FREE JOB BANKS
To help victims of Hurricane Katrina find new work as quickly as possible, the Travel Industry Association of America has partnered with the Travel & Tourism Coalition, the Travel Business Roundtable, and USDM.net to create a job bank Web site. The site, www.katrinajobs.org, is free to both job seekers and employers. It launched September 15 and within days listed jobs from more than 2,000 travel industry — related organizations.
Meeting Professionals International (www.mpiweb.org) has also created a Katrina-focused job board with free 60-day listings, designed to help New Orleans and Gulf Coast residents searching for meeting industry employment.
Another free job site for victims of the storm is www.katrinajobrelief.com. The site, which featured more than 3,000 jobs from around the country as of mid-September, is supported by a variety of associations, chambers of commerce, and other organizations.
HELP FINDING A SITE
For groups seeking alternate venues for events displaced by the storm, the International Association for Exhibition Management has created a downloadable Hurricane Katrina Venue Relocation Request form, available at www.iaem.org. Completed forms can be sent to IAEM at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the association will begin a search for substitute venues. According to its Web site, IAEM has reached out to a number of industry associations — including MPI, the Professional Convention Management Association, the American Society of Association Executives, and others — to create a special task force “to coordinate our efforts to provide members with assistance.”
If you're wondering where groups are headed, the www.tsea.org) is keeping a list of where major events have relocated because of the hurricane.Exhibitors Association (
The meeting and convention industry has a close community of planners and suppliers who pull together and share resources during times of trouble. One example is the MIMlist, the meetings industry listserv, which was extremely active in the days and weeks after the Katrina disaster, with members posting hundreds of messages helping to locate colleagues, sharing links on contingency planning and news, posting potential temporary employment opportunities, sharing firsthand accounts of experiences in the troubled areas, advising others on ways to help out, and more. To join the list, visit www.mim.com.
MPI has also set up online message boards where planners and suppliers can provide support to displaced members of the meeting and hospitality community.
MONEY AND BLOOD
Many organizations in the meeting industry have set up relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, including PCMA, TSEA, Unite Here, and many more. If you're not sure where to put your resources, consider a donation to the American Red Cross. Katrina's destruction is expected to need the largest relief effort the organization has ever handled. A visit to www.redcross.org makes it easy to donate funds or to find a location to donate blood.
Do you want to get THE LAST WORD in? Send your ideas to email@example.com.