Last week’s post, “The Media Are Killing Us,” talked about how biased and sensationalized news reports on organizations conducting conferences hurts resorts and hotels.  This week I would like to focus on the human suffering it is causing.

Do you think reporters, so eager to create (even fabricate) “news,” ever think about the damage and human suffering their stories cause?  Probably not.

It seems appropriate to focus on it now that The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort (scene of the infamous AIG Conference) has been turned over to Citigroup and ABC News’ story about the Social Security Administration’s recent Phoenix conference which now has Congress questioning whether it was prudent to hold the conference.

As a result of last week’s post, I received numerous emails from hospitality marketing professionals thanking me for speaking out.  One email stood out from all the rest.

It was from a meeting manager in Phoenix and started out –

“As an Independent On Site Meeting Manager for over 12 years I wanted to say thank you for your comment [on the ABC News story].  I have also been very active in signing petitions, writing Senators and informing others through every means possible.

I am currently in search of a permanent position as I can no longer support myself as a freelancer in this industry.”

Over the course of several email correspondences I learned she was very willing to relocate and in fact, recently had a telephone interview with a company in Charlotte, NC.  She was one of 650 applicants for the position and one of only 16 to be interviewed.  She wrote:

“I was not selected for a face-to-face interview but have been told they will be hiring more people for the position in the beginning of the year and they will consider me then.  I don’t think I can hold out.  Getting a job is like winning the lottery.”

Meetings Mean Business – they are directly responsible for more than 1 million jobs!  They benefit the companies conducting them, the hotels and resorts where they are held, and every individual involved in the planning and execution.  With unemployment expected to rise to over 10% this year, jobs are critically important.  Someone should tell Congress!

So get involved.  Speak out.  Express your outrage at how media is demonizing legitimate business meetings and events, and making it difficult if not impossible to find good paying jobs.

And by the way – if you have a job opening for a senior meeting planner, please send me an email at and I will forward it on to a real pro looking to hit the lottery.  Hopefully I can do one more story on this topic – one with a happy ending.

What do you think?  Leave a comment.  Safe travels – Madigan Pratt

AUTHOR: Madigan Pratt

Madigan Pratt is President of MP&A Digital & Advertising, an award-winning agency helping luxury hotels attract and retain profitable customers. Principals with over 60 years of collective experience at some of the world's largest advertising and direct marketing companies lead the agency's team of marketing, creative, public relations, Internet and social media professionals.

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