Course #907-13-FXVA-1

The Ultimate Government Market Research Workshop

Dates: Dec-07-2012 - Dec-07-2012


AFCEA Headquarters (Map)
4400 Fair Lakes Court
Fairfax, VA 22033

Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm

Early Bird Rates In Effect through 10/01/2012!

$500 $400 Government AFCEA Member
                Government Non Member
$600 $500 Non-Government AFCEA Member
               Non-Government Non Member

Note: This Course has been confirmed STUDENTS SHOULD BRING LAPTOP TO CLASS.

Course Description:

The Ultimate Government Market Research Workshop

This course focuses on the oft-neglected fundamentals of how winning companies find and focus on government business opportunities long before the RFP is issued.

Special features of this course:

  • Participants' research needs shape the exercises undertaken by the class. Each participant, upon registration, is invited to submit to the instructor one research question for potential development into a more general class exercise.

  • Participants are encouraged to bring laptops with wireless internet capability, and will work in small groups to complete collaborative exercises to gain experience using research tools.

The course is designed for people who want to make the most of free and inexpensive market research tools and techniques for government contracts, and get a sense of when it's worth paying money for market research reports and consulting services. Company owners and business development executives, small business liaison officers, and mentor-protégé program managers can learn how to make the time/money tradeoff when planning the market research essential to successful government business development.

Some industry participants will be new to government contracting but eager to build on a strong commercial track record. Others will be fed up with low success on dozens of proposals and seek the keys to improving their win rate. Those who advise small businesses on government contracting will get a toolkit of cost-effective ideas their clients will welcome. This course gives everyone, regardless of experience, a fresh look at how to use public research sources and discover little-known features and resources.

The course delivers practical examples of how public market research tools and other research resources can increase success and lower costs of government business development. Company representatives and small business specialists alike will use these tools to guide a company's entry or expansion into government contracting.


This course provides resources to address the challenge that faces the small company's business development team seeking success in winning government business.

The course will pose research problems, demonstrate the use of research tools, feature active discussion, and offer the opportunity to research sample questions by registrants working in small groups. While this will not be a computer-based training course, students will get limited hands-on experience in sampling how the research resources work. Government and prime contractor attendees can also evaluate how they might use or adapt these tools and techniques to brief the small businesses they counsel every day.

Pre-RFP research forms the foundation of this course, with an emphasis on free public sources of information and a review of pay-to-play options. The student will gain a solid understanding of how government business opportunities are uncovered -- both by primes and subcontractors -- and get take-home exercises to develop skills after the class is done. The student will not create a market research plan; however, s/he will become familiar with options to consider when creating such a plan, and thus increase likelihood of proposal success and lower the costs of pursuit.

The course begins with a recap of the steps government takes to buy goods and services, and then looks at how each of those steps creates a trail of publicly accessible market research.  Students will discover a surprising number of open sources that winning companies tap and start to track long before a procurement hits FedBizOpps. Participants are invited to bring laptops able to access the internet on wi-fi, for use in small group exercises. And the class includes a candid exchange among participants of their experiences with vendors of market research consulting services.

The course is oriented to industry business owners and business development executives, small business liaison officials in prime contractors, small business specialists in government agencies, and those who manage mentor-protégé programs in both industry and government.

COURSE OUTLINE: The Ultimate Government Market Research Workshop

The Course Handouts will include an overview of key tools and their use, exercise worksheets, Easy Lessons in Free Market Research, and a selection of marketing materials provided by leading government market research  vendors.

This module involves discussion and presentation.
1.       The Data Trail

  • Opening Discussion: What Are The Key Research Questions?
  • Key Indicators: Past Award Data, Reports, Budgets, Forecasts, Registrations, Solicitations
  • How The Government Buying Cycle Creates Market Research Data
  • Free Tools Overview

SHOP CLASS: Using Your Tools
These modules involve discussion and demonstration of how to use these tools for problem-solving. Alternating demonstration with work in small groups on sample problems and research questions of interest to participants.

2.       Opportunity Rising: How Winners Find Business Before The RFP
          Answering these key questions

  • Who usually spends the most money on what I offer?
  • Who awards projects on a scale I can perform today?
  • What's their  track record on set-aside awards?
  • Where are they located, and where do I want to market?
  • How might that spending also be bundled into bigger projects?
  • What kind of contract vehicles do they use?
  • Who might be under pressure to improve, expand or cut programs/services?
  • What new spending is planned?


  • Federal Procurement Data System
  • USA Spending.Org
  • Government Accountability Office Reports
  • Agency Budgets
  • Agency Forecasts
  • OSDBUs & Briefings
  • Industry / Association News
  • Google Alerts: news, blogs

3.       It Takes Two To Tango: Competition & Teaming Research
          Answering these key questions

  • Is the market in my niche fragmented or concentrated?
  • Who are my competitors?
  • Which ones dominate my target buyers?
  • Which contract vehicles do the top vendors use?
  • Should I be considering teaming?
  • Which companies would be good partners for me?
  • How important are GSA Schedules in my niche, and do I need one now?
  • Could GSA Mentor-Protégé give me an advantage?


  • Federal Procurement Data System
  • Central Contractor Registry
  • GSAAdvantage
  • Schedule Sales Query
  • LinkedIn
  • Associations

4.       Business in Development: How Winners Narrow The Field
          Answering these key questions

  • Who Needs What I've Got?
  • Who's Making Decisions About The Procurement?
  • How Can I Get This Set-Aside?
  • How Can I Shape The Spec?
  • How Can I Affect The Process?


  • USA.Gov
  • Leadership Directories / Carroll Publishing
  • OSDBU.Gov
  • Sources Sought, RFI, Bidders Conferences, Draft RFPs
  • Twitter (yes, really.)


5.       Free, Good, Enough: Pick Any Two
          Presentation of information and discussion of Commercial Research Vendors:

          Services Offered and Participants' Experiences With The Value Of Paid Research Services.

At informal lunch / exhibition, the following vendors have been invited to demo and provide marketing materials to participants.






Afternoon session will continue with hands-on exercises related to research problems that participants bring.


Ms Judy Bradt
Course Coordinator and Lecturer

Ms Bradt is an award-winning educator and consultant on government contracts for clients in industries including advanced technology, military systems, professional services, construction, and other products. She guided over 5,000 companies to win over $200 million in U.S. government contracts as top expert at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. She has hands-on experience with clients needing to find opportunities, develop business strategy, build teaming relationships, and resolve contract disputes. In addition to her consulting practice , Ms Bradt lectures for the Procurement Technical Assistance Center at George Mason University and delivers courses for private and public sector clients. She holds a BA and an MBA.

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