GSA Cancels Expo for Second Year In A Row

Originally posted on Fierce Government by Ryan McDermott

For the second year in a row, the General Services Administration cancelled its annual Expo conference, once again citing budget constraints and flagging attendance projections.

"In the current fiscal climate, agencies and businesses alike continue to make tough spending cuts and operate under reduced travel budgets," GSA wrote on the Expo website. "After careful review of projected attendance and continued travel budget reductions, GSA has made the decision to not hold an Expo in 2014."

GSA said it would still try to offer an Expo conference in 2015.

The federal government leadership is being challenged to cut spending and reinvest in areas with greater opportunity. The success of Expo hinges on the turnout of GSA's customer agencies, federal procurement expert Larry Allen said, and tightened agency travel budgets make it tough for federal managers to justify sending employees.

The experience at Expo can't be replicated online, Allen said.

"There are thousands of hours of training," he said. "Nothing replaces the ability to get much training in a limited amount of time."

In another move to keep travel and conference spending down, GSA also took its traditional SmartPay training conference, which provides training for managing government charge cards, and turned it into a virtual conference with all the training sessions held online. That comes after GSA cancelled the conference last year.

Last year GSA also cancelled its FedForum conference, which provides training for federal fleet and property management, in the face of sequestration budget cuts and the projected attendance for the conference. GSA hasn't said whether FedForum would be coming back this year.

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