At the moment of this writing, we are awaiting the cresting of the rivers in and around St. Louis. With anxious moments that are influenced by memories of the flood of 1993, we are again reminded that there are some situations over which we have little or no control.

One levee break is being attributed to the burrowing of a 5-pound muskrat, which allowed the water to find a way through and ultimately over the compromised portion of the manmade barrier. This serves as yet another reminders that sometimes it is the “little things” that — when undetected — ultimately lead to a more serious challenge.

Does this sound even a little like the details of meeting planning? Often I find myself paying close attention to the large primary details and issues, hoping that the small ones will either work themselves out or escape unnoticed.

If it were not for proficient assistance from my support team and the capable and informed input from conference and industry suppliers, I might overlook the small issues. These are challenges that, left unaddressed, will become major issues.

This summer is also reminding me that the year is 50 percent over, and that many tasks that are slated for completion in 2008 that remain unfinished. Most of them have deadlines that must be met in order for our next conference sessions to be appropriately facilitated and successful. Therefore, it is imperative to remain focused and determined not to overlook the little things that might erode the otherwise successful completion of these tasks.

I certainly hope that each one of you is enjoying a successful summer and that all your meetings are productive and well-received by your attendees.
T.M. Jackson