Monday, February 9, 2009

Is Your Meeting or Event a Legitimate Business Expense?

With all the talk in the news about excessive executive retreats in Las Vegas and other lavish meetings, it has made all executives and managers a bit on edge about what are considered necessary and unnecessary meeting or events.

Please rest assured that most meetings and events are needed to communicate the organization’s message and/or put them in a competitive posture. However, the meeting and travel industry has put all this in prospective with their message below.

Examples of Legitimate Business Purposes for Meetings and Events

All business expenditures authorized in these challenging circumstances, all proposed expenditures for meetings and events should be made to strengthen the competitive position of the company in the marketplace and position the company for the creation of long-term value and growth. Below is a representative list of legitimate business purposes for meetings and events:

• Corporate-sponsored charity events
• Employee meetings because of company mergers and/or acquisitions for the purpose of alignment of products, brands, and cultures
• Employee recognition programs to motivate and reward employees for achievement and productivity.
• Product development events designed to generate feedback for research and development purposes.
• Product launches to educate sales force, channel partners, and customers
• Professional conferences that provide networking, education and best practice sharing across companies and industries
• Sales conferences and employee meetings to align vision, strategy, and tactics
• Trade shows that bring prospective buyers and sellers together
• Training and staff development meetings – learning environments conducive to adult learning and professional development, improving participants' skills at their trade and/or their familiarity with the company's products or services
• User conferences for customers utilizing the company's products or services to obtain feedback, build networks, provide product training, and capture ideas for enhancements to the company's product offerings.

Developed by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Destination Marketing Association International, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Meeting Professionals International, National Business Travel Association, Professional Convention Management Association, Society of Incentive Travel Executives and the U.S. Travel Association in consultation with Maritz, Inc.
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