Meetings & Conferences

For more than 35 years, CSR has planned and conducted more than 1,000 successful meetings and conferences, ranging in size from small focus groups and committees of 8–20 participants, to regional grantee training meetings with up to 600 participants, to national and international conferences with upwards of 2,000 participants. The experts on our conference and meeting planning team are all Certified Government Meeting Professionals (CGMPs), are well versed in current Government travel and meeting regulations.

Effective meetings require careful planning, attention to detail, and logistical support to ensure that they run smoothly. Our system for planning meetings—whether for 10 participants or more than 1,000—enables us to track and document each step. The online state-of-the-art conference registration system we use allows participants to register, link to a travel agent to book transportation, and reserve hotel rooms. Through this user-friendly system, client representatives can monitor registration and logistic information in real time.

CSR have managed an average of 20 meetings tasks in each contract year, a total of 103 meetings tasks to date for the total contract period. Of particular relevance is our management of multiple conferences and events simultaneously, within a short timeframe. 

In addition, during our 11-year history as support contractor from 1996 to 2007, we coordinated 275 meetings, including 118 planning meetings, 30 grantee cluster meetings, 9 focus groups, 45 workshops, 28 conferences, and 45 special topic meetings. We collaborated with Agency program managers in both the Office of Research and Evaluation and the Office of Science and Technology to address a broad range of meeting topics.

“I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the CSR team… Whether it was registration, intense coordination of logistics, coordination with various OJP departments including security, audio/visual, escorting, dock services, catering support, and a myriad of other logistic services, CSR staff provided outstanding service… These meetings are challenging, and CSR has worked quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to ensure NIJ’s success.”

NIJ RETA COR

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Workie and Kandace for all their support over the past several months. As a team, they managed my calendar and took care of my travel, even when they were away from the office. Thank you both for handling my large volume of e-mails and for always finding a way to make my life a little bit easier.” – Nancy Rodriguez, Director, NIJ

“Thank you for making this process very smooth!” – PatriciaMelton, Senior Research Forensic Scientist, Center for Forensic Sciences, RTI International

“Thank you for checking on this and getting back to me so quickly.” – James MacGillis, Consultant/Police Lieutenant, Milwaukee Police Department

CSR understands the requirements and nuances of diverse meetings and is able to “hit the ground running.” At the outset of every project, we create a collaborative environment with the customer to define what success looks like and create an action plan to achieve the desired outcomes. We also develop a risk management plan that predicts potential obstacles to achieving identified goals and take steps to mitigate those risks. We apply a scalable approach to executing meeting and event services and oversee the full range of events from small half day meetings to multiday events. We have established a reporting protocol with Agency’s COR and program staff to address progress and each meeting’s unique requirements. We are able to perform all tasks, but depending on the nature of the event or the resources available, we may scale back tasks or eliminate them to ensure that meeting thresholds are not exceeded.

Our Certified Government Meeting planners carefully assess and prequalify potential facilities, including hotels, Federal facilities, and other meeting venues, before presenting options to the Agency COR and program manager. We understand that costs, location, and in-house services offered vary considerably among venues. Our team has the benefit of industry contacts and first-hand knowledge of many facilities and their resources, costs, and alternatives. This knowledge helps to reduce the time we need to find a meeting facility that satisfies all requirements, including location, access, and Federal per diem rates for sleeping rooms. We are able to quickly respond to changing rules and regulations as well as work within turnaround time (usually 3 days) to identify a meeting facility. We contact several qualified venues for each meeting needing conference space and/or lodging and make a recommendation to the Agency COR. Upon approval, we request a hotel contract. Our meeting planners are adept in negotiating hotel contracts and reviewing the contract language to ensure that they meet guidelines and always include cancellation and attrition clauses.

We are very familiar with the Policy and Guidance for Conference Approval, Planning, and Reporting. Under these current guidelines, CSR has planned and executed 40 meetings in 18 cities across the United States, ranging in size from 10 to 75 participants. Specifically, we have firsthand experience in completing the budget, request for proposals to complete a site search, site availability matrices, and the Conference & Event Submission form. We create post-conference reports at the end of each quarter and work closely with program managers and the COR to provide the required information. We also understand the importance of the approval timeline and the significance of beginning work on a meeting only after it has been approved. As indicated in the Agency policy, CSR works with the COR to provide the conference cost approval form 90 calendar days before the event.