Making the Social Network Real

socialWith the recent news of the cancellation of FOSE, we wanted to reflect on why an institution like that event is suddenly gone from the landscape. While the reasons are numerous, one key factor is that big tradeshows and conventions tend to be one-way conversations. While the speakers may be high profile and interesting there is no way to interact with them. In the social media age of instant gratification with retweets, likes, and replies, attendees want more than a bullhorn approach to communication, they want a dialogue. We’ve done some thinking on this and came up with a couple ideas on how to bring the interactivity of online social networks to real-life social networks.   Continue reading

Make New Friends: How to Attract First Time Attendees

friendsIn some of our more recent posts we have provided ideas for changing up regular events. From unconventional venues to slowing down event pace, to changing the content delivered–we’ve found a lot of inspiration for how to make changes. One more change you can make is attracting new attendees. A new group of people will bring different perspectives and will view your content (be it old or new) with fresh eyes. So how do you find these new people? This article in BizBash provided some great ideas that got us thinking. We wanted to expand on some of the ideas that are most applicable to government events. Continue reading

It’s official: FOSE is dead — for now

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here’s something we wanted to share:

conventioncenterOriginally posted on FedBiz

It’s been a long time coming: Murmurings of the demise of government technology conference FOSE are officially confirmed — just as its owner, 1105 Media, shakes up its leadership.

GovLoop’s Chris Dorobek, who is also the former editor of 1105 Media’s Federal Computer Week, wrote Monday that the 37-year old event won’t happen in 2015. Mark Amtower, a government contracting consultant and host of his own radio show on WFED, posted an obituary to LinkedIn Tuesday: “After a long coma, FOSE has passed away. Efforts to revive the once healthy computer show were, well, unsuccessful.”

I wrote a blog in 2011 about the changing FOSE landscape, noting that “what used to be a primary gathering of federal contractors has become dominated by mostly small product manufacturers peddling their latest gadgets and software applications.”

So, yes, this has been a long time coming. Continue reading

Picking Up the Open-Gov Torch

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here’s something we wanted to share:

new_foundationOriginally posted on FCW

In September, the White House announced a series of new initiatives as part of its second Open Government National Action Plan. Among them was a commitment to developing and implementing a governmentwide open-source software policy by the end of 2015.

But two of the leaders of that initiative — Todd Park and Steven VanRoekel — left the White House toward the end of the summer, raising questions about whether the program will stay on track.

Former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Park and former U.S. CIO VanRoekel were in their respective positions for more than two years and played a role in the launch of the Digital Government Strategy, the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and the U.S. Digital Service. They also had a hand in writing the second open-government plan, which set a Dec. 31, 2015, target for developing an open-source software policy that, with the Digital Services Playbook, “will support improved access to custom software code developed for the federal government.” Continue reading

Break from the Norm: Unconventional Event Spaces

event spaceLast week we talked about when it is time to revisit the format of an annual event. If that post got you thinking, we’re going to challenge you a bit to really make a dramatic change to your event by thinking of unconventional venues.

Earlier this year, we provided some ideas to get your events out of the ballroom. Then we read this article on the Event Manager blog and it got us thinking even more out of the box. While some of their suggestions may not be the best fit for the government-centric/professional development events (Food trucks in an urban parking lot, for example), it does provide some food for thought.

There is a certain well-known rotation of venues that the government community is used to. When your attendees know all of the secret parking areas, make a beeline for the beef wellington, and know the exact location of outlets for recharging phones and laptops you may be at a place that is overdone. If you’re looking to make a change, simply thinking outside the box when it comes to a venue may provide the breath of fresh air your event needs to grow its attendee base. Continue reading