Thanks, But No Thanks

To the Editor,

I applaud your Up Front column on unethical offers for meeting planners (June CMI). I too have noticed an alarming trend in giveaways from hotels. Our global events department recently implemented a strict policy with very clear guidelines about what, if anything, may be accepted. For example, we no longer permit meeting staff to receive complimentary upgrades at hotels. Instead, we get some value-added from the hotel's generosity by giving these upgrades to our meeting sponsors and VIP speakers. Gifts of any type or size, regardless of their worth, may not be accepted.

I echo your sentiments: The golden rule should always be, when in doubt, “No thank you.”
Seth H. Kerker
Director, Global Events
Access Intelligence/Chemical Week
New York

To the Editor,

I want to applaud your editorial, “Thanks, But No Thanks,” in the June issue. I continue to be appalled by hotel chains and other suppliers that are offering these incentives — especially of this magnitude. It hurts all of us in this industry by tremendously impacting our credibility as ethical professionals.
Carol Muldoon, CMM
Director of Meeting Services
KPMG
Montvale, N.J.

To the Editor,

I totally agree with you about the “perks” offered by hotels to meeting planners. I have often written to the sponsors of such giveaways saying that what they are doing is unethical. It is, I believe, also unethical for the planner to accept a bribe for placing business. This practice may even result in a planner placing a meeting in a venue that is not the most suitable for the objectives just to get a “reward.”
Lincoln H. Colby, CMP
Retired Meeting Planning Executive
Palmetto, Fla.

To the Editor,

I read your editorial recently about the Jaguar giveaway and felt a need to respond.

I spent 20 years in industrial purchasing, and one of my hot topics was ethics and accepting gifts for doing my job. I could never understand why these companies were still offering all these gifts when everyone I knew didn't believe in accepting gifts for purchases and would be offended if they were offered.

I left purchasing to co-own a small travel agency. In my five years in travel agency ownership, I have to say that if a hotel or a travel provider would give me anything, I would accept it and, in most cases, use it in my company. The point is that there are a zillion small business owners who don't have a problem with a hotel that gives them “free stuff” in exchange for bringing their group there.
George Gasahl
Co-owner
Airport Tour & Travel
Muskegon, Mich.

For the Record

To the Editor,

I was so pleased to receive this year's excellent Beyond Borders supplement, and especially pleased that you took such serious note of what my name would be if I were Latin American. I am, alas, only Latin American in spirit, not by birth, so for the record, I am not Carol Lynn Krugman Stern, but still just Carol Krugman, CMP, CMM.
Carol Krugman, CMP, CMM
President, CEO
Krugman Group International
St. Petersburg, Fla.

To the Editor,

I just wanted to thank you for the May cover story on DMCs, “Out of Commission?” I appreciate the candor and honesty with which the article was written. Your magazine continues to publish the issues as they really are — pretty or not. Every month I look forward to the new issue to see who and what is out there.
Helen Moskovitz, DMCP
Executive Vice President
The Key Event & Helen Moskovitz Group
Nashville, Tenn.