The Society of Government meeting professionals was established in October 1981 in Washington, DC. Organizers of government meetings saw a need for a forum in which to discuss mutual objectives and techniques for conducting business meetings of the government. They sought to create an opportunity to meet on common ground with the providers of meeting services and facilities to review the latest trends in planning and implementing these events.  The motivating force behind the new organization was Sam Gilmer. His insight into the need for such a group proved prophetic.  Today, SGMP has grown to nearly 3,000 members and 30 chapters.