Read 'em and weep: Northern Trust golf events scrutinized
Update: Just found this thoughtful post on Pat Ahaesy, CMP's Professional Event Production blog: Northern Trust, and Corporate Meetings. Here's a key takeaway:
Agreed, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago and Sheryl Crow don't come cheap. Admittedly hotels and hotel food and beverage don't come cheap either. However, an event like this was not scheduled and planned in the last three months and could possibly have been planned at least a year ago. The money to pay for this is pre-bailout money.
I'd love to know what the cancellation fees would have been if they had, indeed, cancelled these events. The answer is probably a large percentage if not all of the total.
Another factor is the affect that it would have on hard working middle management who were being rewarded for the good work that they did. Most likely they brought in a lot of money that was squandered by poor decision makers on the top.
Update 2: Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association responds to this latest blow to the meetings industry. Key quote:
"We are perilously close to falling into a witch-hunt mentality in which working Americans are unfairly punished. For every case of wasteful spending, we are seeing scores of instances in which the game of 'gotcha' has forced businesses to cancel legitimate activities that would have grown their bottom lines and generated jobs and economic growth for local communities."