Annual Conference FAQ

Please see the following list of Frequently Asked Questions to best assist you with the registration process and any additional questions regarding GFOA’s 108th annual conference, The Future of Government Finance, on May 18-21, 2014, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Membership/Registration/Substitution

My government is a member of GFOA. Does that entitle me to the membership rate for the annual conference?
Only individuals listed as members of GFOA are entitled to the member rate, but we do allow for a one-for-one substitution for government entities if one of your members cannot attend the conference − just mark the information in section 1 on the conference registration form posted on GFOA’s website or e-mail the name of the replacement to conference@gfoa.org. It is also easy to add individuals to your government’s membership by submitting the membership application that is posted on GFOA’s website

I am a member of my state GFOA. Does this entitle me to the GFOA member discount rates?
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) members receive the discounted rates, but if you join today you can take advantage of the lower rate as well as receive $25 off your conference registration fee. Please visit GFOA’s website for a membership application and fee schedule.


When I register online, is my GFOA membership number my password?
Each GFOA member who has used the e-store would have created a unique login and password that is different than his/her membership number. If you have misplaced your login and/or password information, we’re happy to help you. Please e-mail logins@gfoa.org.

I need to register multiple staff from my office. Can I create an account online and register everyone under that account?
At this time groups of individuals cannot be registered together online, but please submit the group of registrations together with payment via mail, fax, or scan and e-mail to conference@gfoa.org.

What are the conference registration fees?
Full registration fee (postmarked and paid after April 1, 2014)
• Government Member - $475
• Private-Sector Member - $645
• Nonmember Government - $630
• Nonmember Private Sector - $920
• Student - $145
(Full-time, Unemployed only)
• Retired GFOA members - $0
(not currently employed)

Can I register for conference over the phone?
We offer multiple ways you can register for the conference, but we do not accept registrations over the phone. Please use the method that best works for you. You can register online using GFOA’s e-store or you can submit the conference registration form that is available on GFOA’s website to submit via mail, fax, or scan and e-mail it to conference@gfoa.org.
Once I submit my conference registration, will a fax or e-mail confirmation be sent to me? Please keep a watch on your e-mail as a copy of the confirmation and invoice will be sent to you as a PDF attachment from training@gfoa.org. If you have not yet done so, please add this address to your allowed senders list to make sure you receive the confirmation.

What are the dates for the cancellation and refund policy?
• May 9, 2014: No refunds will be issued this date forward.

I cannot attend the full conference. Do you have a one-day rate available?
Take advantage of the one-day rate on either Monday, May 19, 2014, or Tuesday, May 20, 2014! You will have access to all conference sessions, meetings, luncheons, and exhibits held on that date. This is also a great way to train junior staff in your organization and save on travel expenses. Go to GFOA’s website to access the one-day rate registration form.

What meals are included with the conference registration fee?
We encourage conference attendees and guests to take part in GFOA’s welcome reception on Sunday night at Union Depot. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be available. On Monday, conference attendees are invited to participate in the delegate luncheon. Following the luncheon dessert will be available in the exhibit hall. On Tuesday, conference attendees are invited to participate in the annual business meeting and luncheon.

Guests

I’m already registered for the conference. How do I reserve badges for my guests?
It is easy to reserve badges for your guests. You can add guest badges through your online account on the e-store by selecting the “Add/Edit Badges” tab. You can also request additional guest badges by e-mailing badges@gfoa.org. If your guests are children under 12, please list their age. There is no registration fee for guests or children.


What events are my guests allowed to attend?
We encourage your guests to attend the Sunday night Welcome Reception and to stroll through the exhibit hall during designated hours. Please go ahead and pre-register them so they can receive a badge to access these events.

First-time annual conference attendee scholarships

I am a recipient of the first-time annual conference attendee scholarship. How do I maximize my conference experience?
At GFOA Registration in Lobby B of the convention center, there will be a dedicated line for you to pick up conference badges and a first-time conference attendee sticker – just look for the sign posted at the registration counter. We ask for all GFOA attendees to join us in saying “Welcome!”

Also at the Sunday night Welcome Reception, we ask for you to please come to the Head of the House at Union Depot between 7:00-8:00 p.m. so you can meet members of GFOA’s Executive Board and staff, and we can meet each of you.

Who is eligible to apply for the scholarship?
The GFOA encourages national GFOA active government members who are first-time conference attendees to apply. Membership in a state or provincial association does not transfer to national GFOA membership. If you are not an active government member of the GFOA, join the association today! Go to GFOA’s website to read about membership benefits and to access a membership application and fee schedule. We’re happy to help with any membership questions you may have – e-mail membership@gfoa.org.

