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."
Between an incredibly harsh winter (by mostá standards), budget pressures, and the government shut down, the government event industry has seen more than its fair share of event cancellations over the past 12 months. A number of reports have come out detailing the impact of dwindling face-to-face networking on both event planners, attendees, and the economy in general.
First, to put the event industry in context, a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers looked to define the "economic significance of meetings to the U.S. economy." The report found that overall the meetings industry was growing in response to increased demand. In 2012, there were nearly 225 million participants at meetings. That's approximately 20 million more than 2009. These meetings and attendee spending contributed $115 billion to the U.S. GDP and $28 billion to federal, state and local taxes. With that context, it is clear that meetings have an impact on the overall economy. If the rate of in-person events drops, even in just one sector like government, there will be an economic impact.
Both industry and government believe that event cancellations and federal travel restrictions are negatively impacting innovation and collaboration, which will adversely impact government contractors' ability to influence and service government customers.
This is one of the key findings of a Market Connections, Inc. and Boscobel Marketing Communications, Inc. PulsePoll™, which wasáreleased today.
My wife may disagree with this, but I take no great joy in saying "I told you so."
It's no secret that events targeting government employees have fallen on tough times. We've used this space repeatedly to encourage immixGroup clients and channel partners to re-evaluate their event marketing plans. Unfortunately, we're seeing more and more examples to prove this re-evaluation is necessary.