solicitation Number: SOFATL-2023-SOFWeek

Agency: Other Defense Agencies
Office: U.S. Special Operations Command
Location: Headquarters Procurement Division

THIS IS A SOURCES SOUGHT RFI ONLY.  A SOLICITATION IS NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME.  REQUESTS FOR A SOLICITATION WILL NOT RECEIVE A RESPONSE.

This Request for Information (RFI) is for Market Research purposes only and shall not be considered as an invitation for bid, request for quotation, request for proposal, or as an obligation on the part of the Government to acquire any products or services.  In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract.  No contract awards will be made from this notice and no solicitation is available at this time.  No entitlement to payment of direct or indirect costs or charges by the Government will arise as a result of submission of responses to this announcement or the Government use of such information.

The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is seeking interested organizations/associations to plan, coordinate, and execute the annual Special Operations Forces (SOF) Week in calendar year 2023+.  Historically, USSOCOM has held SOF Week annually in May at the Tampa Convention Center (TCC), Tampa, Florida, with other locations in Tampa or on nearby MacDill Air Force Base; however, USSOCOM will entertain ideas for other locations as well.  SOF Week has historically run five days (Mon-Fri).  Traditionally, the two main features of SOF Week have been the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) and the International SOF (ISOF) Commanders Conference.  This RFI is for these traditional features but also information and ideas for other SOF Week events at which the SOF community may communicate with industry, government, academia, and/or other non-federal entities and collaborate on challenges.

Interested organizations/associations would be responsible for (but not limited to) performance of advertising and marketing operations, establishment and launch of online and on-site automated registration processes, collection of all monies, creation of an agenda with Government input, scheduling of large plenary rooms and breakout rooms, the exhibit hall, food service for breakfast and lunch, lodging, design and development of a SOF Week website, and coordination with USSOCOM and local law enforcement to ensure adequate security.  It is envisioned that the interested organization/association would also provide for digital broadcast/web streaming for certain 2023+ SOF week events.

For planning purposes organizations/associations should plan on the following historical information to help them understand the size, scope, and complexity of SOFIC and the ISOF Commanders Conference.

Attendees:  Approximately 13,000

Number of Countries involved:  70-80

Exhibitors:  Approximately 450 industry and 20 Government booths

Exhibit Hall:  Approximately 86,000 sq ft (rough estimate of TCC footprint, does not include surrounding hotel/other venue square footage that may be required based on event design)

USSOCOM is interested in innovative and unique ideas on how to make SOF Week 2023+ events successful.  The intent of this RFI is to gain knowledge of potential qualified sources and to explore interested organizations/associations capabilities for a USSOCOM SOF Week 2023+ effort.  Responses to this RFI are for informational purposes only and may be used by USSOCOM in developing SOF Week’s agenda, content, and the parameters for any resultant agreement for meeting this need going forward.  The command is looking for white papers that illustrate how interested organizations/associations plan on executing a 2023+ SOF Week.  USSOCOM is also interested in industry ideas on the most effective method for the Government to partner with industry and the most effective method for the Government to select a partner.  Historically it has been in the Government’s best interest to utilize a co-sponsorship agreement with a recognized scientific, technical, educational, or professional organization.  Explain in your white paper why your approach is more beneficial to the Government or how your approach would utilize the previous approach.

USSOCOM is requesting that interested organizations/associations submit a 15-page (maximum) white paper demonstrating their ability to accomplish SOF Week 2023+.  Each submission should address the following key areas:

(1) Executive summary;

(2) Interested organization/association name and address;

(3) Point of contact with email address and phone number(s);

(4) Experience conducting conferences within and outside Department of Defense, in particular any relevant experience conducting conferences similar to previous SOF Week events;

(5) Description of proposed SOF Week execution methodology;

(6) Estimated schedule with recommended dates and critical milestones;

(7) Identification of multiple panels to discuss current U.S. SOF issues/challenges – white paper responses should provide recommendations and potential solutions with current and former SOF leaders, as well as appropriate leaders/topical speakers outside the SOF community;

(8) An ISOF Commanders Conference to discuss issues and challenges facing international SOF today and in the future;

(9) An industry component designed to expose the SOF community to the latest technology innovations; consistent with the current SOFIC;

(10) Space and logistical support for a SOF capabilities demonstration/exercise;

(11) A spouses’ conference for spouses of U.S. and international SOF leaders who attend;

(12) Information or sessions addressing retirement, transition, and veteran programs for U.S. military personnel;

(13) A formal dinner;

(14) A keynote speaker for the dinner;

(15) Proposed topical areas for SOF Week events;

(16) Recommendations for changes to streamline and enhance SOF Week and/or its events (e.g., SOFIC, ISOF Commanders Conference); and

(17) Recommendations for proposed memorandum of agreement with the Government, and identify who is responsible for what, associated assumptions, constraints, and terms and conditions.

Additional elements to consider:

  • Location
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Any support required from USSOCOM or direct costs to USSOCOM
  • Total cost estimate
  • Marketing/communication plan
  • Registration plan
  • Sample agenda
  • Food service plan
  • Audiovisual plan
  • Web streaming plan
  • Badging plan
  • A plan for Government booths
  • A plan to support a 30% goal of booth space for Small Businesses
  • Contingency plans for outside influences on the conference; for example, the ability to scale the conference between in-person, hybrid, and 100% virtual venues
  • Schedule to show milestones leading up to the 2023 conference assuming a July 2022 agreement date

All proposed submissions shall include clear, factual documentation demonstrating the organization’s/association’s ability to conduct SOF Week 2023.  Interested parties should demonstrate a clear understanding of conference/event planning to include scope and magnitude.  White papers shall not include any proprietary markings or competition sensitive information.  The Government does intend to utilize information submitted in response to this RFI to inform SOF Week planning and execution.

Responses should be no longer than 15 pages, 12 font, Times New Roman, and indicate past performance references (name of conference, number of attendees, number of exhibitors, dates and a point of contact with phone number and e-mail address) of at least 4 conferences that your organization/association hosted in the last 5 years with the similar size, scope, and complexity of SOF Week.

After review of white papers, interested organizations/associations may be invited to provide an oral presentation outlining their concept to support SOF Week.

All inquiries and responses concerning this action shall be sent in writing via email to ashley.farrier@socom.mil with the subject “SOFATL-2023-SOFWeek.”  Submit white papers to this email address, same subject, not later than 1600 EST on 13 October 2021.