Welcome to Planners Pointers!
Recently the Convention Industry Council released a study called The Economic Significance of Meetings on the U.S. Economy. It gave some amazing figures
1.8 Million corporate and business meetings, trade shows, conventions, congresses,
incentive events and other meetings take place in the U.S., resulting in:
$263 Billion in spending
1.7 M US Jobs
$106B contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
$14.3B federal tax revenue
$11.3B state and local tax revenue
$60B in U.S. labor income
Astounding isn't it? If you want to see the full report go to www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com
All those figures are wonderful news to meeting planners because it says that meetings have a value and contribute to the economic wellbeing of this nation. But the value of a meeting for most is not about the money spent. While hosting meetings is important, the most important value to attendee is what goes on at meeting/conference. The programming, exhibitors, and speakers that are what is of value to an attendee. It is what makes them want to come.
But not always -- Seth Godin in a recent blog talked about why he attends conferences which is the conversations that happen outside the planned sessions or events and I couldn't agree more with his statement. I will not forget the MPI World Education Conference I attended several years ago. I got to meet some of the biggest guru in the meetings biz including Corbin Ball and Joan Eisenstodt outside of their sessions. I learned from the exhibitors that I met because I got to ask questions about their products that ads or articles in magazines don't always address.
The value of a meeting is the face to face interaction. This is why face to face meetings will never go away. You can start relationships anywhere. But relationships get cemented by face to face encounters. Business is what happens after relationships are formed.
My Planners Pointers for today is when working on the elements of your next meeting allow for lots of one to one interaction. Create spaces where people can go to meet and mingle. Everyone will thank you for that.