In December, thousands of high tech professionals – ranging from program managers to scientists, engineers, educators and government decision-makers – will flock to the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), a conference organized in Orlando by the National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA), an affiliate subsidiary of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA).

As the world’s largest event for modeling, simulation and training (MS&T), I/ITSEC offers a week full of exhibits, events, technical papers, workshops and tutorials that are carefully designed to provide attendees with meaningful takeaways and a sneak peek at the future of MS&T.

Year after year, I/ITSEC has seen growth in attendance. In 2019, registration has boomed by 19% in comparison to 2018, which drew over 1,800 attendees from 50 countries across the globe. Given its close ties to NDIA, the conference’s theme of national security comes as no surprise; however, attendees can expect to find a broad spectrum of innovative, nontraditional applications of MS&T technologies around every corner of the trade show floor.

I/ITSEC lays its roots in Central Florida for good reason. The Corridor region is recognized nationally as a center of excellence for this booming sector, and Central Florida is known as a veritable hub where the communities of government, academia and industry converge to enhance national security, improve health care, provide entertainment and more.

As Brian Holmes, vice president of business development at Quantum3D and conference chair at I/ITSEC testifies, NTSA’s goal is to move beyond the boundaries of the region and illustrate the wide variety of opportunities awaiting other key sectors to adopt MS&T to advance their growth.

“There are other industries out there that have not heard our gospel and haven’t understood the message,” said Holmes. “We’re trying to reach out to these industries and help them understand how these tools and technologies can make a difference in either competitive advantage, military or cyber domains.”

I/ITSEC provides a space for people of all different types, interests, careers and walks of life. From students exploring the potential of a high tech career to seasoned military professionals, the conference offers access to high-level government and industry decision-makers, a rich opportunity to learn from government and industry personnel, and a collaborative environment primed for the accomplishment of multidisciplinary business objectives. This year’s event kicks off Dec. 2, so in preparation of what’s to come, we’ve compiled a guide of “can’t-miss” experiences for I/ITSEC 2019:


Career Fair

With over 30,000 MS&T professionals in the 23-county Corridor region alone, career opportunities in the sector abound for a variety of backgrounds, from engineering to psychology, cybersecurity, data analytics and much more. For those seeking to join one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, I/ITSEC 2019 is hosting the conference’s first-ever Career Fair, featuring 14 top-tier organizations – including various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, Design Interactive and Riptide Software – eager to recruit their next wave of high tech innovators.

The Fair will take place Wednesday, Dec. 4, starting at 10 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to register ahead of the conference on Eventbrite and those unable to attend can submit their resume online.


Explore the Floor

Over 500 exhibitors will span the nearly 200,000-square-foot I/ITSEC Exhibit Hall, presenting the latest in advanced MS&T technology and groundbreaking developments, from aviation to health care, defense and security.

With more than 1,800 people from over 50 countries expected to attend, the exhibit hall serves as the perfect place to network with a diverse audience and immerse yourself in the future of the industry. To help you make the most of your time on the floor, be sure not to catch these can’t-miss exhibits:

  • CAE (Booth 1734) – CAE delivers training for the defense and security, civil aviation and health care markets. As a renowned leader in MS&T, the company’s goal is to serve as the global training partner of choice by helping global defense partners enhance safety, improve efficiency and maintain readiness. Stop by the CAE booth to see the company’s latest strides in bringing security to new heights for civil aviation, health care and defense.
  • Northrop Grumman (Booth 2548) – As a leading innovator in global security, Northrop Grumman delivers next-generation solutions for government and commercial customers across the world. With a burgeoning, 157-acre Space Coast campus, the company has firm roots in Central Florida – considered the global epicenter of MS&T. Be sure to stop by the company’s booth for a sneak peek at their next mark in high tech history.
  • Lockheed Martin (Booth 1748) – Lockheed Martin is an undeniable MS&T leader, offering comprehensive mission readiness, engineering support and systems integration for customers in over 50 countries across the globe. With a scope of solutions ranging from advanced fighter-jet training simulators to fully integrated live-virtual-constructive environments, the company is sure to be showcasing must-see technologies on the I/ITSEC 2019 floor.
  • DiSTI Corporation (Booth 1380) – DiSTI delivers turn-key, customized software and solutions for Global 500 companies, military organizations and commercial clients around the world. The company’s user interface tools and technologies produce a range of 3-D applications from embedded automotive displays to complete virtual training solutions, proclaimed to propel users into the future of virtual training solutions. DiSTI offered an unforgettable display at I/ITSEC 2018 – including an interactive helicopter virtual maintenance trainer – so don’t miss the chance to discover what’s next in virtual training on the exhibit floor this year.

