Letter From the Publisher

December 1, 2008

What good can come out of this economy? Plenty, I recently attended a catered luncheon at my bank. Yes, I said my bank. And to my delight, 65 percent of the business owners seated around the table were experiencing record growth or at least some growth, or were expecting their businesses to double in size by 2010. How could this be? How could publisher and home remodeling contractor all have an optimistic view of this economy? Simply put, it’s not the economy they are focused on, but how they run their businesses and how they will seize opportunities.

It’s estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 car dealerships in the United States will close in the next two years. Some say that many of these dealerships were overbuilt and poorly run to begin with, and they should be consolidated. I have heard the same thing about mortgage brokers, and they have all but gone extinct. If you are a travel planner always booking the highest fares for your company, then you will be out on your earas well. Or if you are a caterer who can barely prepare lunch bags for your three kids, let alone fifteen executives, then you, too, will be purged from the business world by the economy. Even in “good times,” operating a business is always Darwinian, and this economy will certainly challenge the sharpest minds for the next few years.

So, should you wait on the sidelines and not hold that holiday party? Your answer may be indicative of how your organization comes out of this economy. “Keep The Party Going” by Julie Johnson (page 18) is a great article with many suggestions you need to consider before you answer. And the emotional highs and lows that this economy will produce in all of us will set a mood that only a properly “color-coded” event can reflect – see the article by Rob Schaefer on page 10.

Surveys consistently show that planners utilize CVBs about 50 percent of the time for various services. If meeting planner budgets get tighter, CVBs may see an increase in demand for their services. And what exactly are the free services available to planners today? Mike Humphrey’s page 22 article, “A Planner’s Best Friend,” will give you a head start toward finding out.

Finally, thank you to all the CVBs, sponsors, speakers, volunteers and exhibitors who participated in the successful PLAN it GREEN Expo on September 8 and 9 in Kansas City. The Expo review story by Mike Humphrey is on page 32 and outlines how our host and sponsor, the Sheraton Kansas City Sports Complex, gave the attendees a venue to remember.

Joseph Clote


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