There has been a lot of buzz in the press lately about how the economy, and in particular the perception of corporate events as frivolous, have effected the meeting and event industry. I've noticed some companies tightening budgets, being more cautious about event spending, and waiting until the last minute to firm up plans. Luckily, in part because I offer an excellent service at affordable prices, my business hasn't taken a huge hit, and I've made up the difference in other areas. But many event related businesses have suffered.
Now the National Speakers Association (NSA) and the Global Speakers Federation (GSF) have teamed up to create a campaign to "reinforce the message, that contrary to media and political backlash, Meetings Matter." Their website promotes the idea that corporate meetings and events "develop leaders and a workforce ready to invent a profitable future for America... and help drive a vibrant and productive economy."
The US Travel Association has developed a similar approach, and developed a website on the idea that "Meetings Mean Business". For example, they point out that "For every dollar invested in business travel, companies realize $12.50 in incremental revenue."
If you're in an event related business or job, and concerned about cutbacks, there's a wealth of information out there on the true value of corporate events and how they relate to the bottom line. It's not just about lavish, extravagant, or frivolous spending: it really is about an investment in the bottom line.