With exhibits scheduled to run from Dec. 2-5, be sure to map out your journey using I/ITSEC’s exhibit hall map

Catch the Action: Developer and Startup Challenges

Iron Dev Competition

Looking for an out-of-the-box event at I/ITSEC? Look no further than Iron Dev, a competition for high tech developers. Similar in style to popular competitive cooking shows, teams – comprised of four developers and a senior mentor – will be given a challenge and “secret ingredient” to develop a training solution designed to improve warfighter readiness.

Over the course of three days, the teams will put their skills to the test and develop their most compelling training system solution. On the fourth day, teams will present and demonstrate their solutions to a panel of judges that will critique the systems based on technical precision, use of the “secret ingredient,” how well the solution addresses the posed challenge and the level of bold innovation showcased in the presentation.

Looking to join in on the competition? Nominate your team before Saturday, Nov. 30. Or, take in the action from the sidelines and be sure to tune in for the riveting finale Thursday, Dec. 5, at Booth 793.

Serious Games Showcase & Challenge

Since 2006, the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge has celebrated the use of games and game technology as a delivery medium for instructional material. Every year, finalists are pulled from a national competition that evaluates games designed to train players in a specific skill. This year’s finalists – including The Corridor’s own Orange Technical College and Simsoft Technologies – will open the floor for conference attendees to play the games and vote for their favorite. The tally of those ballots will determine the winner of the coveted “People’s Choice” award, one of the seven categories available for the taking. Get in on the action at this year’s showcase, running all week long, and don’t miss the awards ceremony Thursday, Dec. 5, at 1:30 p.m. at the Innovation Pavilion (Booth 2288).

Air Force Simulators Pitch Day

While deals are being made at nearly every industry event, you would be hard pressed to find a trade show event designed specifically for promotional pitches. But, at I/ITSEC 2019, this traditional notion is being flipped upside down for the first-ever Air Force Simulators Pitch Day. Led by the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research program, this unique event will open the floor for solicited proposals from small businesses seeking to deliver the next game-changing technology for operational training systems.

Through this initiative, the Air Force is seeking new and innovative ways to connect with potential industry partners to advance the speed of technological innovation.

On Thursday, Dec. 5, select companies will be given the opportunity to “pitch” their initiatives to the I/ITSEC community, including major prime defense industry executives, venture capitalists and other service acquisition executives.

Launch Pad

Team Orlando, an interservice military partnership in Central Florida, has created Launch Pad, a forum for industry, academia and government participants to present their latest and greatest technologies to I/ITSEC attendees. In making space for the demonstration of potentially groundbreaking initiatives, Team Orlando is providing participants the opportunity to engage with a massive audience brimming with key government acquisition stakeholders.

Though Launch Pad will present two phases of presentation, consisting of invitation-only and public demonstrations, only the latter is available to the I/ITSEC public. The public sessions, hosted on the show floor, will consist of 20-minute presentations followed by 10-minute question and answer sessions with the audience. Public sessions will be held throughout the week.


Empowering the Future Workforce: K-12 Focus

Virtual Tours for the Next-Generation Workforce

This conference leans heavily into the modern-day initiative to support and promote activities encouraging students’ interest and pursuit in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With the help of I/ITSEC sponsors and the National Training and Simulation Association, stemCONNECT – a program of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council that virtually connects middle  and high school students with subject-matter experts in STEM to open doors to high tech career opportunities in Florida – will be hosting tours to bring education to life.

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, starting at 10 a.m., students from across the state will delve into a livestream virtual conference tour. Led by a moderator, who will be visiting exhibits across the trade show floor, the session is designed to reinforce STEM learning in the classroom and give students an “insider’s look” at viable career opportunities in the sector.

