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As 2013 comes to a close, SGMP would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of The SGMP Link a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Friday, Jan. 3.


House bill would further cut government spending on conferences, travel
Smart Meetings
From Nov. 21: The U.S. House of Representatives passed another bill that would significantly reduce federal agencies' spending on travel and conferences on top of cuts already imposed by sequestration and a White House directive. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013, or DATA Act, easily passed with bipartisan support and a lone dissenting vote.
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Shutdown takes toll in canceled meetings, events and reports
Government Executive
From Oct. 10: On half-frozen websites and in sparse emails from across the government, word has been trickling out that meetings and hearings scheduled long before the shutdown are now canceled. "Though measuring it is difficult, there's a tremendous loss here," said John Palguta, vice president at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. "It's not only the canceled meetings and conferences, but the data reports that are supposed to go out."
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Social media roundup: Savvy apps every event planner can use
Associations Now
From Nov. 27: Time is money in today's go-go-go world. That's why iPad and iPhone applications are there to deal with the little things event planners need (from traffic jam alerts to ratings of airport eateries) — leaving them free and focused on a conference's bigger picture.
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Which metro area has the highest share of federal employees? Hint: Not Washington
Government Executive
From Nov. 21: There has been much talk lately about the effects of pay freezes, sequestration, furloughs and government shutdowns on the federal workforce and the overall economy. Naturally, the hardest-hit areas over the long haul are likely to be the ones with the highest concentrations of federal employees. You might think that list would start with Washington, D.C., but, as Richard Florida writes in the Atlantic Cities, that would be wrong.
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Business travel spending up for 2013, eying increase in 2014
Archita Datta Majumdar
From Nov. 21: The travel industry has picked up the recession slack quite well, showing healthier figures in 2013. Business travel especially has picked up quickly, which is a testament to an improving economy and better business prospects in all arenas. In fact, recent reports state that U.S. businesses are all poised to spend more on business travel with a figure that could go up to $288.8 billion in 2014.
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Shutdown ends, but uncertainty doesn't for government meeting pros
International Meetings Review
From Oct. 24: Government meeting professionals are happy to be back at work after the Congress agreed to a resolution that ended the 16-day government shutdown on Oct. 16. "Unfortunately, continued uncertainty remains for our members and this industry," said Rob Bergeron, executive director and CEO of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. "While SGMP's furloughed members are glad to get back to work today," said Bergeron on Oct. 17, "we certainly recognize that this was a short-term deal and not a long-term fix."
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More uncertainty awaits feds after the shutdown
Government Executive
From Oct. 17: The government shutdown is winding to an end, but federal employees are not out of the woods quite yet. The shutdown, which has — for varying lengths of times — furloughed roughly 900,000 federal employees and temporarily cut off paychecks for many more, appeared primed to end Wednesday, Oct. 16, 16 days since the government last operated at full strength. All federal employees, including those on furlough, will likely be reimbursed for the time they missed. They still, however, face uncertainty.
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7 business travel expenses you never knew you could write off
Business Insider
From Nov. 14: Taking an extended trip away from the office is often a necessary step in getting your business to the next level, but doing so can get expensive. That's where expense reports come in. The key is to know your company's expense policies, since they differ from business to business. But for expenses that may not be entirely covered by your company, it helps to be familiar with IRS tax code. Here are some things you might not have known were tax-deductible.
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Food and beverage on a budget
Meetings & Conventions
From Dec. 5: It happens far too often: A meeting ends, and the planner comes face-to-face with a food-and-beverage bill that is shockingly higher than expected. Sometimes costs pile up in drips and drags — heavy drinkers at a reception, a few surprise coffee refills, unexpected services charges — and sometimes the overrun strikes all at once in the form of a forgotten F&B minimum that exceeds what was spent.
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Government shutdown: What it means for meetings
Associations Now
From Oct. 10: With federal employees on furlough and unable to attend meetings, some associations are dealing with reduced attendance and speaker cancellations at their events. One association meeting planner gives advice on how to reduce the impact. "What we're primarily seeing, and what we're anticipating in the future depending on how long this goes on, is lower attendance among our groups that have government attendees," said Leslie Thornton, president of Courtesy Associates. "A lot of our groups also have high-level speakers [from the federal government] who are now at the last minute not going to be able to speak."
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