Annual Conference FAQ 2020

Please see the following list of frequently asked questions to best assist you with the registration process and any additional questions regarding GFOA’s 114th Annual Conference, May 17-20, 2020, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.



My government is a member of GFOA. Does that make me eligible to receive the membership rate for the Annual Conference?
Each government/agency has a number of individual memberships included on their account, alotted based on the membership tier, which are assigned to designated staff. Only those individuals who have been assigned memberships are eligible to receive the member rate, but we do allow for a one-for-one substitution for government entities if one of your members cannot attend the Annual Conference⁠—just mark the information in section 1 on the conference registration form or e-mail the name and complete contact information (title, government, address, e-mail address, and phone number) of the replacement to GFOA Conference so that the registration can be transferred to the substitute. If all of your government's allotted memberships have been assigned, it is easy to add more individual memberships to your government’s account by submitting the membership application.


I am a member of my state/provincial GFOA. Does this make me eligible to receive the GFOA member discount rates?
Membership with your state/provincial association is separate from GFOA membership. However, if you join today you can take advantage of the lower rate as well as receive the new member discount for $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 their membership number. If you have misplaced your login and/or password information, we’re happy to help you. Please e-mail GFOA.

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 through one individual's account. Please submit group registrations together with payment via mail, fax, or scan and e-mail GFOA. Groups of 3 or more submitting their registration forms together are eligible for group discounts!


What are the conference registration fees?
Click here for information about conference registration.


Can I register for the 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 via mail (203 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60601), fax (312.977.4806), or scan and e-mail GFOA Conference.


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 the registrant only as a PDF attachment.


What are the dates for the cancellation and refund policy?

  • March 26, 2020: No fee for cancellations received before this date.
  • March 27, 2020: Cancellations postmarked between March 27 and April 29 will be refunded, less a 25 percent service fee.
  • April 30, 2020: Cancellations postmarked between April 30 and May 12 will be refunded, less a 50 percent service fee.
  • May 13, 2020: No refunds will be issued this date forward.


I cannot attend the full conference. Do you have a one-day rate available?

GFOA’s one-day rate is valid on either May 17, 18, 19, or 20, and provides access to conference sessions (for CPE credit), general sessions, meetings, luncheons, and exhibits held on that date (see below for details). This is also a great way to train junior staff in your organization and save on travel expenses. Click here for registration information and forms.

Sunday, May 17 - Conference begins at 1:30 pm – Includes GFOA Welcome Reception
Monday, May 18 - Includes delegate luncheon
Tuesday, May 19 - Includes delegate luncheon
Wednesday, May 20 - Conference concludes at 12:15 pm


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. Food and beverages will be available. On Monday and Tuesday, conference attendees are invited to participate in the delegate luncheons.


What if I have allergies/dietary restrictions?
The caterer at the convention center will have vegetarian and vegan options available upon request—let your server know as you are seated if you require a special meal. If you have allergies or restrictions beyond those options, please e-mail GFOA Conference.



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 the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, there will be a dedicated line for you to pick up a conference badge and a First-time Annual Conference Attendee pin⁠—just look for the sign posted at the registration counter. We ask for all GFOA attendees to join us in saying “Welcome!”


Will there be any dedicated events held for the recipients of First-time Annual Conference Attendee Scholarships?
A brunch will take place on Sunday, May 17, 2020, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for recipients of the First-time Attendee Scholarship to connect with their mentors, meet GFOA’s Executive Board, and network with peers.

Who is eligible to apply for the scholarship?

Click here for scholarship eligibility requirements.


What does the scholarship include?
The scholarship will be awarded in the amount of the full-conference registration fee* to participate in the 114th Annual Conference. Preconference seminars and tickets to the Tuesday closing event are not included in the conference scholarship.

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


Does the scholarship also include the preconference seminar registration fees?
The preconference seminars are not included in the Annual Conference registration scholarship. Click here if you’re interested in registering for a preconference seminar.

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 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 on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis.

How do I apply for the scholarship?
You can download an application here.


I was awarded the scholarship, but found out before the start of the Annual Conference that I cannot participate in the event. Will I be charged the $125 fee?
If you find out you cannot attend and notify GFOA, you will not be charged the no-show fee of $125. You must contact GFOA to withdraw from the program to avoid the no-show fee.


Is there a deadline date to submit the scholarship application?
Because schoalrships are awarded on a rolling basis, we encourage you to send in your application as soon as possible to ensure that you receive one of the 50 scholarships allotted to your state/province. Scholarship applications will be accepted through April 30, 2020.


Is the application process complete once I submit my form?
A completed application must include a credit card in Step 7 of the application. Incomplete applications will not be processed in the order they were received—the application will be eligible for review only once it is complete with credit card information for the no-show fee provided in Step 7.


How do I know if I was selected to receive a scholarship?
You will receive an automated confirmation of your conference registration along with a $0 invoice, since the registration fee is waived. A GFOA staff member will also e-mail you to let you know that you’ve been selected to receive this year’s scholarship. If you haven't heard back regarding your application, e-mail GFOA's first annual conference contact regarding the status.



