If you're wondering what your event can do to help out in the wake of the September 11 tragedies, consider these three stories.
- Give NYC a Hug
Meeting Professionals International planned to relocate its MPI Foundation Meeting, originally scheduled for Boston, to the New York Hilton and Towers October 26-27. “We made the decision to relocate about 10 days after [the attacks],” says MPI President and CEO Edwin L. Griffin Jr., who says they did it “to show our support for the New York City, and the hotels and the airlines that serve the city.” Griffin says they revised the schedule to include an industry summit to address the impact of September 11 and subsequent events.
- Stay the Course
Software giant Microsoft plans to go ahead with its scheduled October 25 kickoff of the Windows XP operating system in Times Square and Rockefeller Center, complete with a free concert and an appearance by founder and chairman Bill Gates. Right after the September 11 attacks, Microsoft joined with AOL Time Warner, Yahoo!, eBay, amazon.com, and Cisco Systems to form the American Liberty Partnership, an Internet-industry initiative that is connecting people who want to help with the organizations that need it the most.
- Spare Some Change
At press time in mid-October, this year's SpeechTEK Exposition and Educational Conference was readying to host more than 2,000 attendees at the New York Hilton & Towers. John Kelly, founder and president of Amcomm, the Lexington, Ky. — based company that owns the show, has decided how his event can help its host city. Even though attendance is expected to be way off, Kelly plans to donate some of the show proceeds, as well as the difference in the cost of the event's scaled-down networking reception and the cost of the more elaborate affair originally planned, to the relief effort. “We'll fall short of the 3,000attendees and 500 paid conference attendees that we'd hoped for,” he says. “But look — we have no problems as an organization compared with the victims' families. … We went ahead with the event for two reasons. First, it simply was the right thing to do. Second, our conference is vital to the speech communications industry — especially security applications.”