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GSA Expo: A Must-Attend Event if You're Looking for Government Business

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GSA Expo: A Must-Attend Event if You're Looking for Government Business

By BillGormley
Published: April 1, 2010

If yo;re interested in selling your services and products to the government, the single most targeted event you can attend is the GSA Training Conference & Expo.

The General Services Administration (GSA) is where you get a GSA Schedule contract- a-vehicl' through which you can do business with the government. GSA Expo is an annual training conference for federal, state, and local government employees, and well as military personnel, who make or influence procurement decisions.

Thousands of government and military personnel attend this event' yes, thousands. Last yea's GSA Expo boasted more than 9,000 attendees.

The event is free to government employees and members of the military, and offers a range of classes specifically for Federal Contracting Officers, Federal Acquisition Professionals, State and Local Government Officials, Federal Property Managers, Federal Transportation Specialists, Public Buildings Professionals, and more.

There is also an entire training track for vendors. Her's a sample of some of the classes being offered for vendors at this yea's event:

  • An Overview of the Federal Governmen's Small Business Programs
  • Tips for Successful Proposal Preparation
  • Successful MAS Contracting' A Beginne's Field Guide
  • ARRA for Vendors
  • Subcontracting Workshop
  • Marketing Strategies and Techniques for Small Business GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contract Holders

There are more than 900 exhibit booths available at GSA Expo - some priced as low as $2,700. If you sell green products or services, you can tout that within your booth through simple self-certification.

You must already have a GSA Schedule contract in order to secure a booth. But, if you're on the GSA Schedule, check out the floor plan, which includes pricing, here.

This year, GSA Expo is in Florida in May. It's at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, from May 4 through May 6. For more information go to www.expo.gsa.gov.

A Commercial for GSA Expo?

If you feel like you're reading a commercial to get you to attend GSA, you're half right. I'm not here to sell you on attending GSA. There's no money in it for me. But, I am trying to explain the importance of attending or exhibiting.

I worked at GSA for 30 years; I built the foundation for what is now a significant portion of the GSA Schedules Program. I've been to every GSA Expo. I've seen first-hand the types of invaluable, in-person connections that are forged between small-business owners and federal procurement officers at GSA Expo.

GSA Expo is an enormous networking event - and an enormous networking opportunity. If you're trying to do business with the government, getting to know people is a critical part of being successful. GSA Expo offers you the chance to network with procurement officials from a broad range of agencies. You can even meet and network with potential partners - companies that may be perfect to work with as a prime or subcontractor.

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of things about doing business with the government that can be confusing or even difficult. GSA Expo is an example of something that is easy.

Booths at GSA Expo usually sell out quickly. At this point, however, there are still booths left. Jump at the chance to exhibit. It may be the best business decision you make all year.

Additional Resources

Bill Gormley is president and CEO of Washington Management Group and FedSources, and chairman of the Coalition for Government Procurement.

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