“I believe that the level and depth of this downturn is more dramatic than people yet realize,” says Lynn Randall, strategic meetings consultant, Maritz Travel in Fenton, Mo. And it's not just the money. It's the perception. Sensational headlines abound regarding lavish financial-industry conferences. But this is no time to abandon the incentive model, Randall says. Rather, meeting managers must dig deeper into the return on incentive programs, showing their value ...

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