- Robert A. Hall, the executive director of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in Madison, Wis., was outraged when he received a solicitation from a resort announcing its new Meeting Planner Reward Program. The program gives meeting planners a point for every dollar their organization spends at the resort. "They can then use the points to earn ''gifts, including new cars!'' he wrote.
"Am I old-fashioned to be appalled at the ethics of this, or to think that accepting a gift of a car for booking meetings should be grounds for termination?" Hall asked. "In my view, a meeting planner has an ethical responsibility to book meetings at properties that offer the organization the best fit in terms of price, facility and dates. That judgment should not be colored by personal gain."
Well of course. Why oh why, then, do hotels and resorts continue to dangle these goodies in front of planners? I can only assume that, outrage aside, they work, at least for some planners. There are ethically challenged people in every line of work, and I'm sure planning is no different. The sad thing is that just a few people can taint a whole profession, especially if their ethical weakness gets a little daylight in the press. Yuck.