I’m already registered for the conference. How do I reserve badges for my guests?
It’s easy to reserve badges for your guests. You can request additional guest badges by e-mailing If your guests are children/young adults under 21, 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. Please go ahead and pre-register them so they can receive a badge to access these events.




Preconference Seminars

What are preconference seminars?
Maximize your educational experience by participating in seminars designed so you can take a more in-depth look into current issues or topics before the conference even begins! GFOA’s preconference seminars offer a great opportunity for you to earn additional CPE credits. This year, eight preconference seminars will take place on Friday, May 15, 2020, and Saturday, May 16, 2020.


What are this year’s preconference offerings? How do I register? Will breakfast or lunch be available?
Click here for details.

Does the 10% discount for a group of 3 or more people attending the conference include the preconference seminars?
The discount only applies to the Annual Conference registration fee.


Where are the preconference seminars being held?
Unless otherwise noted, they are being held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.


Conference Sessions

What is the address of the convention center where the sessions are being held?
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70130


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. Session descriptions and speakers will be posted to GFOA’s website beginning in fall 2019, with the full program schedule released in early 2020.


Who are this year’s keynote speakers?
The keynote speakers will be announced as they are finalized.


Conference Badges

When will I receive my conference delegate badge?
Conference badges will be mailed to all paid delegates in May 2020. If you do not receive your badge in the mail or need to make a change to your badge, we ask that you please resolve any adjustments onsite by visiting GFOA Registration. Appropriate signs will be marked for lines where you can pick up a badge or make changes or additions.

The tentative conference registration hours follow:

  • Saturday, May 16: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday, May 17: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Monday, May 18: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 19: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday, May 20: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

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 list of exhibitors posted on GFOA’s website to plan ahead what booths you would like to visit.


When I will receive my exhibitor badge?
badges will be mailed in May 2020 to exhibitors who paid to participate in this year’s sessions. Complimentary “Exhibitor” badges to access the hall will be available for pick up during GFOA registration hours. Please go to the “Exhibitor” line at GFOA Registration. The badges will be organized by company and one representative from each company is encouraged to pick up the badges for their booth staff.


How do I make a change and/or addition to our booth staff?
If you have any changes or additions to make to your booth staff, please e-mail GFOA Conference as soon as possible before the start of the conference. If you have changes to make onsite, please resolve them in the “Exhibitor” line at GFOA Registration in the convention center.

If you are interested in exhibiting, click here to access the contract and floorplan.

If you have a company to suggest that you think would be a great exhibitor for the 2020 Annual Conference, please e-mail GFOA Conference.


Sponsorship Opportunities

How do I become a conference sponsor?
Sponsorship is a great way to get your company noticed beyond the Exhibit Hall floor. Click here to view this year’s opportunities and pledge form. If you have a custom idea, contact Barb Mollo.




Who is the GFOA’s official housing company?
Experient will be the ONLY official housing company for this event and will not contact attendees directly to make a reservation. Booking through GFOA’s official housing provider will ensure that attendees receive the GFOA discounted rate and are working with a reputable company and that credit card information is secure.

What hotels are included in the official GFOA block? How do I reserve a room?
Click here to view a map of GFOA’s official conference hotels, make online housing reservations, and access the housing reservation form.


Are the GFOA official hotels within walking distance of the convention center?

GFOA will run a courtesy shuttle between the Courtyard by Marriott - Iberville, Courtyard by Marriott Downtown, JW Marriott, New Orleans Marriott, Renaissance Pere Marquette and Sheraton New Orleans and the convention center during the duration of the conference. All other hotels in the GFOA official block are within walking distance to the convention center. Specific routes and schedules will be posted as the information becomes available.




What is the best way to travel to New Orleans? Does GFOA have any arranged travel discounts? Once I’m in New Orleans, how do I get around?
Click here to read about travel options. Airline discounts are included in the link.

A brand new terminal opened at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) on November 6, 2019. All 16 commercial airlines that fly to MSY will operate from the new terminal located at 1 Terminal Drive, Kenner, LA.


Will 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 public transportation options that will take you from the airport to your hotel. Click here to read more.

I am renting a car. Do you have any arranged discounts?
GFOA also has arranged for discounts on rental cars through Hertz. Click here for details.


GFOA Social Events

Will there be a Welcome Reception and Closing Event?
Click here for details.


About New Orleans

Will tours be available?
Tours will be offered. Click here to read about this year’s offerings and to sign up online.


What weather can be expected in May?
Springtime visitors to New Orleans will find balmy, sunny days with average highs in the 80s, and comfortable evenings. Average high temperature for the month of May is 85 degrees and average low is 68 degrees.


What other activities can I plan for in New Orleans?
Click here for more information about visiting New Orleans.


Are Kosher dining options available in New Orleans?
New Orleans & Company (formerly the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau) recommends:


General Inquiries

What is the dress attire for the preconference seminars and conference sessions?
We recommend wearing business casual attire and comfortable shoes.

Where can I find the latest information on the conference?
Stay up-to-date on current developments by visiting the “Annual Conference” tab on 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 GFOA Conference.


We look forward to seeing you!