DorobekINSIDER: FOSE is History

Hey there. I’m Christopher Dorobek — the DorobekINSIDER — and welcome GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER… where we focus on six words: Helping government do its job better.

On GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER:

If you missed GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER LIVE:

But up front:  FOSE is history

FOSE, the 37-year-old trade show focusing on government technology, is being closed down.

1105 Media, which owns FOSE as well as Federal Computer Week and Government Computer News, confirmed the news to GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER. Word has been simmering among competitors for weeks.

For 37 years, FOSE has served as the nation’s premier event for government technology professionals seeking tools and best practices to equip their agency for the 21st century.

Henry Allain, the new chief operating officer of 1105 Media and co-president of the 1105 Government Group, confirmed the news in an e-mail this weekend.

These events won’t be produced in 2015. We have some very cool new offerings we are going to be coming to market with and we are focused on those at the moment. Stay tuned.

While Allain’s suggestion that FOSE and its sister trade show, GovSec, might return, it is hard to find anybody foresees any kind of Phoenix-like reemergence. To the contrary, many insiders — all of whom asked not to be identified — thought the was a long time coming.

The end marks an end to what many had seen as a slow, downward slide for the once mighty trade show.

FOSE launched as the Federal Office Supply Expo back in the day. And the FOSE leadership had been able to keep the trade show connected to trends and technology. Eventually, FOSE evolved into the Federal Office System Expo, before merely abandoning any acronym for merely the FOSE brand.

FOSE, however, was not able to evolve as it aged. Some of its leaders suggested that there was less and less of a need to see and touch technology these days. That seemed to go against the continued success of the Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas each January. With the consumerization of technology, FOSE seemed unable to either entice the vendors nor attendees. That being said, FOSE was still the best attended government IT event, with “more than 5,000 government and industry professionals registered,” according to 1105 Media.

The FOSE brand, however, was increasingly tarnished. There was a revolving door of FOSE leaders.

But FOSE increasingly felt like a place without a place, unclear what it was and what it wanted to be.

It certainly marks a moment in government IT history — an end of an era.


The DorobekINSIDER #GovMustRead list:

  • Robert McDonald: Cleaning up the VA [CBS News’ 60 Minutes] Tomorrow, the day before Veterans Day, the new head of Veterans Affairs will announce the biggest reorganization in the history of the VA, which comes after the agency’s biggest fiasco. It was last spring that we learned that tens of thousands of vets were waiting months for medical care while managers cooked the books to hide the delays. The former secretary was forced out. Tonight we have the first interview with the new man in charge. Sixty-one-year-old Robert McDonald has no government or medical experience but he does know management. He was chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble, the largest consumer products company in the world. And we wanted to know how a soap salesman will go about cleaning up the VA.
  • Views of incoming committee chair are sure to rile feds [The Washington Post] Ask Sen. Ron Johnson about federal employee priorities and the first thing he talks about is his concern that the government’s deficit spending will reach $127 trillion over 30 years.  That’s the prism filtering the view of this first-term senator from Oshkosh, Wis., a tea party Republican and former plastics businessman. His views will be important to federal workers come January when Johnson takes over as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — it oversees the workforce.
  • Can Obama Reboot? Does He Even Want To? [Politico] There’s a sigh, an unhappy-camper body language when Obama finds himself back in the depressing slipstream of Ebola confabs and national-security-crisis-of-the-day meetings. The vibe, according to people in his orbit, is not so much of being checked out as of being fed up.
  • One Day in an Elevator With Obama, Then Out of a Job [The New York Times]  An armed security guard at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, held out as an example of a failing Secret Service, wonders why he was fired after operating an elevator for President Obama.

The DorobekINSIDER water cooler fodder

Before we finish up… a few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder… yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too…

  • Cancel the Midterms [The New York Times oped by David Schanzer is a professor of public policy and Jay Sullivan is a junior at Duke. Schanzer and Sullivan] Elections every two years make actual governing impossible.
  • When it comes to tech, the U.S. government is in the ‘Middle Ages,’ says investor Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies [The Wall Street Journal] Theil said the U.S. government is “in the Middle Ages” when it comes to technology and science, impeding progress in Silicon Valley.  “There’s an enormous gulf between Silicon Valley and Washington,” said Mr. Thiel, speaking at the WSJD Live Global Technology Conference. “D.C. is dominated by law, by process and Silicon Valley is dominated by engineering and substance.”  According to Mr. Thiel, fewer than 35 of 535 members of Congress have backgrounds in science or technology. “It’s very hard to get reasonable science, reasonable technology policy,” he said. “The rest don’t understand that windmills don’t work when the wind isn’t blowing or that solar panels don’t work at night–they’re sort of in the Middle Ages.”
  • The Best Regulator? That’s Easy. It’s the Market [The Daily Beast] As the Goldman Sachs tapes show, regulators almost always fail. In other cases, they cheat consumers out of choices. Leave it to the market.
  • Everyone hates voicemail. You can’t just scan for what you need to know, it takes up precious smartphone hard drive space and yet your parents still leave them. Well, that’s the point, says Leslie Horn in Gizmodo. In the age of ephemeral messages and 140-character word limits, voicemails (like phone calls) are a way to show that you care, that there’s real meaning to be found in the awkwardness of talking into the void.  (HT Re/code)
  • Get rid of your case of Mondays forever [FastCompany] How to turn Monday in a day you actually enjoy: Ever wish the weekend had just one more day of rest? Rethinking Mondays gets us a little closer to that ideal schedule.


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