A chemist's lab is filled with beakers, test tubes, and substances that have very long names. Using those items, the chemist experiments, being extremely careful to observe and record what is happening.

A meeting planner's lab consists of contracts, registration software, marketing pieces, historical records, and much more. Like the chemist, the successful meeting planner is the one who is deliberate and meticulous.

The RCMA Handbook was developed to give you valuable tools for your lab work, as well as resources that help you to meet the specific needs of your gatherings.

This year's handbook begins with an in-depth guide to social media — it's packed with must-have knowledge. Then, with budgets under extreme stress, you will find 70 great ways to save money on all aspects of your events.

Next, you can delve into information on negotiating, human resources, speakers, youth meetings, and security.

And throughout this issue, we provide you with great tips on how to save money without sacrificing quality.

Keep this lab manual close at hand, and use it when conducting your meeting experiments.