Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Meetings are still relevant!

I’ve just returned from an educational conference and tradeshow put on by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) called Affordable Meetings. It was held June 10-11 at the convention center in San Jose and was attended by approximately 450-500 meeting planners from many different organizations of every type and size, including associations, corporations, government, military, religious, incentives, social, ethnic, special events, sports and educational groups.

Exhibitors at the tradeshow (200 of them!) included hotels, university conference centers, unique meeting sites, convention and visitor bureaus, transportation companies, software companies, audiovisual companies, destination management companies and other meeting and convention suppliers.

In the seminars and on the tradeshow floor there was the expected talk of business slowdown from both the planners and suppliers, however most everybody was upbeat and hopeful about continuing to do business together, which means – having meetings and conferences!

For another take on the importance of meetings, check out this video from CBS News by Ben Stein.

Staying current is critical in these rapidly changing times, knowing the latest in legislative mandates and travel restrictions is so important when considering holding a conference or meeting. By networking with peers and attending educational conferences such as HSMAI, meeting planners can be equipped with the information necessary to coordinate successful and cost-effective events.

I definitely learned some new tools and tricks that I will be sharing with you in the weeks ahead to make your Food & Beverage budget go a little farther, how to think clearly under pressure, and more!

- Ginger Myrick, Meeting Planner