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Red Flags With Gov’t Gatherings Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Government meetings can present multiple crisis management and stakeh­older accoun­tab­ility mine fields for planners and suppliers to navigate. Agency regula­tions differ, as do rules embedded in various local, state, and federal mandates. Following are some key points from profes­sionals in the government meetings sector that also can be guideposts for other industry sectors


Get everything in writing, especially financ­ials. If someone can’t give you approval in writing, or you don’t feel comfor­table about signing something, don’t.
Some stakeh­olders disallow a F&B budget. Showing it on a contract can be a major red flag.
Choose venues whose managers and staffs are trained to handle compli­cated government and other sensitive sector meetings (like pharma) contracts. They should be practiced beyond the sales process in areas such as ADA and EEO compli­ance. Incorrect responses to an RFP can result in a signif­icant government audit and fine.
Know precisely what you require and don’t just order 10 ADA compliant guest rooms. They differ in design and equipment. The Department of Veterans Affairs is a good reference for ADA regula­tions because they use many ADA rooms.
Justify the need for every item in the contract. If a pointer or three projectors are requested for the general session, spell out in writing how they will be used.
With all decisi­ons­—es­pec­ially the financial ones—e­nsure that you can live with seeing it on front page of media outlets everyw­here. Feel confident that you were a good steward of the stakeh­older’s money. This also applies to expense reports. They must be up for public scrutiny.
If you have a conflict between inform­ation from your government program office and a contra­cting officer, question it and get the extrao­rdinary procedure approved in writing.

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