Bruce Morgan, senior VP, BCD Meetings & Incentives, Chicago
“It's important to realize that those are genuine fears, and not to try to push a certain concept or a certain location just because it's been done before or because there's passion behind that location. At the end of the day, we all have to live in the new world that we live in. I do believe that business will come back … but at this time we are being honest with our clients, frankly proactively. Maybe certain things aren't the best use of their spend or of their reputation in the marketplace.”

Kurt Paben, senior VP of engagement events, Carlson Marketing Worldwide, Minneapolis
“I tell our clients not to be afraid of luxury resorts. They can be very effective tools in achieving the results that they're looking for. You have to step back and really understand who your audience is, what you are asking them to do, and what will motivate them. Many times a resort is the answer to achieve that objective.”

Beth Chitnis, director, Meeting Expectations, Atlanta
“To manage clients' fears about choosing a destination that might be seen as extravagant, we manage the event marketing. We make sure it's focusing on the business opportunities and the ROI for the attendees, and not necessarily the location. We also assist with drafting documents that can be shared with attendees showing the emphasis on education and ROI.”

Brad Williams, VP of meetings and events, MotivAction, Minneapolis
“A lot of clients are very careful not to be perceived as going to an extravagant location or a resort right now, so one of the things we're doing … is suggesting community service projects that they can include in their programs. I can't help thinking that some of these stories that have been sensationalized in the media would have been a different if the client had come back and said, ‘Yes, we spent some time on the golf course, but we also gave back to the community, and we left it a better place.’”

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