Government Connections - Spring 2012 - (Page 24)
D A L L A S
Credit: Justin Terveen
GOOD TO KNOW
How to Fight Back for Government Meetings
By Charles Sadler, CGMP, CHSP, CHSC
NOW MORE THAN
If you haven’t been to Dallas lately,
YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO DALLAS.
Dine with a celebrity chef. Find inspiration in the nation’s largest urban arts district. Treat yourself to the best shopping in the Southwest. Cheer on the hometown team in one of the best sports cities in America. End the day in one of our 13 vibrant entertainment districts.
3/24/12 8:47:49 AM
ever we are seeing the importance of having knowledgeable planners in government agencies that are well versed in policy, procurement and ethics. The other side of this equation is the importance that the supplier can be a trusted partner in the procurement process and execution of the meeting with the planner and the agency. Power is knowledge and keeps the wheels of our industry transparent. Government meetings do not deserve another black eye from an agency that ignores or is oblivious to the consequences of not understanding government policy and ethics in the business world of travel and meetings. The most recent findings in the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Inspector General’s report regarding GSA’s 2010 Western Regions Conference (WRC) is disturbing for anyone who understands the government meeting planning process and certainly for any American citizen. But this apparent instance of excessive spending is newsworthy in part because it’s unusual. Decades of experience demonstrate that the vast majority of government conferences are productive and cost effective. Government travel plays a significant role in the U.S. economy as a whole, and no one will want to endure the economic hardship individuals and businesses would experience if leaders take a knee-jerk approach and drastically reduce or shutdown government meetings and travel. The federal government maintains strict rules regarding spending and ethics when it comes to travel and, as in this case, when those rules are broken those responsible should be held accountable. The entire government meetings industry should not be judged on this one grossly “over the top” executed event. It clearly demonstrates the importance of agencies having a professional meeting planner versed in the proper processes of solicitation, contract awards and event execution, the procurement process and ethical conduct standards, as required by goverment policy. GSA’s black eye for this 2010 WRC meeting will be SGMP members’ and leaders’ golden opportunity to advocate for the training and certification of government planners. This acknowledgement of the importance of providing education and resources for meeting planning is the first step toward ensuring that government policy and best practices for efficient, cost effective meetings are the standard – starting with the career government employee and continuing all the way up to the appointee who may head a federal agency. As the industry leaders and advocates for the government meetings industry, we must push for agencies to train their meeting and event planner and to work with knowledgeable suppliers to ensure sound ethical business practices. Adoption of this solution will be the “knockout” punch to eliminate additional bad press and unacceptable agency practices. G
Charles Sadler is SGMP’s Executive Director and CEO and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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| Spring 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Spring 2012
Travel Tips & Trends
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
Navigating the NEC Expo
Getting to Know You
Building Strong Relationships
What Do You Do?
The Meeting Minute
Government Connections - Spring 2012