ELGL Digital Week 9: All ELGL Members Are Created Equal

There is no summer vacation for the ELGL Digital Work Group. We continued our work with week. I have overcome the bird flu to provide a recap of the digital action. As always, comment, email or Tweet us if you have questions or ideas for the Digital Group.


By Kent Wyatt, ELGL Co-Founder

You should know that I was walking around Tigard (gotta get my steps in) while participating on the Digital Group’s Google Hangout. I even passed the famous Dolan vs. Tigard memorial.

I didn’t take any notes but I have strong opinions on this topic so notes are not necessary.

On with the action….

The central theme this week was the role of vendors in ELGL. My personal take is that all ELGL members are created equal – students, individuals, organizations, and vendors. The biggest difference being that all-in members receive unlimited job postings and 10 individual memberships. Otherwise, even steven.

For the most part the group was in agreement on this topic, there were differing opinions on the role of vendors at ELGL events. Since you are an award-winning member, you remember the recent survey and results on the question, “Are Vendor Halls Necessary?” I spent thousands of words at the ICMA Conference last year expressing my disdain of vendor halls – Konferencing in KCMO.

A number of companies, including ArchiveSocial, decline to sponsor ELGL events because of our vendor hall ban. We understand that and accept that. Frankly, ELGL is not a good match for vendor hall driven companies. We want representatives from vendors at the table and participating in our events, not behind the table handing out brochures.

Booths in vendor halls at major conferences are expensive. The cost has put companies out of business. A friend of ELGL provided us with the following 2015 costs for exhibiting at major local government conferences.

  • APA Conference:  $2,400
  • Government Finance Officers Association: $1,912
  • National Association of Counties: $4,900
  • ICMA Annual Conference: $3,580
  • National League of Cities: $4,900
  • Alliance for Innovation: $1,850

These costs vary and are higher based on location and size. Vendors also face unexpected cost such as internet costs ranging from $895 to $3,000.

Not all of the digital work group shares my strong opinion. We’re working on finding common ground. We’re considering a number of ideas for cultivating more valuable interactions between ELGL and vendors.