General Conference Questions

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  1. What is a conference?

    Conferences generally involve participation by multiple Federal agencies, or bureaus within one agency, and may include private sector attendees. They typically involve topical matters of interest and often include registration, a published substantive agenda, and scheduled speakers or discussion panels. 

    Training sessions, retreats, award ceremonies, and office meetings do not qualify as conferences.

  2. Can my agency host a conference on its own even if it doesn’t have specific conference authority?

    Yes.  An agency generally does not need express statutory authority to host a conference, as long as the agency determines that a formal conference is reasonably and logically related to carrying out its statutory responsibilities. 

  3. Can we hire a conference planner to put on an agency conference?

If you have made the determination that the conference will further your agency’s mission, then you can enter into a contract with a conference planner.