On September 11, 2002, many planners will find themselves — where else? — at a meeting. The question is: How to recognize the significance of the date without getting in the way of the meeting's agenda.
Megan Sinesiou, meeting planner for the American Society of Naval Engineers, says she's planned “a moment of silence, a color-guard presentation, and an inspirational video” for her organization's September 11 to 12 meeting.
Tony Korody, president of FEP Inc., a planning firm in Santa Monica, Calif., knows just what he'll suggest to observe the day if he's asked by a client. “I'd have a flag on stage at half-mast, and I'd have whoever's conducting the meeting lead a moment of silence,” he says. “Also, I'd pipe in live to the meeting whatever was being done on the television networks to honor the day, if it was being done at the same time as the meeting.”
Jeff Fife, business developer for Waynes-burg, Va.-based RentQuick.com, an audiovisual equipment vendor, expects that most organizations will memorialize the day at their meetings and events. “On that day we can recognize the terrible losses we had on September 11, 2001, and at the same time celebrate the fact that we're back doing business on September 11, 2002.”
“My guess is that there will have to be heightened levels of security on that date,” says Rick Werth, president of Event and Meeting Security Services, Franklin, Tenn. His Web site, www.eventsecurity.com, has posted special tips on how to prepare for a September 11, 2002, meeting. “If a client wants to meet on that date, then they need to start today, right now, with a threat assessment and preparations.”