It started with the Keep America Meeting petition, launched by TBA Global in February and delivered to Congress in May with 21,000 signatures. Then a meetings industry consortium led by the U.S. Travel Association launched the Meetings Mean Business campaign — and convened a group of hotel executives who met with President Obama in March. And last month, the Convention Industry Council hired PR heavyweight Y Partnership Inc. to create talking points in defense of meetings for CIC's 34 member organizations to use in their own communications.

Most recent is yet another effort to put business meetings in their appropriate context in Washington: Destination management company network Allied International, parent company of PRA Destination Management, has made a letter available for download that planners can send to members of Congress.

The letter urges Congress not to enact legislation or engage in rhetoric that limits companies' ability to hold legitimate business meetings in the mistaken belief that such measures will address the issue of excessive executive compensation. “When business meetings and incentive programs are canceled,” the letter states, “American workers — not CEOs — are the ones who pay the price.” Download the letter here: www.pra.com/grassroots-letter.aspx.