Happy new year, everyone! It’s pretty much mandatory for columnists to close the old year or begin the new one with wrap-ups, resolutions, or some other antidote to a slow news week. So stand by for 10 meetings resolutions for 2010.
10. We will take every opportunity to argue the value of meetings. Canadian meetings created 552,000 full-year jobs and $71 billion in industry output in 2008. In 2010, the U.S. meetings industry will launch a study that will provide similar data. But the recent Oxford Economics report was more telling: a dollar well spent on business travel delivers $12.50 in incremental revenue to the organization that spent it.
9. We will explain how meetings change lives. We can calculate room nights and travel spending on, for example, major public health meetings held in Orlando, Atlanta, and Winnipeg in 2009. But what was the economic impact of the H1N1 cases those participants went on to prevent, thanks to the knowledge and skills they shared onsite?
8. We will each reach out to at least one organization outside the industry to explain the value of meetings. Once we see how easy it is to tell our story, we’ll each pick a second target.
7. We will each attend at least one major industry conference. Hey, didn’t we hear somewhere that there’s value in face-to-face meetings? For an unbeatable program, check out the Green Meeting Industry Council’s 2010 Sustainable Meetings Conference, February 9–11 in Denver.
6. We will search for ways to kick our industry’s addiction to air travel. Air travel, a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, is the elephant in the room in any discussion of sustainable meetings. But clients and decision-makers are catching on, with the European Union introducing new emissions guidelines to reduce air travel.
5. We will consider whether there’s a better way to document our meetings and make the content live on after participants go home. News sites from CNN to the Huffington Post use summary text with embedded video clips as the killer combination for delivering information. If this is the age of content, 2010 is the year for meetings to catch up.
4. We will learn the new APEXstandard. Sustainable meeting strategies can help organizations’ bottom lines as well as the environment. The standard created by the Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) will be a brilliant milestone for the industry when it is released within the next few months, but it will only make a difference if we use it.
3. We will help our clients integrate live and virtual meeting formats, so that organizations get the best of both. The language of hybrid meetings swept the industry in 2009. In 2010, we can expect to see many different faces of a hybrid evolve.
2. We willat least two hours per month for at least one meetings industry association. Chapters in many communities are hurting, their volunteer and financial reserves stretched by the economic crash. In 2010, we’ll remember that the more we put into our associations, the more we get back.
1. We will become regular readers of at least one industry news and information source. Specifically, MeetingsNet.
Mitchell Beer, CMM, is president and CEO of The Conference Publishers Inc., one of the world’s leading specialists in capturing and repurposing conference content. Beer blogs at http://theconferencepublishers.com/blog. Send comments, facts, arguments, or column ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.