Government Connections - Winter 2013 - (Page 15)

Why the Government Should Hire Qualified, Professional Meeting Planners By Severine Bennett, CGMP, PMP International Society of Political Psychology EVERY YEAR, THE government spends millions of dollars on meetings, conferences and events. In recent history we have seen these expenditures come under fire (“Muffingate” and the recent GSA Las Vegas conference scandal). Government budgets have been reduced at all levels. Meetings, conferences and associated travel have been some of the first expenditures considered to be non-essential and curtailed or eliminated. Although the use of teleconferences and video conferencing has helped reduce unnecessary meeting expenditures, the value in face-toface meetings and conferences for certain types of gatherings remains undisputed. Government agencies must now, more than ever, walk the tightrope of justifying and allocating for a limited number of meetings and conferences, but also assuring that the costs are defensible and controlled so that they do not make headlines for all the wrong reasons. The meetings and conferences that have survived the budget cuts and are still slated to occur involve a host of logistics, scheduling, planning, negotiating and security concerns. Many people hold the opinion that just about anyone can plan a meeting: get a block of hotel rooms, some meeting space and make plane reservations. An administrative assistant could do it on top of his/her other duties, right? While some people might be very capable of taking on these “other duties as assigned,” generally the answer to the above question is a firm, “No.” There is much more to meeting planning than 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Winter 2013

President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
Dieting on a Per Diem
Plan Green
Education Edge
Ethics and Site Visits
Why the Government Should Hire Qualified, Professional Meeting Planners
Supplier Strategy
Good to Know
That’s Technology
Conference Connection
Travel Tips & Trends
Membership News
SGMP Nation
The Meeting Minute
Advertisers’ Index

Government Connections - Winter 2013