What does the scholarship include?
The GFOA strives to provide leadership to the government finance profession through education, research, and best practices. Nowhere are these efforts more apparent than at the GFOA annual conference. To keep with our commitment, the scholarship will be awarded in the amount of the full-conference registration fee* to participate in the 108th annual conference, The Future of Government Finance, on May 18-21, 2014, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

* Scholarship recipients are responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses.

Does the scholarship also include the preconference seminar registration fees?
The GFOA’s preconference seminars provide the opportunity for attendees to get in-depth training on topics vitally important to finance officers. Come to Minneapolis on Friday, May 16, 2014, and/or Saturday, May 17, 2014, and multiply the benefits you’ll get by signing up for these training offerings. The preconference seminars are in addition to the annual conference registration fee. If you are interested in registering for a preconference seminar, go to GFOA’s website.

I am a current GFOA active government member and attended only one day of a past annual conference. Am I still eligible to apply for the scholarship?
We thank you for your past participation in the GFOA annual conference. One-day conference attendance is considered participation in the annual conference. The scholarship is awarded to GFOA active government members who will be participating in the annual conference for the very first time.
I was a member of GFOA years ago and attended past conferences. I am interested in joining the association again. Would I be eligible to apply for the scholarship?
Benefit from your membership in the GFOA with a discount on the annual conference registration fee, as well as discounts on training courses and publications throughout the year. The scholarship is awarded to GFOA active government members who have never attended a GFOA annual conference.

How many scholarships will be awarded?
Fifty scholarships will be awarded per state or province in the order of which they are received. The State of Minnesota has reached the fifty scholarship limit and the State of California is close to full.

How do I apply for the scholarship?
Please send an e-mail with your interest to firstannualconference@gfoa.org. If you are eligible to receive the scholarship, a GFOA staff member will e-mail an application for you to complete and submit to the GFOA.

Do I need to submit a deposit to “hold” the scholarship?
The GFOA will hold a refundable deposit of $100 that will be refunded within two weeks after the conference. Scholarship recipients who do not attend the conference and do not notify the GFOA of their cancellation will forfeit their deposit.

I was awarded the scholarship and find out before the start of the annual conference that I cannot participate in the event. Would I forfeit the $100 deposit?
We are looking forward to the participation of first-time conference attendees. If you can no longer attend the annual conference, please notify the GFOA at firstannualconference@gfoa.org. You will then be refunded your deposit.


Is there a deadline date to submit the scholarship application?
To help us plan ahead, we encourage you to send in your application as soon as possible. The scholarship applications will be accepted through April 30, 2014.


Is my application complete once I submit it?
A completed application is when all parts of the form have been filled out and payment (credit card or check) has been received by the GFOA.


How do I know if I was selected to receive a scholarship?
A GFOA staff member will e-mail you within 24 hours of receiving your completed application and payment if you have been selected to receive this year’s scholarship.

 

Conference Sessions

What is the address of the convention center where the sessions are being held?
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403

 Do I need to pre-select the concurrent sessions I plan to attend at conference?

You can get a jumpstart and plan ahead by reviewing session information before the conference, but you have the flexibility to
choose which sessions you want to attend upon your arrival. Look for titles, descriptions, and speakers on GFOA’s website.

Exhibit Hall

What are the details for this year’s Exhibit Hall?
 We encourage you to visit the exhibit hall for a hands-on demonstration of the latest innovations designed to save your government time and money! Check out the Exhibitor Directory posted on GFOA’s website to plan ahead what booths you would like to visit.

 Be sure to stop by GFOA’s Products and Services booth (#101) to keep up to date on recent GFOA activity. A GFOA staff member will be available at all times to answer any questions you may have on membership, publications, training, consulting, and GFOA’s technical recognition programs, including GFOA’s Award Program for Small Government cash Basis Reports.

 The exhibit hall will be open on Sunday, May 18 from 10:00 a.m. through Tuesday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m. in the Minneapolis Convention Center. Read GFOA’s Exhibitor Directory posted on GFOA’s website for daily times.

If you are interested in exhibiting, please visit GFOA’s website to access the contract and floorplan.

If you have a company to suggest that you think would be a great exhibitor, please e-mail conference@gfoa.org.

Sponsorship Opportunities

How do I become a conference sponsor?
Sponsorship is a great way to get your company noticed beyond the exhibit hall floor. Go to GFOA’s website to view this year’s opportunities and pledge form. If you have a custom idea, e-mail bmollo@gfoa.org.

