Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Model Policy for Meetings, Events and Incentive/Recognition Travel for Those Businesses Benefiting from TARP Funds

The meeting and travel industry has developed a Model Board Policy for meetings, events, and incentive travel that is designed for businesses receiving TARP monies. It is recommended that any agency receiving government monies consider adopting guidelines similar to these.

The guidelines clearly emphasize that meetings, events, and incentive/recognition travel serve legitimate business purposes and are cost-justified. They propose that any meeting exceeding $75,000 must have a written justification. It also suggests that at least 90 percent of the incentive program attendees shall be other than senior executives from the host organization. The U.S. Travel Association has published these guidelines along with examples of legitimate business purposes for meetings, events and travel. If your business expects to receive TARP monies, you should definitely look to have a policy in place to address meetings and conferences. To get started, you can download a copy of the guidelines here.

- Linda Begbie, Meeting & Conference Planner