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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

The Economy is in the Tank – Let’s Have a Meeting!

in: Meeting Planning Economics

It may seem counter-intuitive for your company to spend money on meetings and travel right now.  But meetings, events and incentive related travel may be just the boost the economy needs.  According to the US Travel Association business-related travel, which includes meetings, events and incentives, “is vital to our national economy and essential to sustaining well-paying American jobs, the health of large and small businesses and the solvency of public services supported by federal, state and local tax-revenue.”

Just take a look at the statistics specific to meetings and events:

  • Creates 940,000 jobs to the American workforce in local communities
  • Generates 26 billion in wages critical to local economies across the United States
  • Provides 15 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state and local level
  • Contributes 99 billion in spending to the U.S. economy

When companies put a stop to their meetings and events, it is an economic blow to the American worker and the communities they serve.  It would behoove us to recognize the impact that meeting-related travel has in our own economic recovery.  The loss of jobs created through meetings, events and incentive travel would cause the unemployment rate to rise significantly – .6 points – as well as cost American households and average of $129 dollars in additional taxes.

On the whole, meeting, event and incentive travel creates $99 billion in spending, $15 billion in taxes and 940,000 jobs.  That is a sobering thought for those businesses that see meeting-related travel as a “luxury” and cut it out of the picture at the first sign of economic crisis.

Rather than cut your meetings, re-think your meeting strategy.  Do your homework before you even begin planning your meeting and make the most of your meeting dollar.  The three main things to consider are:

  • What is the objective of the meeting; make this easy to understand and attainable. Provide numerous opportunities to make meeting attendees aware of the objective through email communication/promotion and by utilizing social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube).  This can be quite a bit more cost effective than print and your attendees are more than likely already spending their time in these arenas.
  • Establish a time schedule for the meeting and stick to it.  By allowing for too many tangents or distractions the meeting objective can easily become lost or at the very least diminish its impact.  Make sure to assign someone the job of “time-keeper.” Their goal is to keep the presenters and attendees on task, on objective and avoid any micro-managing pitfalls.
  • Provide all participants with the meeting guidelines.  Clearly communicate their responsibilities, the expectations you have of them, and how their attendance, promptness and participation are vital to the meeting’s success.

By keeping in mind the importance your organization’s contribution to our nation’s economy, you set in place an exemplary position to your employees, clients, community and reputation.  By then making the most of your meetings through clear objectives, time schedules and guidelines, you will achieve a meeting success that will positively affect your organization’s long range goals and the economy that supports it!


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