Strategic Consulting Solutions, Inc.

The New Normal for Government Events

Want to know what’s going on in the world of government contracting? Check out Mark Amtower’s interviews on “Amtower Off Center” through Federal News Radio. In one particular broadcast, Kerry Rea of GovEvents and Claudia Hosky of FedInsider talk about all things related to business to government (B2G) events in: “Events! Nothing but Events!” The following highlights some, but not all, of the key content found in the webinar.

Effects of the GSA PBS Vegas Conference Blunder

In the aftermath of the GSA PBS Vegas Western Regional Conference snafu, Feds found it very difficult to attend events, as most agencies’ knee-jerk reaction was to pull back on funding and mandate a decrease in events spending. The extravagant government spending at this 2010 conference not only effected future events, but it also effected the ease at which Feds could attend any event. While some agencies have improved their approval process, many Feds wanting to attend events must now obtain multiple approvals and give three months notice to attend an event, which may be before an event is even posted. The result–many Feds aren’t able to attend government events to learn mission-critical information, obtain training needed for certification, or gain real-world interactions.

A Continued Need for Government Events

Government events are important for attendees, and there’s still a serious need for them. Government events are  vital to Feds, government contractors, and everyone else working in the government sector because events provide:

  • Learning opportunities on mission-critical information.
  • Training needed for certification.
  • Necessary, real world interactions.
  • Communication between government industry and other sectors.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Exchange of real information.
  • Opportunity for attendees to ask the important questions and collaborate.
  • A meeting ground to talk about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, solutions.

The Passing of the “Mega” Event

While the era of “mega” events (50+ thousand attendees at resorts and other extravagant locations) is likely gone, some large events still exist, and a comeback is always possible. However, the big issue with the large, multi-day conference is that some became too general and at times, didn’t hold their value for sponsors, especially as more Feds couldn’t attend. For a specific case, see Mark Amtower’s obituary on FOSE.

Government Events Aren’t Dead

While mega events are on the downturn, other types of government events are on the rise. The new normal includes smaller, more intimate events that allow attendees to focus on the value of the event, ask the important questions, and exchange real information. The continuation of these events allow Feds, government contractors, and others in the industry to talk about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and solutions within their industry.

The New Normal: Smaller Government Events on the Rise

Organizers are now doing government events a little differently. The new normal for government-focused events include smaller, localized events that are more intimate. These events may include breakfast, lunch, after work sessions, or on-site table top events. While the new normal includes anything that reduces the perception of a large scale, extravagant event, these smaller events also aim to provide attendees with more value for their time by allowing better networking and collaboration.

The new style of government events also include the rise of social networking, webinars, and podcast events. Rising steadily is the use of webcasts and webinars–showing a 30% increase since 2014. This upward trend is believed to continue, as costs to product webcasts and webinars are drastically lower than producing or creating an event. Not particularly strong at the moment are virtual or video conferencing.

Where to Find Upcoming Government Events

Even with the rise of small, virtual seminars, feds and those in the government sector still like to attend in-person events. To find upcoming Federal events, visit SCS Consults’ Events page or GovEvents. GovEvents posts nearly four thousand government events each year, ranging from on-demand webcasts to twenty thousand attendee conferences.

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