Frequently Asked Questions

What is WEST?

The premier naval conference and exposition on the West Coast, WEST is now in its 27th year of bringing military and industry leaders together. Co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, WEST is the only event in which the makers of platforms and the designers of technologies can network, discuss and demonstrate their solutions in a single locale. To complete their missions successfully, more than 150,000 professionals in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard who live in the San Diego area depend on the open discussions and valuable networking WEST provides.

One recurring highlight of WEST is a town hall discussion among the Chief of Naval Operations, the Marine Corps Commandant and Coast Guard Commandant. The program also features the Pacific Command and Pacific Fleet commanders, the U.S. Fleet Forces commander, Systems Command commanders and all three local three-star commanders as speakers. More information about WEST speakers and panel presentations is available online

In addition to the main program, WEST offers two Engagement Theaters; smaller, more intimate venues in which military, government and industry professionals will drill deeper into specific topics and issues.

Who attends WEST?

WEST connects the industry professionals who design and build the platforms, equipment and weapons with the designers of communications and technical systems used by the more than 150,000 naval professionals. Senior military and government officials talk directly to the operators and to gain valuable feedback directly from them. Industry leaders attend because they can connect with decision makers and operators over the three-day event.

Click Here for more information on why to attend WEST.

When and where does WEST take place?

The event takes place February 21-23, 2017, at the San Diego, California Convention Center. More information is available online.

What is the theme for WEST 2017?

The WEST 2017 theme is “Ready for Today, Modernize for Tomorrow: How Can We Maintain the Edge?”

How much does it cost to attend WEST?

Click on the registration fees page.  

How do I register for WEST?

Register for WEST through the online registration form or on site.  

Where do I pick up my badge?

All badges must be picked up on site at the registration desk.
All registrants will receive a confirmation notice via email. If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact the WEST Registration Center at (703) 449-6418 or

Is parking available?

A limited amount of parking is available onsite at the San Diego Convention Center. Additional information about area parking is available online

Where can I find conference approval memos?

WEST 2017 Website (will be posted when available)
DON IT West Coast Conference

What sessions qualify for Continuing Education?

Click here to review Continuing Education details.

How can I exhibit at WEST?

Exhibit information is available online, or contact:
WEST 2017 Exposition Management
c/o SPARGO Inc.
11212 Waples Mill Road, Suite 104
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-631-6200
Fax: 703-818-9177

What is the attendee dress code?
All WEST events are business attire. Military personnel are encouraged to wear the appropriate uniform of the day.

Can I earn reserve credits for attending WEST?
Members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserve have been authorized to earn one point retirement credit for attendance. Reserve and National Guard (Army and Air Force) personnel may participate on a non-pay credit basis with approval of their unit commanders. Bring unit forms to the conference for validation.


I need assistance at the conference. Who should I contact?
AFCEA and the U.S. Naval Institute support the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Attendees with special needs should call (703) 631-6238 or email

Photography/Videography/Audio Recording Policy

Attendees are not permitted to photograph, record or videotape any portion of the WEST conference proceedings. Working members of the press are required to check in at the press desk at registration to photograph and/or videotape at the show.

Exhibit personnel may photograph and/or videotape only their personnel and equipment within the confines of their booth.

Failure to comply with this policy will result in confiscation of devices or material and administrative action under applicable government guidelines.

Attendees understand that AFCEA, the U.S. Naval Institute and their authorized representatives (show management) may conduct interviews and may take photographs and/or videotape in any part of the WEST conference and exhibit hall. These photographs, videos and recordings are for use by show management in publications or other media material produced for the purposes of conference promotion, including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, books, newspapers, magazines, television and websites. Attendee and exhibitor registration grants show management permission and consent for use of this photography and video.  

Prepare to be Aware

Conferences present opportunities for America's adversaries to target U.S. government employees, academia, defense industry and other personnel to collect our critical information.
Be a hard target! Use good OPSEC practices to protect yourself and your organization's mission.


  • Be aware of your surroundings when discussing sensitive unclassified critical information during the conference and after hours, in common/public areas (e.g. social gatherings, networking mixers, etc.).
  • Be suspicious of strangers. Even though they sound like they belong at the conference, don't assume they are there for the same purpose as you.
  • Use caution when sharing information with someone you don't know. Ask others to confirm a person's identity before sharing critical information about your organization's past, ongoing or future operations/activities/events.
  • Protect your personal information, such as your room number and daily schedule. Don't give out your business cards freely, particularly when outside the United States. Remember, phishing is still the #1 adversary threat vector into your personal and government computers/devices/networks.
  • If you use a laptop or other portable electronic device (personal or government-owned), use it cautiously. Disable the Bluetooth and WLAN/Wi-Fi connections when not in use, and if you use this type of connectivity, understand that you may expose personal and work-related critical information to an adversary. Be especially cautious when using unencrypted/unsecure WLAN/Wi-Fi hotspots.