Begin Main Content Area

​Educational Sessions

This year's event offers a dynamic program of educational sessions providing instruction on doing business with government, procurement best practices, strengthening your business efficiency capabilities, and much more!

Each day, attendees will have 6 sessions to choose from.  These sessions will be repeated in the afternoon, so select the two you are most interested in attending each day.  

Here's a tip: organizations with multiple attendees, attend different sessions and share what your learned with your colleagues.  Divide and conquer to gain the most out of your Expo experience!



Day 1 AM workshops.png Day 1 PM Workshops.png

Benefits of Purchasing Through the COSTARS Program


Session designed for:
Procurement professionals that receive public funding for the procurement of supplies and services
COSTARS is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's cooperative purchasing program.  Join the COSTARS team to learn about the COSTARS Program, including brief overviews of COSTARS contracts, the COSTARS website, utilizing member resources, and how to become a COSTARS member.  This session is designed for purchasers.  Suppliers interested in participation in the program - sign up for the COSTARS on session day 3!
​Doing Business with the Commonwealth



Session designed for:
Suppliers
This session is a must attend for companies that want to sell materials or services to state agencies.  Commonwealth representatives from the Supplier Service Center and the Bureau of Procurement will provide an overview on registering with the Commonwealth, eAlerts, bidding on statewide contracts.
​DGS Small & Small Diverse Business Program



Session designed for:
Suppliers
This presentation is designed to educate small and small diverse business owners on how to do
business with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Topics include an overview of PA DGS’ Smalland Small Diverse Business Program, how to register your business as a self-certified Small Business or a DGS verified Small Diverse Business, the benefits of registering, and how to locate contracting opportunities.
​Stress Management



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
It is not uncommon for individuals to endure stress from time to time. However, over this last year, for many people stress has been at an all time high and our “new normal” is to be constantly exposed to different stressors that include but not limited to excessive workloads and deadlines, marathon virtual meetings, managing work and family obligations, to name a few. This workshop will address how stress affects our mental and physical health and and how we can recognize and reduce stressors and stressful situations, better manage and thrive in a more productive work life balance. 
Best Procurement Practices for Local Government



Session designed for:
Procurement professionals that receive public funding for the procurement of supplies and services
Public procurement is a balance between being fiscally responsible and complying with procurement policies and regulations. COSTARS can be a valuable tool in meeting both of these needs for local public
government. This session will highlight how COSTARS contracts fulfill the requirements of the PA Procurement Code, discuss benefits of membership, demostrate how to navigate the COSTARS contracts, and how to work with vendors to obtain the best possible value for your spend.
​Innovations in Procurement



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
As procurement professionals, there are requirements and regulations that we must adhere to.  However, there are still opportunites to embrace outside-the-box thinking and drive innovation in our procurement .  In this session, attendees will learn innovative procurement strategies to help drive down costs, solve business problems, skyrocket productivity and drive process development.



Day 2 AM workshops.png Day 2 PM Workshops.png

​Negotiations



Session designed for:
State agencies & procurement professionals that receive public funding for the procurement of supplies and services
​Negotiation is the art of compromise.  The most successful negotiations result in an outcome that not only satisfies but benefits all parties.  Come prepared to take notes as pariticpants will leave this session with tips on providing the most value to your organization through artful negotiations.
National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) (CEU)



Session designed for:
State agencies & procurement professionals that receive public funding for the procurement of supplies and services
​NASPO's mission is to advance public procurement through promotion of best practices, education, professional development, research and innovative procurement strategies.  Learn from a NASPO trainer and earn continuing education credits.
Effective Management



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
​Are you an effective leader or manager? Do you know the difference? Management is a vital part of any agency or business. How well a business is managed can make or break it - and in this new normal of decentralized work and communication, it can be even more challenging to lead and manage teams and workflow. This workshop is especially for individuals in management or those who aspire to be in management who have an interest in learning the tools and tips for being an effective leader and manager. Learn how to motivate team members, boost employee performance, build effective teams, delegate work, and inspire team members to excel.
Organizational Resilience: Stress Testing Your Supply Chain  



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
​Supply chain disruptions continue to grow at an alarming rate, with the effects of COVID-19 directly impacting the continuity of supply. Is your supply chain vulnerable?
Join us in this tabletop exercise and see whether your supply chain could withstand the test. The
exercise will involve a miniature city complete with detailed structures (commercial and residential),
industry (factories and service industries), and infrastructure (bridges, roads, and railways.) Trained
instructors will take you through a disruption scenario and test the preparedness of a supply chain.
Lots of opportunity for interactive discussion and teamwork, as well as observant evaluators.
Emergency Management 



