I'm reading an article, a real snoozer, titled “A Roundtable Discussion on Audit Committee Liability.” In our litigious culture, however, it is necessary to read such articles.

In contrast to this laborious study task, I was recently asked to comment on new trends in religious meetings — a subject with a lively prospect. I will refrain from the boring concerns of U.S. corporate audit committees. However, with enthusiasm I responded to an interview concerning trends in religious meetings. In summary, my comments were as follows:

  1. Religious meeting planners are taking advantage of the latest technology and venues conducive to interactive opportunities.

  2. Religious meeting planners have a greater recognition and awareness of our significant niche in the meeting planning market. RCMA has helped us to realize our collective value to the marketplace.

  3. Religious meeting planners are good negotiators, understanding the “win-win” concept with our providers. Admittedly, in the past, some religious planners (representing nonprofit religious groups) have expected “something for nothing.” After all, some have felt that since we exist on donations in our churches, why not expect a “free lunch” from our meeting providers. Today, education and interaction provided through RCMA have given religious planners — while already strong negotiators — greater respect for our suppliers.

  4. Religious meeting planners are very relational and appreciate competent, experienced providers. The day when a hotel or convention bureau/association can offer the religious market to their newest employees is not acceptable. We build relationships with suppliers.

RCMA planners and associate members have created this improved state of religious meetings, and it's an honor to be a part of RCMA.