Successful Meetings - June 2008 - (Page 6)

Editor’s Note > By Vincent Alonzo And The Walls Came Tumbling Down Everybody loves it when the high and mighty take a fall. Something about seeing a hugely successful person or organization make a really bonehead move makes us feel better about ourselves. It kind of brings them down to our level. Last month the folks at Wal-Mart pulled a doozy. It seems there’s a chink in the armor of the giant behemoth that dictates terms to its suppliers as if they were mere flunkies and treats its employees as if they were serfs in medieval Europe while it steamrolls across the world flattening all competition and seducing consumers with its low prices. And it took a lowly video production company to find that chink. Recently Wal-Mart decided to end its relationship with Flagler Productions, a Lenexa, KS-based company that’s been filming Wal-Mart’s internal meetings for 30 years. Okay fine, so Flagler offers to sell all the recorded meetings back to Wal-Mart for $150 million—barely enough to cause a ripple in the company’s multibillion-dollar ledger. Always the ruthless negotiator, Wal-Mart countered with an offer of $500,000. Really dumb move. Turns out there was never anything more than a handshake between the two companies. There was no paperwork stating that the content of the tapes belongs to Wal-Mart or even a confidentiality agreement. This, at the moment, leaves Flagler free to sell all 15,000 tapes of Wal-Mart’s internal meetings to any paying customer. Aside from being a really satisfying David beats Goliath story, this situation demonstrates the consequences firms can face when they videotape or otherwise record meetings. And as such it’s a great lesson for all meeting planners to appreciate the intellectual property value of their organizations’ meetings content. It’s crucial to always take steps to acquire the necessary copyright and trademark protections in advance of meetings and only enter into contracts with production companies that clearly define the ownership rights of the finished product after the events are over. If not, like Wal-Mart, you could find tapes of your meetings on sale at Kmart— as blue light specials. EDITORIAL and EXECUTIVE OFFICES: 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003, (646) 654-7381; fax (646) 654-7365; VINCENT ALONZO editor-in-chief, KINLEY LEVACK managing editor, TERRI HARDIN destinations editor, NANCY LAZARUS research director, CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: ROBERT CAREY, RAYNA KATZ, WILLIAM NG, MICHAEL GOLDSTEIN, TOM MCDONALD CORRESPONDENTS: NEELAM MATHEWS (ASIA); ED SCHMIDT JR. (FLORIDA); HEIDI WALDROP BAY (WESTERN U.S.) ART (646) 654-7348 DON SALKALN art director, PRODUCTION (646) 654-7293 GRACE CASEY production manager SPECIAL PROJECTS (646) 654-7360 MARYLIN MOORE editorial director; ALISON GOLUB executive editor; DENNISTON BROWN art director; MICHELLE TROPIANO associate art director INFORMATION MARKETING (646) 654-7256 KWAFO group director, audience marketing, SUBSCRIPTIONS (847) 763-9050 MARKETING (646) 654-7263 JENNIFER PEPPER STAM senior marketing manager, travel group, ADVERTISING (646) 654-7327 FOR THE NEW YORK OFFICE REPRINTS For advertising/editorial: The YGS Group, Jenny Kintner, (800) 3242930, e-mail: For one-time use of our content, as a full article, excerpt, or chart: Barbara Grieninger, (646) 654-4675, email: LIST RENTAL (646) 654-7220 MICHELLE WIESNER Vice President, Manufacturing and Distribution: Jennifer Grego Vice President, Audience Marketing: Joanne Wheatley ANOFF 6 JUNE 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - June 2008

Successful Meetings - June 2008
Editor's Note
Industry Trends
Planner Spotlight: Kelly Broz
Technology Talk
Food & Beverage
Websites of the Month
Pre-Event: Tech
Pre-Event: Bartering
Tools of the Trade
Dialing for Dollars
The All-in-One Resort
Bottom-Line Speakers
Places & Spaces
Florida’s West Coast

Successful Meetings - June 2008