ONCE CONSIDERED THE DREGS of the meetings market, this highly budget-conscious, will-gladly-meet-on-weekends market has gained a new cachet in recent years: facilities and bureaus around the country are courting SMERF meetings following the drop in deep-pocket corporate meetings and a falloff in attendance at professional and trade association meetings. As one respondent in our survey put it: “SMERF meetings, many of them, are not as heavily driven by business needs but more by social and ...

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