Government Contracting Training and Events

 

January 2020


Webinar: Understanding and Obtaining the SBA's WOSB and EDWOSB Certifications

1/23/2020, Webinar,

Address: 

Details: The SBA is in the process of changing the WOSB regulations to do away with self-certification. This presentation will explain how this change has been a long time coming, how the SBA's certification process will work, and how this impacts third party certification and recertification. First, we’ll delve into the history of the SBA’s WOSB program and the controversial “self-certification” process, then eligibility standards for both WOSB and EDWOSB applicants and explain how these eligibility requirements are applied in practice. Next, we will delve into the two methods for certification under the proposed regulations: certification by SBA and certification by approved third-party certifiers. With respect to certification by SBA, we will outline the information applicants must provide to SBA and SBA’s application review process. Finally, we will cover how businesses can maintain WOSB status under the proposed regulations, mandatory recertification (which occurs every three years), and decertification and its effect on a business’ ability to participate in the WOSB program following decertification Contact your CIRAS Government Contracting Specialist to attend this webinar at NO COST!

 

You are a Certified Targeted Small Business (TSB) - What's Next?

1/29/2020, Webinar

Details: This webinar series is provided in partnership with Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Targeted Small Business (TSB) program with the State of Iowa. This webinar is useful for companies that have recently received their TSB certification from the State of Iowa. The session will provide information on next steps and considerations to take advantage of the procurement opportunities for TSB's with the state of Iowa. We will explore the structure of the state and independent buying agencies and review the types of products and services they buy, discuss in greater detail the procurement benefits to the program, how to best do business with the state as a vendor and TSB, as well as marketing best practices. We will also discuss additional procurement and preference programs that you may be eligible for as a TSB. This session is also suitable for companies that are eligible for TSB certification but would like to review the procurement processes and opportunities prior to pursuing certification. For questions, please contact Melissa Burant at mmburant@iastate.edu.

 

Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting & Small Business Showcase

1/30/2020, Council Bluffs, IA

Address: 

Details: Join the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce for the Annual Meeting & Small Business Showcase at the Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, in Council Bluffs. There will be a Small Business Showcase & Tailgate, Dinner, and a Program. Contact Andy Alexander at (402) 547-0333 or by email andyalex@iastate.edu for more details and reservation.

 

 

February 2020


Subcontracting Webinar

2/3/2020, Webinar

Details: This online session will help attendees understand subcontracting opportunities and where these opportunities may be a better fit for some companies and industries, as well as a great initial way to build past performance. This session will also help companies understand subcontracting plans, will provide some tactical processes to identify subcontracting opportunities, and will provide an overview of how to effectively perform initial outreach for subcontracting marketing.

 

Preparing a Winning Proposal

2/5/2020, Clive, IA

Address: Tero International, 1840 NW 118th St

Details: Success in government contracting requires that you convince a government agency that you are the best choice to fill any particular need. Doing that requires knowing how the system works, who to deal with, what the rules are, and how to cast yourself in the best light. CIRAS can help you with that. In four different sessions scheduled for four different cities, you'll learn everything from how to read and answer an RFP to tips for organizing your proposal and getting questions answered. You'll also learn how to avoid some of the most common mistakes.

 

Iowa Building Codes and Construction Networking

2/6/2020, Mason City, IA

Address: 9 North Federal Avenue, Mason City, IA 50401

Details: Even in contracting, it's hard to win if you don't understand the rules. Iowa has a hybrid system for building codes, which allows local jurisdictions to adopt certain types of guidelines while other restrictions extend throughout the entire state. How do you know which set of rules to follow? This event will include an expert from the State Fire Marshal's office explaining how the system works and the consequences of not following the rules. That will be followed by a construction industry networking session.

 

Webinar: Coaching Your Government Proposal Team

2/6/2020, Webinar,

Address: 

Details: Responding to government proposals takes a large team, often made up of people who do not usually work together. By attending this training, you will learn processes and organizational habits to get your team moving together from the start, to keep proposals moving forward, and to build a high-performing team quickly. Contact your CIRAS Government Contracting Specialist to attend this webinar at NO COST!