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
​Over the last year and a half, we were all reminded just how important it is to have an emergency management plan and continually check in to make revisions as our capabilities change.  In this session we'll hear from PEMA on best practices in local and state emergency management, lessons we learned in the commonwealth during the pandemic and looking to the future in our emergency management and preparedness.
Procurated: Making Well-Informed Purchasing Decisions by Leveraging Your Procurement Community's Experience



Session designed for:
State agencies & procurement professionals that receive public funding for the procurement of supplies and services
​Choosing the best supplier is an important decision that has the potential to impact the lives of every
citizen in Pennsylvania, but the long-standing reference system is broken. Suppliers often provide procurement officials cherry-picked references that impart limited insight on past performance and make it difficult to predict future outcomes. In this informative  session, the Procurated team will lay out not only the challenges that the broken reference process creates but also describe how an innovative technology platform, Procurated, is solving this problem forever. Through a first-in-the-nation partnership with COSTARS, Procurated allows Pennsylvania political subdivisions to read reviews from other governments, non-profits and schools across the state so they can make well-informed purchasing decisions.


 

Day 3 AM workshops.png Day 3 PM Workshops.png

New to COSTARS!  Use e-Bidding to Become a COSTARS-authorized Supplier!



Session designed for:
Suppliers

​COSTARS is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's cooperative purchasing program. Prospective
COSTARS suppliers will learn how to become a COSTARS-authorized Supplier, including a tutorial
on the necessary bid submission process and the importance of actively marketing to COSTARS members.
​Supplier Forums - Meeting Facilitation Tips



Session designed for:
State agencies
​What is a supplier forum and how can it help shape a procurement project? Supplier forums, created based upon input from the supplier community, help shape procurement projects by seeking input about specific upcoming solicitations. Come see how to conduct and/or participate in a supplier forum. You can gain valuable information upfront from experts that can help shape a procurement
project before it begins.
​Effective Customer Service



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
​What is customer service and why is it so important?  In this session, we’ll also investigate the qualities we value most in exceptional customer service exchanges, give focus to identifying our different customers, and spend time addressing customer service quick wins. 
Show Me the Money!



Session designed for:
Suppliers
​This presentation will cover important topics to ensure you receive prompt payment! As the Commonwealth goes paperless, learn about signing up for ACH Direct Deposit, Paperless
Remittance Advice data tools, and     E-Invoicing. Presenters will provide information on how you can decrease the potential for fraud and ensure your information is secure. Presenters will also review helpful information and the latest news accessible through the PA Supplier Portal and
Services for Vendors Web Site.
Successful Teleworking



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
​Teleworking allows greater flexibility because you don’t have to physically be in the office, but it is more than just working from home. It requires one to have self-discipline, self-motivation and effective time management skills. Within this workshop, we will provide best practices and tips for successful teleworking as well as professional do’s and don'ts for virtual meetings, video conferencing and electronic correspondence. 
Having Difficult Conversations



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
​What keeps us from having the conversations we need to have? Learn how to have the difficult
conversations to effectively change together meaning and understanding and become an effective
change leader.



Day 4 AM workshops.png Day 4 PM Workshops.png

​Procurement



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
​Join the Department of General Services, Bureau of Procurement's (BOP) Chief Procurement Officer, Janice Pistor for an overview on the latest in procurement topics within DGS/BOP.  What is new?  What's on the horizon?  Explore how DGS's roadmap may open opportunities for your organization.
Time Management



Session designed for:
All Expo participants
​In life we can control and change many things, but the one thing we have no control over is time. It stops for no one! So how do we better manage it? This workshop will examine how you currently organize your time and help you to identify your priorities and determine the best way to organize your time to be the most productive and efficient within the confines of a given work day.  We will also review a few time-saving tools that can help you stay better organized and on time.
Negotiations



Session designed for:
State agencies & procurement professionals that receive public funding for the procurement of supplies and services
​​Negotiation is the art of compromise.  The most successful negotiations result in an outcome that not only satisfies but benefits all parties.  Come prepared to take notes as pariticpants will leave this session with tips on providing the most value to your organization through artful negotiations.
Supplier Roadmap / JAGGAER



Session designed for:
Suppliers
​This presentation is designed for Commonwealth suppliers to gain an understanding of the JAGGAER Solution. Topics will include supplier registration, the proposal process, submitting a bid, and resources available to suppliers.
Marketing & Sales



Session designed for:
Suppliers
​Existing and prospective COSTARS Suppliers will gain tips for marketing their business to COSTARS members, including examples of ads, websites, events, flyers, and press releases.
Composite sales data and how it is developed will be reviewed and analyzed.
​RFP Process



Session designed for:
Suppliers
​The RFP process can be daunting and an investment in time.  This session will solve the mystery of RPF's by illustrating the right approach to RFP creation, and explain the process from supplier forums, scoring, goal setting to selection, so you will be more confident as you submit proposals to public sector purchasers in the future.





PA-Procurement-2019-2.jpg



Small Banner.jpg