APR 2012

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Home perspective Armed! putting it in For the past six months, basically ever since we released our 2012 Meeting Trends Report in November, I've had an extra pep in my step. That's because it became clear that the meetings industry had left the recession and AIG-related baggage at the train station, and was not only back on track, but moving full steam ahead. Then, in early April, as we began to release this issue, the GSA spending scandal broke and for the first time in months, I sat at my desk feeling deflated again. The worst part of the situation, for me, was the series of YouTube videos those GSA clowns made. Even big, important news can stay buried in the newspapers if there's no good way to illustrate it on TV, but with video, this scandal would play on and on. If you haven't seen the videos from the 2010 GSA regional conference and the employee skits that mock excessive spend- ing—then I encourage you to check them out on the Huffington Post's YouTube channel. Then, ask yourself, "Do elements of your meeting—meant to entertain—go too far?" When it came time to design our cover, our production manager viewed some of the videos and became confused. "Why were they doing this?" she asked. "How could they be so blatant?" I had no good answer, even as I thought back to my own experience with bureaucracy as an intern with a branch of the federal government in D.C. What I do know is that everyone needs checks and balances, even meeting planners. To help make sense of this scandal, for our cover story, we compiled some words of wisdom for you to incorporate into your professional practices. Whether you're a government planner or not, I encourage you to read what we share from a former government planner, the Society of Government Meeting Professionals and others as a result of this scandal. We should not only think about how our jobs relate to the meetings that we plan, but think about how we are all ambassadors for the meetings industry as a whole. You'll find additional ways to do this in our features about Corporate Meetings as well as Green Meetings. The good news is that despite this setback, the meetings industry is more armed than ever before to show the value of what we do. Data has been compiled about our strength to the U.S. economy, planners know that ROI is more important than ever before and together we will continue to prove that "Meetings Mean Business!" Marlane Andrea Bundock is the associate publisher of ConventionSouth Media Group. Scan this tag & contact me with your thoughts! ConventionSouth (ISSN 1074-0627) is published monthly by Covey Communications Corp., P.O. Box 2267, Gulf Shores, AL 36547. It is mailed under Standard mail rates. POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED TO ConventionSouth Subscription Office, P.O. Box 2267, Gulf Shores, AL 36547. Editorial and advertising offices are located at 2001 West First St., Gulf Shores, AL 36542. Editorial ideas and manuscripts are welcomed. However, all unsolicited manuscripts and photographs must be sent with return postage; otherwise ConventionSouth cannot be responsible for returning them. Copyright 2012 by Covey Communications Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. Robert Mandelbaum PKF Consulting Meg Slentz Nagy, CMP Meetings To Order Sue Walton May & Williams Ltd. James Hobbs Meeting Expectations Loriann White, CMM, CMP Hospitality Performance Network - Global Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase ConventionSouth EXECUTIVE OFFICES 2001 West First Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 2267 Gulf Shores, AL 36547 TELEPHONE (251) 968-5300 E-MAIL FAX (251) 968-4532 WEBSITE PUBLISHER J. Talty OʼConnor ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Marlane Bundock ASSISTANT EDITOR Kristen S. McIntosh DESIGN SERVICES MANAGER Kelly Williams GRAPHIC DESIGNER/ Jennifer Kelly INTERACTIVE MEDIA COORDINATOR MARKETING SERVICES Pamela T. Redden MANAGERS Alicia Lake MANAGER, TRAFFIC Dorothy P. White AND PROMOTIONS MARKETING COORDINATOR Beth Strickland ACCOUNTANT Latricia Nall CIRCULATION MANAGER Ashley Brokowsky DATA ENTRY SPECIALIST Stephanie Eckman CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Janis Helton Marcia Bradford Michelle Martin EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jenny Anderson, CMP National Association of College & University Business Officers David Bruce, MMP, HTS CMP Meeting Services Jeff Hurt Velvet Chainsaw Consulting 6 ConventionSouth APRIL 2012 www.con v

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