It’s Time to Stretch Into Hybrid Government Meetings!

Extending a meeting over the internet ("online" or "hybrid" conference/meeting extensions) means broadcasting meeting content in a way that remote attendees - in the U.S. and potentially worldwide - can securely access the presentations, interact with the presenters, discuss the topics online,  chat & network amongst themselves, and access archives of the conference/meeting sessions afterwards.

Here are the top "myths" I hear from government meeting planners:

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Meet the “Meet-up”


At a recent gathering of FOSE speakers and Federal IT bloggers, there was a lot of discussion around the tightening of budgets and the impact that has on event attendance. A suggestion was made to stop calling your events "events" or "conferences" or "seminars" and call it a "meet-up." More than just changing the name, the idea of a meet-up is a smaller, more intimate, more tightly scheduled  gathering. Govies reported they are better able to get approval to attend these smaller events because of the lighter time and financial commitment.

For marketers and event planners this means really looking at your event schedule. Can you break up your big once a year event into smaller, more focused, and more frequent events? You can still get the economies of scale in bulk ordering and material creation (likely each event will need the same "stuff") and potentially you can save on venue and catering costs by moving to smaller locations (check out some of our suggestions for DC area lunch venues).

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Using Google+ to Brand an Event

Originally posted on Expo by Marie Griffin

Grace Hulse is a social media and digital marketing consultant in the Washington, D.C., area. Tomorrow, she will be on a panel, Social Media Metrics That Matter, at Expo's Social Media Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In this interview, she drills down specifically into a program she produced using Google+ while she was social media manager for the Water Environment Federation.

Expo: For what program did you use Google+?

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Are Government Attendees an Endangered Species?

Originally posted on Meetings & Conventions by Cheryl-Anne Sturken

How the meeting industry is pushing back against general travel restrictions

It has been a rough two years for government meeting planners. Following several high-profile cases of lavish conference spending, and with economic recovery from the Great Recession remaining in fragile mode, Congress has turned up its scrutiny of federal travel and conference spend and pushed for legislation that would restrict and regulate meetings outlay. Determined to avoid potential accusations of excess, federal agencies responded last year by taking an ax to meeting budgets, canceling multiple conferences and shunning resort destinations such as Hawaii, Las Vegas and Orlando, concerned that even the location alone could raise eyebrows.

The slash-and-burn reaction resulted in a 30 percent drop in government meetings in most of the top-tier markets in 2013. It also set off a heated debate on the importance of face-to-face meetings and spawned a flurry of white papers and studies from various groups anxious to reaffirm the power of in-person gatherings.

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DoD Conference Guidance – The Definition of Insanity

Originally posted by on CTO Vision

When a handful of people from GSA became famous for waste and fraud  in a lavish conference in Las Vegas, DoD was forced to peer inside a can of worms.  As we grappled with providing support to two simultaneous war fronts, the increased budgets fueled an increase in Conferences by Government and other Industry/Government partnerships, such as AFCEA and NDIA.   The benefits from these events can be numerous:  many great minds can be gathered in one place (usually a really NICE place) to receive updates on DoD matters, to view the exhibits of existing and upcoming technologies, and to network and solve problems.  Now, however, as we face budget cuts associated with the ramp-down (and the threat of sequestration), these conferences are undergoing an exacting scrutiny.

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