“These tours will expose students to the essential building blocks of MS&T that power the development of a wide range of innovative training environments,” shared stemCONNECT Program Director Vicki Morelli. “By opening that door and illustrating a viable future in STEM, our goal is to inspire students to chase down opportunities that are literally waiting in their own backyard.”

Future Leaders Pavilion

As the next-generation workforce continues to take shape, I/ITSEC’s “Future Leaders Pavilion” sets the stage for high school students from around the country to showcase their MS&T expertise by presenting projects they’ve personally developed at the conference. Since the pavilion’s launch in 2002, nearly 200 students from across the globe have participated, bringing award-winning projects into the spotlight.

Stop by the Future Leaders Pavilion Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m. to meet and support the high tech leaders of tomorrow.

High Tech Focus: The Rise of Cybersecurity

Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Simulation

The power of blockchain lies in moving beyond the realm of cryptocurrencies to unlock the potential of combining technologies that reshape industries. As blockchain continues to develop at a dizzying rate, understanding how these technologies may disrupt traditional industry, academic and government solutions is vital.

For a better understanding of blockchain’s potential to reshape training and simulation, be sure to make it to this session, which will dive into industry-specific examples in games/simulations, health and enterprise systems and provide attendees with a proven framework for evaluating the potential for blockchain and emerging technologies. 

Friday, Dec. 6, 1-3:30 p.m. Room S330EF.



With the fast rate of technological innovation and development, high tech professionals continue to face the challenge of keeping pace and maintaining the minimum requisite knowledge, skills and abilities needed to operate effectively. Knowing that the future of cyber workforce development and the continuous training of existing employees will require innovative methods, representatives from the Department of Defense, academia and private industry will come together at the CyberTRAINsitions session to discuss these challenges and consider potential solutions.

Attendees will hear from U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Nancy Norton and have the opportunity to explore a lunchtime student cyber-project poster session before breaking out for special-topic focus tracks: Cyber Strategy and Policy, Human Aspects of Cybersecurity and Integrating Women & Underrepresented Communities into the Cyber Workforce. 

Date, time and location: Friday, Dec. 6, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Room S330EF.


Cyberspace Training: Is This Even Legal?

Though enormous strides have been made in the field of cyberspace, many questions remain. Who are we training? How can we ensure that cyberspace training events do not negatively impact the rest of the training audience? What cyberspace training capabilities exist and how can we best integrate and employ them? Where can I get help?

Join David Wells, deputy director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation and Training, and Derek Bryan, support contractor for the U.S. Pacific Command Cyber War Innovation Center to work through the answers to these questions. Attendees – including leaders, planners, “cyber warriors,” service providers and general users – will walk away with a solid foundation to define, plan and execute cyberspace training and further the work of those that rely on cyberspace capabilities to accomplish their mission.

Date, time and location: Friday, Dec. 6, 8-11:30 a.m.; Room S330EF.


Learn, Collaborate and Apply: Continuing Education and Professional Development

Serious Game Design Workshop

Have you ever wondered how games are made? See for yourself at this workshop, which will leverage teamwork and hands-on learning activities to walk participants through each phase of the game design process, including development of objectives, engaging storytelling, determination of game strategy and the design of key game mechanics.

Attendees will work through key decision-making processes that inform successful, end-to-end game design. 

Friday, Dec. 6, 8 a.m. to noon. Room S331D.

University of Central Florida (UCF) Professional Development Workshops

The UCF Division of Continuing Education will facilitate a host of opportunities for high tech professionals seeking to reinforce their commitment to staying ahead of the curve on the latest developments in MS&T. Offered at no cost to all paid conference attendees, all Continuing Education Unit (CEU) workshops are designed for in-depth and interactive learning on various scholarly, government and professional topics, including:

  • CMSP – Certified Modeling & Simulation Professional
  • Harnessing the Power of Data Analytics to Optimize Training
  • Live-Virtual-Constructive Interoperability Techniques
  • Team and Collective Training Needs Analysis
  • Using ROI-Focused Design Thinking to Deliver Impact Results

The above workshops are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 6. In order to receive CEU credit, participants are asked to sign in upon arrival to ensure the appropriate number of CEUs are granted to each attendee.



A regional economic development initiative of: