I know there has been a lot written about our industry advocating to the US and Canadian governments about how important meetings are to the economy, but I just have to say something about a hotel manager I recently saw interviewed on Canadian TV.
There was a top-level government meeting being held in an upscale resort on Vancouver Island in BC and the media of course jumped on it as being a waste of tax dollars and unnecessary at this time. They tried to interview the resort manager who basically told them to get lost because they were uninvited. I could not believe that a manager in an industry whose livelihood depends on positive publicity had the stupidity to treat the media in that manner. Instead of trying to explain why the meeting was held and all the positive economic spinoffs of meetings, he took a defensive attitude and actually made matters worse. Furthermore, a government official who was also interviewed made absolutely no attempt to explain why such a meeting was important and what meetings and events mean to the economy. These are people who should know better!!
Another sad aspect of this whole fiasco are the media themselves, who are unbelievably near-sighted. Vancouver is hosting the Winter Olympics in 2010 and there is expected to be a ton of spinoffs in meetings and events because of the resultant publicity. In fact, that is the main reason Vancouver sought the Olympics in the first place. The media, who have been complaining all along about how much money the Olympics cost and what are we going to get out of all of the spending, is now bad-mouthing the very area that will indeed yield positive economic benefits.
No wonder our economy is in such a mess! Doesn't anybody have any brains out there?