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Conferences, events, and training

TTS encourages all staff to attend conferences, speak at events, and focus on professional development and training opportunities. Check out the TTS Training Database to see what conferences and trainings your colleagues have attended. If you're looking for guidelines around speaking at events (in either a personal or professional capacity), see here.

Any media requests (like news or podcast interviews) are a separate process — please forward the email or reach out to press@gsa.gov and CC your team's Outreach liaison.

At TTS, the work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is a collective effort: every employee makes a difference. DEIA should be a part of everything we do. When creating, hosting, or participating in an event, we ask that you consider the TTS Inclusive Event Pillars.

These inclusive event pillars are designed to help TTS:

  • Create intentionally inclusive events
  • Share our expectation that TTS employees thoughtfully consider what speaking engagements they accept

For 18F, you can view the 18F FY23 Training plan. The plan includes strategic development priorities for team-wide trainings and notes on the process for allocating 18F training funds.

Getting approval for a conference, event, or training

  1. Submit this form to initiate the request process. Here is guidance on writing an event justification. Upon completing it, you and your supervisor will get an automated email, which confirms the details you entered and provides all of the actions that you will need to complete for the request. Your supervisor may want to discuss the request with you before proceeding with further approvals.

  2. Once you've connected with your supervisor, continue following all steps outlined by the email that you received. If you have any issues or questions about your request, please respond to the Events Team (tts-events@gsa.gov) on the automated email thread. An Events Team member will follow up with you within 2 business days.

  3. You will receive an automated email when your request has been fully approved and paid for or if additional information is needed to complete your registration. You can track the status of your request here with the request number in the subject line of the automated email.

Important note about conference travel: If you are traveling to a conference on behalf of a partner who is paying for the travel and the registration and you will be billing the partner for your time, an IDP and SF-182 approval is not needed. Also an SF-182 isn't needed if the conference is NOT deemed a training activity.

Attending a virtual event

If the event that you're attending is being hosted virtually, please review the TTS Virtual Events guidance for important considerations and tips.

NOTE: If you are attending a free virtual event and will NOT be speaking, you do not need to fill out the Event Request Google Form above. Please just discuss in advance with your Supervisor if you will be attending during work hours.

Approval timelines

The review and approval process times vary by the type of request and the layers of approval required. It is best to submit your training request as early as possible.

  • Five days to ten days in advance for:
    • Training (not at a conference) that costs less than $2,500, including travel
  • Ten days to two weeks
    • Conference events that cost less than $2500, including travel
  • Fifteen days to three weeks in advance for:
    • Training (not at a conference) that costs more than $2500, including travel
  • Three to five weeks in advance for:
    • Conference events that costs more than $2,500, including travel
    • Conference events that have a waived or discounted registration fee
    • Speaking events in your official capacity
    • Internal Management Meetings, regardless of cost
    • Highly Attended Events FY18 GSA Highly Attended Events
  • Five to six weeks in advance for:
    • Group Conference Training/Attendance

You can track the status of your request here with the request number in the subject line of the automated email.

Additional steps that you may need to take

The automated email that you will receive outlines the step(s) below that you will need to complete for your request.

Creating an SF-182 (required for most conference, event, and training requests that have a cost)

  1. You must generate a Standard Form 182 (SF-182)in Online University (OLU), and fill-in the required fields with the most relevant responses corresponding to your request type.
    • This OLU Job Aid has instructions on how to Create, Submit, PDF, and Verify an SF-182.
  2. Your supervisor’s name will auto-populate. If the default supervisor needs to be modified, please email TTS-Events@gsa.gov for assistance.
  3. After submitting the SF-182 for approval, you will receive an email notification when the SF-182 is approved.
  4. Once your SF-182 is approved, save a PDF copy by following the 'Create A PDF' instructions on page 5 of the OLU Job Aid.
  5. Email tts-events@gsa.gov with your SF-182 PDF attached.
  6. The Training & Events Lead (Keith Wilson) will provide a final review within 2 business days of receiving the SF-182 and any other required information that's applicable.
  7. Within 2 business days of the Training & Events Lead's approval, a TTS purchase card holder will complete the payment of your registration and the TTS travel team will approve your travel in Concur, if applicable.

Booking travel

You can start making Travel Arrangements in Concur (if needed) at any point in the process, even before you've submitted the Events request form if you would like to get an estimate of travel costs. Most travel reservations will automatically cancel if not approved.

You are responsible for cancelling all reservations (e.g. flight, hotel, rental car) if your event is not approved. Always check the cancellation policy before booking because you may be responsible for paying the cancellation fee(s). You can ask questions in #travel or during travel office hours.

Remote working guidance

When working from somewhere that isn't your usual duty location, consider these tips to help coworkers and partners plan around your trip.

After the event

Add your notes about the conference or training to the TTS Training Database for your colleagues to read and learn from!

Buying books

YYou can also use your training budget to buy books for self-guided study. You may want to first check your local library system to see what books, newspapers, subscriptions, and other resources are available there. Approval for books uses a similar process as approval for trainings, but many of the forms are not designed for book purchases and need to be repurposed.

Start with the training request form. That form has annotations for how to use it for book purchases. Briefly, the book title is used for the name of the event and the current date is used for all of the date fields. On the second page of the form under the "Anything else" question, enter the website where the book can be purchased.

When you have submitted that form, you and your supervisor will receive an email with further instructions. In the case where the book is not being used for training, the only thing that needs to be done is an email from your supervisor approving the purchase. If the book is being used in a training, then there are further tasks to be completed with form SF-182 as detailed in that initial response email.

Hosting non-government speakers

More information.

External speaking requests

Review the External speaking request playbook.

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