 

Creating Your Government Marketing Strategy

2/11/2020, Webinar

Details: This webinar will provide information on the overall value of initial and ongoing market research for companies pursuing Government sales. We'll discuss resources available for conducting market research, and will give companies a meaningful starting point for a one-on-one discussion with their counselor for specific market research assistance. This session will provide a framework for companies to locate and define their top targets and what they are buying, and also assist in their marketing and pursuit of government customers. Prerequisite: It is recommended that you participate in GovCon 101, or have had a one-on-one meeting with a CIRAS Government Contracting Specialist prior to attending this session. For questions, please contact Melissa Burant at mburant@iastate.edu.

 

GovCon 101

2/19/2020, Webinar

Details: This webinar will give you an introduction to local, state, and federal Government Contracting, and address the various factors you may want to consider before entering this market. We'll discuss how the Government market differs from the commercial market, the pros and cons of servicing this market, how the government buys, and all the various steps required in order to sell to the Government. For questions please contact Samantha Ferm at siferm@iastate.edu.

 

Webinar: Who Are You and Why Should Government Care?

2/20/2020, Webinar

Details: The challenge of many sellers, especially small businesses, is rooted in the most basic aspect of their creation – to solve the problems of another. It is critical, therefore, to set a sound framework to help define who you are, what you do, and what problems you solve. Failing to identify these fundamentals will cause the business to waste countless dollars in time and material in pursuit of an opportunity that is unattainable. Contact your CIRAS Government Contracting Specialist to attend this webinar at NO COST!

 

Master Builders of Iowa Annual Winter Conference

2/24/2020 - 2/26/2020, Altoona, IA

Address: 

Details: The MBI Annual Winter Conference offers two and a half days of educational sessions and popular annual events, which attract all aspects of the construction industry. Learning opportunities include a great combination of sessions focused on leadership and project management on Tuesday, as well as the annual Safety Day of training on Wednesday. There is something for everyone, from the construction worker, to the President and CEO of a company. Great values can be found at this popular annual event!

 

Webinar: Creating a Step-by-Step Government Sales Strategy

2/27/2020, Webinar,

Address: 

Details: This is an educational, fast-paced, and high-energy webinar. Joshua Frank will walk you through various techniques and strategies you need to build a viable sales strategy and win government contracts. This training will connect the dots, from who buys what you sell to how you collect intelligence and win. Contact your CIRAS Government Contracting Specialist to attend this webinar at NO COST!

 

 

March 2020


Webinar Week - Agency Spotlight: Part I - How to Do Business with the Iowa DOT, and Part II - Learning About the DBE Program

3/2/2020, Webinar

Details: Part of a series spotlighting government agencies, this webinar will focus on the Iowa Department of Transportation and the multiple ways that Iowa companies can interact with the agency to obtain government contracts. Topics covered will include how to register and find opportunities in the Iowa DOT's Purchasing Section, how to get prequalified in the DOT's Contracts Bureau, and how to use the department's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program to improve your chances of getting government business.

 

Webinar Week - Agency Spotlight Series: USDA-Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC)

3/3/2020, Webinar

Details: Part of a series spotlighting government agencies, this webinar will focus on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and its recently created agency, Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC). Matthew Harvey, a contract specialist with the USDA-FPAC Business Center, will describe the agencies that USDA-FPAC provides procurement support for, including the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Risk Management Agency (RMA), and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Participants will get an overview of five agencies in one presentation and have the opportunity to ask questions at the end.

 

Webinar Week - Interview City of Cedar Rapids

3/4/2020, Webinar,

Address: 

Details: Part of a series spotlighting government agencies, this webinar will focus on the city of Cedar Rapids. Diane Muench, purchasing services manager for Cedar Rapids, will provide an overview of municipal government and its current procurement needs. She'll give project updates and offer a few tips and tricks of the trade for doing business with the city.

 

DAS Vendor Orientation

3/4/2020, Des Moines, IA

Address: Hoover Building, Level A, Procurement Conference Room, 1305 E Walnut St, Des Moines, IA

Details: The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Central Procurement is now offering orientation for vendors interested in doing business with State of Iowa agencies. Contact your CIRAS Government Contracting Specialist to attend this orientation at NO COST!

 

Webinar Week - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

3/5/2020, Webinar,

Address: 

Details: Part of a series spotlighting government agencies, this webinar will focus on the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Rock Island District. Elizabeth White, deputy for small business, will provide an overview of the agency and its current procurement needs. She'll give project updates and offer a few tips and tricks of the trade for doing business with this agency.

