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Government Decision Makers and Influencers Plan on Attending Fewer Events and Trade Shows This Year

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Poll Highlights Government Event Attendance for FY2013

Government Events for ContractorsChantilly, Va. – January 8, 2013 – With shrinking budgets and fewer resources to support mission goals, federal government decision makers and influencers plan on attending fewer events this year. According to a recent poll by Market Connections, Inc., a leading government market research firm, 38% of government employees plan to attend fewer educational and trade events in FY2013 compared to FY2012.

The main reasons for the expected decrease in event attendance are budget and travel restrictions (78% and 58%, respectively). Just over one-third (36%) of respondents also report management will not allow them to attend events in FY2013. However, some government workers plan to attend about the same number of events (27%), and a few plan to attend more (5%).

The online poll, taken by over 400 federal workers, also shows the majority of respondents prefer smaller, content-specific events (58%) over large trade shows with multiple vendors (40%). In addition, seven in ten respondents are more apt to attend events that are local (69%) or hosted by trade associations (72%).

"As we expected, the current budget environment will have a major impact on event attendance by government employees and decision makers in 2013," said Lisa Dezzutti, President and CEO of Market Connections. "This poll shows government contractors should consider participating in or hosting smaller, more content-specific events closer to home, and seeking out alternative methods for reaching the government customer, whether through thought leadership, traditional marketing communications or social media outreach."

The poll affirms that government employees still prefer live events (80%) to webinars or online trade shows (18%). And the majority of those surveyed said the primary reason for attending a trade show is to stay abreast of current technologies and concepts (61%), compared to networking with government (27%) or industry peers (16%).


Government workers expect to attend fewer events in FY2013 compared to FY 2012

  • Attend fewer: 38%
  • Attend about the same: 27%
  • Attend more: 5%

Reasons for lower attendance in FY2013 include:

  • Lack of budget/funds: 78%
  • Travel restrictions: 53%
  • Management will not allow it: 36%

Note: multiple responses allowed

Characteristics of the types of events government workers prefer to attend:

  • Local – no need for a hotel: 69%
  • Out of town – need for a hotel: 29%
  • Large trade show with multiple vendors: 40%
  • Smaller, content-specific event: 58%
  • Half-day event: 23%
  • Full-day event: 38%
  • Multi-day event: 36%
  • Event hosted by trade association: 72%
  • Event hosted by corporate entity: 25%
  • Live event: 80%
  • Webinar or online trade show: 18%

Note: multiple responses allowed

Top reasons for event attendance

  • To stay abreast of current technologies/concepts 61%
  • To learn about emerging technologies/concepts 47%
  • Network with government peers 27%
  • Network with industry peers 16%
  • See product and service demonstrations 16%
  • Meet with vendor representatives and ask questions 14%
  • To gather printed information 3%

Note: multiple responses allowed



Market Connections delivers actionable intelligence and insights that enable improved business performance and positioning for leading business, government agencies and trade associations. The custom market research firm is a sought-after authority on preferences, perceptions and trends among government executives and the contractors who serve them, offering deep domain expertise in information technology and telecommunications; healthcare; and education. Market Connections also provides the tools for organizations to expand thought-leadership in their respective markets, and is known for its annual Federal Media and Marketing Study, the only comprehensive survey of the media habits of federal decision-makers, as well as the Public Sector Social Media Study and the Government Contractor Study.



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