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Mice Net : June 2009
planners’ checklist friends fair-weather By Bryan Holliday proposals. In these economically challenging times these emotions seem to play a greater role as people try to secure business almost at any cost. Now we see national governments becoming involved in the meetings arena in a way that’s not been seen before. In America, some senators want to impose draconian conditions on companies that are in receipt of federal stimulus funds on the grounds that meetings, product launches and other face-to-face events are somehow not as important to contributing to business success and confidence as other forms of marketing, promotion and training. This has prompted the local meetings industry to mount a campaign pointing out that restrictions on anyone’s right to meet could have catastrophic effects on the growth in unemployment. The job of a receptionist in a hotel is just as important as a job on an assembly line. Sometimes TV stations assist in this anti–meetings sentiment when preparing news bulletins on job losses by always filming employees in manufacturing or mining industries rather than the service industries. This approach simply reinforces an old-fashioned hierarchy of employment which is completely irrelevant in the 21st century. Some members of the European Union are ignoring their own charter by encouraging their nationals to invest in their own country and to close down plants and offices in fellow EU member countries. It seems that in difficult times a number of the seven deadly sins are being taken from the storeroom and given a good airing, especially greed. Australia is not immune from some of these selfish trends. Certain convention centres and hotels are continuing to try and B In tough busIness times it’s good to know who your friends are. usiness is personal. Transactions with clients and suppliers rely as much for their success on the interplay between muddy emotions as they do to formal responses to rational implement policies that were refined in good times, without any degree of flexibility to accommodate regular clients who may be temporarily influenced by changing conditions that could have an adverse effect on the commercial support and delegate attendance for a particular conference. However, one forward–looking hotel chain is not retaining the legitimately forfeited deposit when an event is cancelled but is encouraging those clients to use the money for some other related purpose, like rewarding smaller groups for a job well done. This sort of initiative will be remembered long after any sort of economic adversity is forgotten. At this current time, it seems particularly appropriate to remember the old saying “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. During the recent highly successful MEA conference in Adelaide, a gentleman approached me to say “thank you” for an idea I gave him 20 years ago. He’s been using the idea successfully ever since. I’d forgotten. He hadn’t. Three years ago when my own company hit a small speed bump in its own growth and development an industry associate offered to assist in any way he could. Whilst thanking him for his offer, I confirmed that everything was fine and enquired why he had made such an offer. He recalled that in 1994 we had given him an opportunity that he greatly appreciated at the time. I’d forgotten. He hadn’t. It is very important for the continuing health of the meetings industry that challenges are faced and overcome together and that we don’t immediately retreat to our own little burrow and ignore everyone else. For more information, contact Bryan Holliday at ICMS Australasia at 02 9254-5000. www.icmsaust.com.au Re-evaluate the value of bonds Noonaweena's infusion of natural serenity and exclusive facilities works to nourish team relationships and encourage creativity. Just an hour from Sydney, it provides the perfect venue for your next business event. Packages start at $154pp. Discover Noonaweena today. P 4376 1290 E firstname.lastname@example.org 1442 George Downes Drive Kulnura NSW 2250 www.noonaweena.com.au 18 mice.net