National Conference Center Offers '78 Reasons to Host a Meeting'

Every meeting planner has heard the question, typically asked by a time- and budget-strapped senior executive: Is this meeting really necessary? To go with their "yes," meeting professionals now have 78 reasons why, according to the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Va., which yesterday released its latest white paper, "78 Reasons to Host a Meeting."

The white paper began as a Facebook campaign when the National Conference Center set out to collect from its friends and fans as many "reasons to meet" as possible. A month later, it had 78 responses, which were compiled and published by Aramark intern Laura Ransone.

Among the responses:

• Leah Retting, Student, George Mason University: "Meetings are great for the economy! According to the CIC's Economic Significance Study, the meetings industry directly supports 1.7 million jobs, $263 billion in spending, a $106 billion contribution to GDP, $60 billion in labor revenue, $14.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $11.3 billion in state and local tax revenue."

• Joan Eisenstodt, Association and Corporate Trainer: "People, ideas, surroundings and experiences all expand your horizons."

• Maura Gast, Executive Director, Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau: "Because — in the words of Corbin Ball — 'there's no such thing as a virtual beer.'" - Maura Gast, Executive Director at Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau

Said Eric Whitson, director of sales and marketing at The National Conference Center, "Many people are genuinely passionate about their meetings. There really is an infinite number of reasons to meet. Clearly, all of these 78 reasons to meet support the need for face-to-face meetings."

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