ACT-IAC White Paper: Industry Day Best Practices
The ACT-IAC Acquisition Management Shared Interest Group (AM SIG) launched an initiative to identify industry day best practices that would assist government in planning and conducting successful industry days. Through interviews with ACT (government) and IAC (industry) members augmented by feedback collected at recent industry day events, the AM SIG identified industry day best practices in order to:
- Ensure that government and industry understand each other’s goals and expectations for industry days to maximize the usefulness of event structure and content.
- Document best practices and provide guidance from the initial planning stages through execution of an effective industry days.
Industry and government approach industry days with very different goals. Industry key objectives include:
- Meet potential teaming partners,
- Observe or discover competitors,
- Obtain the list of attendees for assessing teaming opportunities and competitors,
- Gain a better understanding of the government’s needs, and
- Interact with government program personnel.
Government key objectives include:
- Encourage competition, and
- Create a level playing field by providing information to help potential offerors make bid/no bid decisions and write targeted proposals that address the government’s requirements.
Both industry and government provided areas for improving industry days, including:
- Program office participation is critical to the success of the industry day. This requires program offices to dedicate time for planning and participation, and for coordination with the contracting office on appropriate information to provide in the industry day.
- Relevant procurement-related documentation should always be provided to attendees prior to the event, allowing them to become familiar with the draft documentation in advance. Advance distribution of draft documentation allows the program and contracting participants to maximize their time spent interacting with attendees, enabling deeper exchanges that often provide important strategic and contextual information. Sharing information in advance also allows industry to submit questions, enabling government to form an answer that can be disseminated at the industry day. Industry must also recognize that not all information can be shared; the government has an obligation to protect certain information that enables competition and best value.
- Companies participating in one-on-one meetings should avoid providing generic company information. Instead, provide specific recommendations or raise relevant questions.
Additional detailed recommendations on planning, preparation activities, format, agency participants, and content are identified later in this paper.