Government conference waste
Typically, government conferences are used for the following:
1. Government customers show off their programs with assistance from their contractors
2. Government executives self-promote
3. Government executives and their organizations merchandise their benefits to their constituents that are typically their contractors and potential contractors
4. They make people feel good about themselves.
How do I know? I spent a lifetime at government conferences.
“The word that must not be spoken
By Al Kamen, Published: April 4
Washington’s newest dirty word is “conference.”
Thanks to the clowning and magic tricks by the General Services Administration at a poshLas Vegas resort (the one that led to the resignation this week of the agency’s chief and two of her top deputies and the ouster — “administrative leave” — of four officials involved in planning the ritzy event) the word may now be verboten among the agencies.
On Wednesday, for example, the Department of Homeland Security boasted of its successful “2012 National Fusion Center Training Event.” A “training event” sounds like serious business. Not to be confused with a “conference,” which, thanks to the GSA, now conjures up images of conga lines and taxpayer-funded decadence.
Funny, though, that the very same DHS event held last year was billed as the “National Fusion Center Conference.”
Oh, what a difference a year makes.
And as a helpful guide to government conference — oops, scratch that — eventplanners, we offer these synonyms so you might label your next gathering appropriately:
●“Annual meeting.” Using the word “annual” conveys a sense that it’s just a routine event. Nothing to see here, people . . .
●“Seminar.” Makes us think of lecture halls and trying to stay awake. So boring, no one will notice.
●“Symposium.” Implies lots of deep thoughts and has a certain air of gravitas about it.
●“Forum.” Sounds Roman, which makes us think of togas, which makes us think of “Animal House.”
Well, maybe avoid “forum,” too.”