 

Webinar Week - Agency Spotlight Series: General Services Administration

3/6/2020, Webinar

Details: Part of a series spotlighting government agencies, this webinar will feature Bill Strobel, small business technical advisor for the U.S. General Service Administration, explaining what GSA looks for in someone seeking to do business with the government. Strobel will provide an overview of the agency and its needs from potential contractors and will take questions from participants.

 

Webinar - Participation and Small Business Subcontracting Plans: What’s the Difference?

3/12/2020, Webinar

Details: The goal of this webinar is to promote a better understanding of the differences between small business participation proposals and small business subcontracting plans. The session will focus on the distinction between the two, when they are required and what contractors need to know for proposals. This session will also briefly touch on the subcontracting requirements that small businesses are subject to.

 

Marketing to the Government

3/18/2020, Harlan, IA

Address: 906 6th Street, Harlan, IA 51537

Details: The first step toward winning government contracts is knowing what your government customers are looking for and where they're currently spending money. Focused, insightful marketing helps companies understand their competitors and creates new opportunities for firms to engage, network, and win government contracts. ISU Government Contracting Specialists with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) have created this event to help Iowa businesses learn how to market to government agencies, thereby increasing their likelihood of winning government contracts. Participants in this event will discover how to: Identify potential markets and target customers using market research. Utilize agency procurement histories to determine who buys what your company sells and how much. Craft a quality capability statement Learn how to identify points of contact and establish agencies with government agencies. Develop a Government Marketing Plan. For questions, please contact Government Contracting Specialist Andy Alexander at andyalex@iastate.edu.

 

 

April 2020


Subcontracting Webinar

4/6/2020, Webinar

Details: This online session will help attendees understand subcontracting opportunities and where these opportunities may be a better fit for some companies and industries, as well as a great initial way to build past performance. This session will also help companies understand subcontracting plans, will provide some tactical processes to identify subcontracting opportunities, and will provide an overview of how to effectively perform initial outreach for subcontracting marketing.

 

Government Contract Negotiation Skills

4/7/2020, Coralville, IA

Address: BioVentures Center, 2500 Crosspark Rd,

Details: Are you hoping to grow your business through government contracting but not quite sure how the actual contract process will work? CIRAS is hosting an April seminar to help Iowa companies develop better "Government Contracting Negotiation Skills." This daylong event will feature experts from Federal Publications Seminars, a Minnesota firm with more than 50 years of experience in the field, teaching Iowans the "why," "how," and "when" of contract negotiation. Event participants will learn how to develop winning strategies and tactics, evaluate performance, and recognize the potential traps and opportunities that come with any negotiation.

 

Understanding the Army Corps of Engineers- Rock Island District- Projects, Procurements and Processes

4/9/2020, Webinar

Details: This webinar will be offered on multiple dates and provides registered participants with basic information on the District's overall mission and historical contracted requirements. Participants will take away information on how to best do business with the District as either a prime contractor or a subcontractor, as well as recommendations and tools for growing their Federal Government business with the Corps of Engineers, and specifically the Rock Island District. To register and receive log-in information please send an e-mail request to the Small Business Programs Office at CEMVR-SB-WEB@usace.army.mil. Please reference "Webinar RSVP" in the subject line.

 

You are a Certified Targeted Small Business (TSB) - What's Next?

4/15/2020, Webinar

Details: This webinar series is provided in partnership with Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Targeted Small Business (TSB) program with the State of Iowa. This webinar is useful for companies that have recently received their TSB certification from the State of Iowa. The session will provide information on next steps and considerations to take advantage of the procurement opportunities for TSB's with the state of Iowa. We will explore the structure of the state and independent buying agencies and review the types of products and services they buy, discuss in greater detail the procurement benefits to the program, how to best do business with the state as a vendor and TSB, as well as marketing best practices. We will also discuss additional procurement and preference programs that you may be eligible for as a TSB. This session is also suitable for companies that are eligible for TSB certification but would like to review the procurement processes and opportunities prior to pursuing certification. For questions, please contact Melissa Burant at mmburant@iastate.edu.

 

Disrupt the Incumbent

4/20/2020, Webinar

Details: This 90-minute webinar/strategy session will teach you how communicate to government purchasing officers why your product or service is better, faster, and more effective. Eileen Kent, a strategist known as the Federal Sales Sherpa, will teach participants how to dissect a federal contracting situation to identify the incumbents, their clients, their strengths, and their weaknesses. For questions, please contact Jodi Essex at jodir@iastate.edu.

