BE IN THE KNOW

July 22 2013

New Legislation Aims for the Heart of the Meetings Industry

By David McMillin, Staff Writer



You’ve heard plenty of news about the need for meeting professionals to speak up about the value of face-to-face idea exchanges. Now, that volume will need to get even louder due to a new bill entitled “Cut the Waste, Stay in Place Act of 2013”.

Representative Michael Fitzpatrick, (R.-Pa.), introduced the legislation earlier this month with this video announcement, and the bill calls for lawmakers to develop a plan to use video conferencing to reduce federal travel expenses by 50 percent by 2017. That’s quite the cut, and every member of the meeting industry is well aware that the proposed decrease in spending could have a dramatic impact on their organizations.

SEE ALSO: Federal Budget Cuts Cancel More Meetings

While video conferencing can certainly help reign in spending, there are also plenty of scenarios where technology cannot trump face-to-face collaboration. Organizations around the meetings industry are working together to ensure that lawmakers recognize the real power of in-person idea exchanges. If you haven’t already, you can click here to sign up for the new Convention Industry Council Meetings Industry Advocacy Hub to stay up-to-date on how you can help.

And Now, the Good News

However, this month hasn’t included all bad signs for the industry. Three members of Congress have called for a full report on how current spending cuts have affected federal agencies. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, (R.-Fl.), Rep. Jose Serrano, (D-NY.) and Rep. Sam Farr, (D.-Ca.) requested that the Office of Management and Budget study the impact of current efforts to reduce spending by 30 percent below 2010 levels.

The U.S. Travel Association applauded the efforts.

“The action by the subcommittee to require OMB to examine the impact of these policies is a responsible approach that will help ensure that government travel policies safeguard taxpayer dollars, help accomplish agency missions and allow for mission-critical travel to take place,” Roger Down, President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association said.

Looking for more information to promote the value of what the meetings industry does every day of the week? Click here for the results of a study that highlights the scientific power of face-to-face.

Please log in to post comments.