Two separate things have caught my eye today which show just how nervous everybody is in the US meetings industry these days:
- Firstly, I received notice from the eventpeeps.com social network (slightly embarrassing name, but quite an interesting site based on the Ning platform) that members are starting up a petition called "Keep America Meeting". They want to get 1 million signatures from people who think that the meetings industry is getting a bad press. Whether it's AIG sales people taking multi-thousand dollar spas at the taxpayers' expense or (inaccurate) reports of huge declines in visitors to shows like CES, the chattering classes are deemed to be giving business meetings and events a bad rap.
- Now, the Mayor of Las Vegas is, according to the Economist's Gulliver travel blog, feeling aggrieved at President Obama. Oscar Goodman is reportedly upset that, when Barry told bankers "You can't get corporate jets. You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime", people may have missed the last four words and decided that it's generally bad to go to Las Vegas. As one of the commenters on the blog rightly said "What part of "on the taxpayers' dime" did the mayor not understand?" and the blogger himself was certainly on the money when noted "Yes, Las Vegas's convention business will suffer during the recession—but that won't be Mr Obama's fault".