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Forum FAQ's

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Where is the Forum?

The Virginia Beach Convention Center

1000 19th Street

Virginia Beach, VA, 23451

Website

 

 

 

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Map & Directions

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What is the recommended attire?

Recommended Forum attire is business casual; comfortable shoes are suggested as you will be walking between session rooms. A sweater or jacket will come in handy because meeting rooms tend to be cool.

 

What's new for Forum 2017?

The Public Procurement Forum has historically implemented many new and exciting features and announces them throughout the year!  Check out the What's New page for more information on these new developments as they are announced.

 

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What is the Dine Around?

Dine Around is an on-your-own event on Tuesday evening. Free shuttle bus service will run from the conference hotels to the Dine Around location between 5 pm and 10 pm.

 

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Why does the registration link take me to a Virginia Tech web page?

Virginia Tech’s Office of Continuing and Professional Education serves as the conference registrar for the Forum. As such, they create and maintain the registration pages and forms; and process payments and refunds on behalf of the Department of General Services. They also send confirmation emails when registration is completed and provide support for the registration process. The Forum registrar at Virginia Tech is listed under the Contact Us link on every Forum web page.

 

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How do I register and pay by credit card?

Register and pay for the Forum online using the following link: Registration

 

Registration is not confirmed until payment is received.

 

Credit Cards: American Express, VISA and MasterCard payments are accepted online.

Virginia Tech Continuing and Professional Education will send email confirmation when card payment is processed.  Print and save this email as your receipt.

 

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How do I register and pay by check?

To pay by check you must complete the online registration.  Once you have entered all of your information you will select the “pay by another method” and then “pay by check” you will then receive an invoice from a Virginia Tech Registrar with check payment mailing instructions.

 

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Can I pay for registration with a P-card?

According to the Commonwealth Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual – SPCC Topic 20355:  IAT for State Classes & Services (CARS) and Payment for State Classes & Services (Cardinal):

 

 “The purchasing card may be used to pay for classes/services provided by another state agency only if the agency accepts VISA…”

 

Continuing and Professional Education at Virginia Tech, which acts as registrar for the Forum, accepts VISA so using a P-Card to pay for Forum registration is permissible.

 

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What is the refund and cancellation policy?

Requests for refunds will be honored when received by (deadline TBA). Although refunds will not be possible after the announced deadline, another person may be substituted at any time for this program. A $60 administrative fee will be deducted for cancellations.

 

In the unlikely event that this program is canceled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, Virginia Tech, on behalf of the Department of General Services, will fully refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including cancellation or change charges assessed by airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organization.

 

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Where do I register when I get to the conference?

The conference registration desk will be located inside the convention center on the main floor.

 

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What breaks/meals are included?

  • Morning and afternoon breaks Monday and Tuesday; morning break Wednesday
  • Lunch Monday and Tuesday

 

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What if I have special dietary needs?

The Forum will provide vegetarian meals that generally accommodate common medically necessary dietary needs.  You should respond to the question accordingly when completing the registration form.  Personal dietary preferences cannot be accommodated as they vary too greatly for the catering staff to manage when serving large group meals.  Check with your hotel to confirm whether they can provide a mini-fridge in your room, which can be used to meet personal dietary requirements or preferences.

 

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Is the hotel rate subject to change?

The current state hotel per diem for Virginia Beach in November is $96. State lodging rates are governed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) rates effective October 1 of each year. Rate changes generally are announced in August. To determine whether the rate changes this fall, search for Virginia Beach as your travel destination using the search criteria on the website:

http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877

 

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Should I contact a hotel directly to reserve a room?

No, all Forum rooms must be booked through the central reservation system – PassKey. Individual hotels have been instructed not to offer the Forum room rate for rooms booked outside the contracted blocks. The Forum team has negotiated significant discounts for meeting space and transportation that rely on a fixed number of rooms booked through PassKey. Your cooperation in booking through PassKey helps ensure we can continue offering Forum registration at a modest cost.

 

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Will my PassKey confirmation number also be my hotel confirmation number?

No. PassKey will issue a confirmation number when you book your hotel room. When reservations close thirty days prior to the Forum, PassKey transmits reservation information in bulk to the conference hotels and the hotels issue confirmation numbers from their systems. Therefore, if you need to change or cancel your room more than thirty days prior to the conference, you need to do so through the PassKey system. Within thirty days of the conference, changes or cancellations must be made through the hotel using the hotel confirmation number.

 

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Do Forum hotels allow direct bill?

No, in the conference industry, it is general practice for hotels to allow direct bill only to the organization that has a lodging contract, in this case DGS. Although your agency may use direct bill for lodging on other agency business, conference lodging is treated differently and you should not anticipate being able to secure individual direct bill arrangements with any of the Forum hotels. Additionally, the Forum uses a central reservation system – PassKey – to book and track hotel reservations against the contracted room blocks. There is no facility within PassKey to support direct billing.

 

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Can my organization pay for lodging rooms using a P-Card if the P-Card holder is not attending the Forum?

 

Hotels have identified a credit authorization process that allows for payment of one or more lodging rooms with a small purchase charge card that will not necessarily be presented at check-in. The credit authorization process requires disclosure of only the last four digits of the credit card number on the authorization form. The entire credit card number will be associated with the online reservation and therefore full disclosure of the card number on the authorization form is not necessary. The credit authorization process replaces in-person card presentation  for lodging payment but does not eliminate the requirement for each lodger to present a separate card for incidentals billed to their room. Check with the hotel front desk manager or hotel revenue manager to use the credit authorization process.

 

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Do Forum hotels honor the state rate before or after the Forum?

The hotels honor the state rate three days before and three days after the Forum.

 

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How many VCA/VCO contact hours will I earn?

This information will be announced very soon.  To receive full credit, register before the sessions begin on Monday and attend all Forum events through their close of the Forum on Wednesday, including the Supplier Connect.

 

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How do I track my attendance?

Track all of your attendance hours on the tear-out recertification document included in the back of your Forum Guide.  Attach the Recertification Document to your Recertification Application when submitting it to DPS/VIP for VCA/VCO recertification.

 

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Will I receive an attendance certificate?

No, attendance certificates are not provided for the Forum with the exception of CPE documentation.  This step was taken to conserve paper and because it follows the practice of other certifying entities.

 

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How do I obtain documentation for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours?

Track all of your attendance on the tear-out recertification document included in the back of your Forum Guide.  Email the recertification document to vipregistration@dgs.virginia.gov to receive a CPE certificate.

 

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Note: Information on this website is subject to change.