Editor’s note: As the federal fiscal year-end draws near on Sept. 30, federal agency sometimes accelerates. “Decades of federal government contract spending habits have proven to be a direct cause of the dramatic increase in awarded contracts as the September 30 fiscal year-end approaches," says Gloria Larkin in a recent GPN post. Go here to view the GPN post. Larkin is president of TargetGov and a federal government contracting consultant.

Another expert on the government market, Mark Amtower, advises on the importance of attending the right trade shows and other marketing events as the curtain comes down on the federal fiscal year. Amtower’s views are below. Go here to read Amtower’s early column in GPN, where he outlined winning strategies for landing more federal contracts before the end of the federal fiscal year.

With over two months to go before the end of the federal fiscal year (FY), you will receive probably 100 invitations to spend your marketing dollars at events. These can include conferences, seminars, agency briefings, trade shows, association get-togethers and more.

There are several criteria involved in event selection, especially at the end of the FY when you want to maximize the relationships you have rather than try to start new relationships.

So tip #1 is focus on the products/services you sell. If the event is tightly focused on your specialty area, put the event on your list.

Tip #2 is look for events sponsored by the government agency. Industry days and reverse industry days are great venues for agency/account-based marketing.

Tip #3 is to review carefully the producer of the event. Not all events are created equal and the pedigree of the event producer is a major key to your success. There are event producers that visit the government market occasionally (usually around end of FY) and I would avoid these companies and these events. You want events produced by companies that are focused on the public sector.

Tip #4 is the event itself. Does it have a track record? How many years has it been around and who attends? Events worth attending have audited attender lists from past years so you can see which agencies attended and the job function.

Tip #5 is based on your budget. From all the event invitations you received, using tips 1-4, you should have a short list of “possibles.” Based on your budget, the event focus and attending audience, and the potential ROI, you should be able to better select a few events that will help your end of FY government sales.

Mark Amtower is a partner at Amtower & Company. He advises companies on all aspects of marketing to the government. His LinkedIn address is here. Email him at Mark@FederalDirect.net.

Editor's note: GPN will be spotlighting government buying and selling opportunities as the end of the federal fiscal year approaches. The topic will be discussed in a series of four Use It or Lose It e-newsletters that will be deployed in July and August before the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept 30, 2017.

Please email michael.keating@penton.com if you'd like to submit a commentary on what federal buyers and contractors need to do before the end of the federal fiscal year, the federal marketplace or similar topic. Go here for a sample issue of the free Use It or Lose It e-newsletter.
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