 

 

May 2020


GovCon101

5/5/2020, Webinar

Details: This webinar will give you an introduction to local, state, and federal Government Contracting, and address the various factors you may want to consider before entering this market. We'll discuss how the Government market differs from the commercial market, the pros and cons of servicing this market, how the government buys, and all the various steps required in order to sell to the Government. For questions please contact Mary Zimmerman at maryz@iastate.edu.

 

Writing Federal Proposals

5/5/2020 - 5/6/2020, Clive, IA

Address: Tero International, 1840 NW 118th Street, Outclass Center, Clive, IA 50325

Details: Writing Federal Proposals teaches skills related to planning and writing sections in any portion of a proposal. Participants learn and practice a proven approach to writing compliant, responsive proposal sections for federal customers. Follow the process from kickoff meeting through revisions as your workshop team responds to an actual federal request for proposals.

 

DAS Vendor Orientation

5/6/2020, Des Moines, IA

Address: Hoover Building, Level A, Procurement Conference Room, 1305 E Walnut St, Des Moines, IA

Details: The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Central Procurement is now offering orientation for vendors interested in doing business with State of Iowa agencies. Contact your CIRAS Government Contracting Specialist to attend this orientation at NO COST!

 

Capture Planning: Proven Strategies to Increase RFP Win Rate

5/7/2020, Des Moines, IA

Address: Tero International, 1840 NW 118th Street, Outclass Center, Des Moines, IA 50325

Details: Capture Planning: Proven Strategies to Increase RFP Win rate provides an awareness of disciplines and frameworks that complement our other skills building workshops. When combined with our Writing Federal Proposals workshop, Capture Planning focuses on critical business development context, and activities that occur, before a request for proposals (RFP) is received. Major focus areas include how Federal budget and acquisition processes impact business development planning, the importance of opportunity capture, introduction to how to build a capture plan and selected capture best practices, and important principals and tools for building and managing a strategically-focused business opportunity pipeline.

 

Creating Your Government Marketing Strategy

5/12/2020, Webinar

Details: This webinar will provide information on the overall value of initial and ongoing market research for companies pursuing Government sales. We'll discuss resources available for conducting market research, and will give companies a meaningful starting point for a one-on-one discussion with their counselor for specific market research assistance. This session will provide a framework for companies to locate and define their top targets and what they are buying, and also assist in their marketing and pursuit of government customers. Prerequisite: It is recommended that you participate in GovCon 101, or have had a one-on-one meeting with a CIRAS Government Contracting Specialist prior to attending this session. For questions, please contact Melissa Burant at mburant@iastate.edu.

 

Finding Government Bidding Opportunities

5/19/2020, Council Bluffs, IA

Address: 149 West Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Details: Finding and understanding government contracting opportunities can be confusing. Do you feel like you need a guide? ISU Government Contracting Specialists with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) created this event to help Iowa companies find their way through the complicated world of government solicitation. Come to this event, and PTAC specialists will help your business:? Understand the difference between RFIs, RFQs, and RFPs. Identify internet-based and other electronic procurement opportunities that match your company's products and services. Help businesses understand subcontracting opportunities and where that might be a better fit. Learn how to use subcontracting to build your track record of "past performance." Obtain access to the Bidmatch database, a bid-matching service that examines federal, state, and local solicitations. This is a FREE event! For questions, contact Andy Alexander at andyalex@iastate.edu.

 

 

June 2020


Disrupt the Incumbent

6/8/2020, Webinar

Details: This 90-minute webinar/strategy session will teach you how communicate to government purchasing officers why your product or service is better, faster, and more effective. Eileen Kent, a strategist known as the Federal Sales Sherpa, will teach participants how to dissect a federal contracting situation to identify the incumbents, their clients, their strengths, and their weaknesses. For questions, please contact Jodi Essex at jodir@iastate.edu.

 

Webinar - USACE Rock Island Proposal Tips/Best Practices from Contracting

6/11/2020, Webinar

Details: This webinar, hosted by the Small Business Programs Office and the Contracting Division, will provide contractors with general proposal tips and best practices/lessons learned to assist potential contractors. Attendees will receive first hand information from contract specialists and ideally have some takeaways to improve their submittals and better understand the needs of the contracting office overall.