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Post Conference-Gate – Why Government’s Not Going

With shrinking budgets and fewer resources to support mission goals, federal government decision makers and influencers plan on attending fewer events this year.

Market Connections polled 400 feds about their plans to attend conferences in FY 2012. And the results were bleak for contractors.

Lisa Dezzutti is the President of Market Connections. She told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that only 5% of respondents said they would attend more conferences this year than last.

“The survey validated what we already know, federal managers and leaders are attending fewer events,” said Dezzutti.

  • 78% said budget was the reason for attending fewer events
  • 58% cited travel restrictions
  • 36% said management wouldn’t allow it

Getting Feds in the Seats

  • Only 25% said they would go to an event hosted by a corporate entity. While 72% said they would prefer a trade organization. So contractors should partner with trade organizations for events.
  • Contractors need to make sure they have a robust and integrated plan – look at other methods of reach the government customer.
  • Events have to be education focused. If they are not getting that education component or if they get a hint of sales pitch they won’t come back to another event.
    • 61% say the go to conferences to stay abreast of current technology and trends
  • Events need to be more topic specific. If you can’t find a way to have niche things happening like that you won’t ge the same drawl.
  • Events need to be more local. Close by. If it could be on-sight all the better.

Impact of GSA and VA Scandals

“The scandals will have a ripple effect for the next few years. Right now people are still avoiding any mention of the word resort in a conference title,” said Dezzutti.

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