Housing

Has the GFOA made arrangements with any of the area hotels?
Save on your hotel reservation by taking advantage of discounted rates at GFOA’s official hotels. Contact Meet Minneapolis – the official housing company for the GFOA annual conference to make your reservation.

To speak to a housing representative, please call 888.947.2233 (Domestic) or 612.767.8200 (International callers) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (CST),
or e-mail (Housing@minneapolis.org).

If you have any special needs, Meet Minneapolis is ready to assist you. Please tell the representative your request at the time of your booking so that proper accommodations can be arranged for your visit.

Are the GFOA official hotels within walking distance of the convention center?
The official conference hotels are within walking distance of the convention center. (See the map posted on GFOA’s website for walking distance and skyway access to the convention center.)

Will shuttle service be provided between the official conference hotels and the Minneapolis Convention Center?
The City of Minneapolis offers free bus ride service on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, including to and from the Minneapolis Convention Center. The free-ride buses run every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15-30 minutes on weekends. More information is available at www.metrotransit.org/freeride.

From Saturday, May 17 – Wednesday, May 21, the GFOA will provide two courtesy roundtrip shuttle routes from the Courtyard
Minneapolis Downtown and the Graves 601 Hotel - Wyndham Grand Collection to the Minneapolis Convention Center. Service will run every 30 minutes between
7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Will shuttle service be provided between the official conference hotels and the Sunday night Welcome Reception and Tuesday night event?
For the Sunday night Welcome Reception, continual roundtrip courtesy shuttle service will be provided for all GFOA conference hotels to Union Depot beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Shuttle routes (Service begins at 5:30 pm)

Route 1 (pick up Hilton Minneapolis for all four properties):
Hilton Minneapolis, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn,
W Minneapolis

Route 2 (pick up at Hyatt Regency for both properties)
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Millennium Hotel
Route 3 (Pick up at Marriott at 7th St. entrance for all five properties)
Marriott Minneapolis, Radisson Plaza Hotel, Marquette Hotel, The Westin Minneapolis, Graves 601 Hotel – Wyndham Grand Collection

Route 4 (Pick up at Best Western Plus – 8th St. entrance for both properties)
Best Western Plus, Hyatt Place

Route 5
Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown

For the Tuesday night Twist and Shout Closing Celebration, The GFOA will provide courtesy roundtrip shuttle service between the Courtyard Minneapolis Downtown and the Graves 601 Hotel-Wyndham Grand Collection to the Minneapolis Convention Center beginning at 6:15 p.m. Return shuttle service will run between 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

As an extra courtesy for those guests staying in the following hotels, the GFOA will provide return shuttle service between 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.:

Drop off at the Marriott at 7th St. entrance for all five properties:
- Marriott Minneapolis
- Radisson Plaza Hotel
- Marquette Hotel
- The Westin Minneapolis
- Graves 601 Hotel – Wyndham Grand Collection

Drop off at the Best Western Plus – 8th St. entrance for both properties
- Best Western Plus
- Hyatt Place

 

Logistics

What airport services are in the Minneapolis area?
Minneapolis is easily accessible from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

What discounts are available for conference travel?
• American
www.aa.com
Promotion code 3454BN

• Delta
www.delta.com
Meeting ID – NMH3C
When booking online, select Meeting Event Code and enter the Meeting ID in the box provided on the Search Flight page.

• United
www.united.com
Z-code – ZR3R
Agreement code 680307
Enter both the Z-code and Agreement code (without a space) in the Offer Code Box

• Hertz
Hertz.com
Phone: 800.654.2240, 405.749.4434
CV# 04SJ0002

Will courtesy shuttle buses be provided from the airport to my hotel?
Conference attendees are responsible for their own travel to/from the airport, but there are plenty of taxis, shuttles, and public transportation options that will take you from the airport to your hotel.
• Shuttle Service to and from the Airport: The GFOA has arranged for discounts with Super- Shuttle at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Click here to book an online reservation. Group discounts for online reservations are $15 one way, or $24 roundtrip with a 10 percent fuel surcharge.

• Taxis:
Cab service is available anywhere in the metro area. Catch a taxi at the Minneapolis Convention Center and any hotel, or call ahead for service.

Approximate fare from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport to downtown Minneapolis is $40 – $45.

- Airport Taxi: 952-928-0000
- Blue and White Taxi: 612-333-3333

Public Transportation:
The Metro Blue Line, also known as Route 55, travels from downtown Minneapolis to Fort Snelling, the airport, and Mall of America. The light-rail train operates every day in all weather and traffic conditions — you won’t miss your flight.

