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.