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"Meetings: The biggest money pit of them all"

That's the title of this thought-provoking article from the Conference Board. Covering the topic of meeting spend consolidation and tracking in the corporate world, it has a few choice quotes, including:

    There is still another reason for the mystery surrounding meeting expenditures: the entrenched, secretive culture of meeting planning, which is too often a parallel universe of financial fiefdoms. Consequently, the real-world working environment is usually reflective of a recent American Express study's conclusion: that meeting planners are unusually resistant to change.

And as evidence, the author cites these FutureWatch 2007 study results:

    While acknowledging a trend toward virtual meetings as a way to reduce physical attendance and costs, only 29 percent of planners said they are likely to position themselves as the go-to resource for such meetings. Even more perplexing at a time when planners clearly recognize the shift from tactics to strategy, the least-sought-after new technologies, they said, are those that match attendees with relevant courses, vendors, and peers at an event; facilitate networking; share conference content; or provide more cost-effective alternatives to participation in live meetings, such as webcasts or DVDs. Such lack of interest is analogous to a caveman declining to master the use of fire.

Ouch.

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