− Downtown Minneapolis to Terminal 1 – 23 minutes
− Downtown Minneapolis to Terminal 2 – 25 minutes
− Downtown Minneapolis to Mall of America – 15 minutes

I am driving to the Minneapolis Convention Center. Where can I park my car? Please see the following link for parking information:

http://www.minneapolis.org/minneapolis-convention-center/overview/direct...

 

GFOA Events

What are the details for the Welcome Reception?
Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Union Depot
Reception is complimentary and registered attendees and guests are encouraged to attend.

Don’t miss GFOA’s Welcome Reception at St. Paul’s historic Union Depot!
Enjoy regional appetizers and beverages as you socialize with friends and colleagues, make new acquaintances, and move to your favorite songs from area dance band, The R Factor. If you’re a first time conference attendee, please come to the Head of the House between 7:00-8:00 p.m. so you can meet members of GFOA’s Executive Board and staff, and we can meet each of you.

We look forward to seeing you there!

What are the details of this year’s closing event?
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
6:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Convention Center
Hall C and Auditorium

Adults: $50 on site
Children/teens under 18: $25 on site
Children under 5: Complimentary
Ticket price includes buffet, beverages, and entertainment.
Purchase tickets on GFOA’s website or on site at GFOA Registration in Lobby B.

• 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Dinner (Hall C)
• 8:00 p.m. Auditorium Doors Open
• 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. American English concert

Enjoy a buffet dinner in the Minneapolis Convention Center before heading over to the center’s custom-designed Auditorium for dessert and a night of music and dancing with Beatles tribute band, American English.

No refunds after Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

About Minneapolis

I am interested in golfing during my stay. What is the closest golf course to GFOA’s official conference hotels?

Our local committee has secured some early morning tee times (beginning at 7:00 a.m.) at two popular local courses on Sunday, May 18. Go to GFOA’s e-store for more information and to sign up.

Will tours be available?
As the two largest cities in the state, Minneapolis and St. Paul are twins in name only. With 22 lakes and miles of parkways, Minneapolis (the “City of Lakes”) reflects a natural beauty. Located on the Mississippi River, St. Paul is an historic river town with traditional architecture and newly restored riverfront that includes cultural venues, restaurants, and shops.

Tours will be offered throughout the conference and will include:

− Best of St. Paul/Gangster Tour
− A Day at the Mississippi
− Historic St. Paul
− Stillwater…Birthplace of Minnesota
− Twin Cities Highlights
− Twin Cities Highlights Tour with stop at the Mall of America
− Walk with Us (Loring Park, Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens)

Purchase tickets onsite at the Tours Desk in Lobby B. Space is limited. The tours will depart from outside the Main Drive of the
Minneapolis Convention Center (by Dunn Bros Coffee Shop).

How close is Nicollet Mall and Mall of America to GFOA’s official conference hotels?
Don’t miss a trip to Nicollet Mall or the Mall of America where you can shop tax-free on clothing and shoes!

Nicollet Mall is conveniently located in downtown Minneapolis and is within walking distance of GFOA’s official conference hotels. Enjoy shops and restaurants located along Nicollet Avenue.

The Mall of America is easily accessible by the Minneapolis Metro blue line. The GFOA’s official conference hotels are within walking distance of the Metro blue line. Take advantage of the Mall’s more than 500 shops, restaurants, and attractions including an aquarium, movie theater, and rides.

The Downtown Improvement District’s friendly Ambassadors as well as members of GFOA’s local conference committee will be available to help with directions, information, and a personal welcome.

What other activities can I plan for in Minneapolis?
There is so much to experience in Minneapolis that you’ll want to plan ahead! For information on activities for your stay, check out www.minneapolis.org.

See the Minnesota Twins play the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, May 17, at 6:10 p.m. at Target Field. Take advantage of discounted tickets for GFOA conference attendees. Go to GFOA’s website to read more and to purchase your tickets today!

What weather can be expected in May?
The beauty and sophistication of Minneapolis is amplified by striking seasonal variety. Spring’s sunny days and cool nights turn the area’s many parks green and colorful.

Average May High: 70° Low: 49°

For the latest weather information, go to weatherchannel.com.

General Inquiries

What is the dress attire for the preconference seminars and conference sessions?
The conference offers a great opportunity to network with old acquaintances and to make new connections. We recommend wearing business casual attire.

Where can I find the latest information on the conference?
Stay up-to-date on current developments by visiting GFOA’s website.

What should I do if I have a question that is not on this list?
We’re happy to assist you with any additional questions you may have on this year’s event. Please e-mail conference@gfoa.org.


We look forward to seeing you!