Remember the last time you attended a corporate or association meeting? Remember how you lounged around doing nothing, learning nothing? Remember how there was so much time between sessions that you had time to go back to your room, take a nap, work out, play a couple of rounds of golf?
OF COURSE NOT! You don’t remember it because it never happened! You attended a meeting because work had to be accomplished, goals needed to be achieved, information needed to be disseminated, customer retention strategies needed to be developed and executed, and relationships and teams and synergy and business growth needed to be built. The challenge was finding time to attend every session that would help you sell more, see more, succeed more.
This is SpeakerSue’s rant! Remember after 9/11 how it became patriotic to fly again, spend again, retain our way of life. Well this is my one woman show saying it’s time to meet again because it’s the patriotic thing to do!
Yes, of course, I have a stake in it. I speak for a living and I’m still busy! Smart companies understand that when times are tough, the tough get stronger and better prepared. Smart companies are not afraid of the PERCEPTION of holding a meeting in a place that may (goodness forbid!) be nice, and conducive to a productive, profitable, professional meeting environment. They are still meeting, educating, enlightening and oh here it comes again – even entertaining their associates and customers. They know that the importance of getting away from office interruptions, bringing everyone together, providing new skills and motivating them to think like winners even when the win point keeps changing are exactly what is needed to survive and flourish.
If you haven’t read this February 28, WSJ, No Entertaining, Please …It’s Golf! article and you’re a Democrat like I am (or not), it’s time to tell Barney Frank and John Kerry that it’s patriotic to meet – not the other way around.
From the WSJ article: “It’s not the clients and company executives who suffer if companies cancel their events. They’ll find other fun things to do that weekend. It’s the 20 guys who valet-park cars for minimum wage plus tips, the 15 cooks in the kitchen, the six dishwashers, the rigging guys who put up the stage, the housekeepers who make up the hotel rooms where people stay,” ….
It’s time to stop acting like spending money on meetings is a waste of money and time to realize that meetings help the companies holding them grow business, energize their hard working employees, thank their superstars and make money.
What happens in Vegas, reaches the entire world.
Robert E. Lang, director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virgina Tech wrote this in the Las Vegas Sun, ” … to outsiders a trade show can seem trivial … Their ability to have access to the entire industry — if just for several days a year — can provide the basis for key contacts that lead to everything … they can exchange ideas in person. The fact that Las Vegas is especially fun and frivolous — an adult Disneyland — creates even more incentive for people to attend its conferences…”
The article continues: “As for the moral of the story, yes, there is one. Sure, we need a new era of responsibility, but we shouldn’t push austerity so hard that it is ultimately self-defeating. Sometimes junkets are junkets, but sometimes they are assemblies that make the world go ’round and provide the truest form of economic stimulus.”
Read this Financial Times article to be reminded of how much is at stake when people stop meeting. The reality is that meetings can not only help corporations profit, they can help the nation prosper.
Start passing the word. Meet! It’s the patriotic thing to do.
Please pass this on to everyone you know!