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Jon Trask: Welcome to this week’s edition of the Meetings Podcast. I’m your host Jon Trask. Mike McAllen nor Tom Hillmer could be with us this week so we’re going to just forge ahead. It may not be a lengthy episode but will be an episode nonetheless. First, let me recognize our sponsors Hillton e-Events and Blue Sky Factory and remember, you can always visit us on the web and find more information about this show at MeetingsPodcast.com. You can also subscribe there.
What we’re going to talk about so far this week, well obviously the swine flu and there’s a huge problem happening in the industry right now. It’s sort of a of a situation so it’s really hard to know exactly when you’re listening to this, exactly what may have happened but we do want to recognize that the biggest site linked-off of MPI that I found is USTravel.org and that’s sort of the primary news resource right now. They’re working with MPI and other meetings industry folks to kind of bring together the relevant information so whenever you’re listening to this, look for the latest updates regarding that and the effect. I know it has had an effect on the tourists going into Mexico. It has had a severe effect on cruise ships and basically, it’s touching on all of this.
I know Tom was talking about having a meeting that has moved from Mexico to Southern California and then possibly to somewhere else and I know that was one of his thing from the past week that he was quite focused on so a lot of things are in flux and a lot of things are moving quickly really hard to address in a format like this on the podcast so just get the latest information, USTravel.org being a primary place. You can also link to that off of places like the MPI website that we talked about frequently.
Speaking of MPI, just a reminder, the World Education Conference is coming up in July. We’re going to be there. We’re doing a session on Tuesday, Mike and I on podcasting and social media for meeting planners so we’d love to see you there in person, have you come up and say hi and talk to us. We’ll probably be doing some interviews and things on site during the entire meeting so, it’s something that we’re definitely looking forward to. That’s going to be July 11 through 14 in Salt Lake City, the World Education Conference of MPI.
Additionally, I’m doing a class solo on working with your audio visual vendor which I’ve done a couple of times before at various MPI events and quite excited about it looking forward to and hoping that you will join us there and hoping that you will connect with us prior. We can have some conversations via Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or through our website, MeetingsPodcast.com so lots of different ways to get in touch with us and we hope that you’ll join us there.
Additionally, let’s see. Other news of the week that we had, one thing I came across in the L.A. Times in the past week is a little bit more information about a bill moving through the state assembly, S.B. 35 which will focus on creating a database to provide food businesses and their clients with resources for donating left-overs to charity. In particular, calmness in the business section has been very forceful in saying what a good idea this is and I know there are some resistance on other sides like the California Restaurant Association. It definitely would have an impact on our industry. It doesn’t look like it would be a huge impact in the sense that it’s really just providing a list at this point. It’s not mandating anything specific except that you know what your options are. But certainly, something to keep an eye on as we move along because they might end up being cause. There might end up being some other ramifications that come out of it.
Right now, it seems like a good positive idea apparently something like one and a half million tons of food annually are thrown out in California between caterers, hotels and restaurants so it seems to have a good heart behind it. It will be interesting to see how it progresses along through the state assembly and if it spreads out to any other states here in the country.
Let’s see. Other things that we had for the week, I don’t have anybody to cover for me while I’m juggling between web pages here so bear with me. There’s a new association website. It’s being put on by ASAE. It’s called ThePowerofA.org. And it’s basically kind of a call to action place. It’s a place to sort of consolidate a lot of information and for associations to go kind of make their case for why it’s relevant and important for meetings to be happening. We’re still in that sort of zone where people are doing a lot of justifying of why they’re getting together and what happens at a meeting and why they need to meet and really this has had, you know, as we all know it, tremendous impact on our industry and so this is the association on ASAE getting together to help associations get their message out. It’s a good place to go. The website again, ThePowerofA.org, worth going and exploring, finding out a little bit more and obviously, there’s still the Meeting Industry Crisis sites and things like that that we should be keeping up on. Make sure that you’re putting the message out to everybody.
The last thing I had for today was – again, relatively small slow day for us was a Green Meetings Portal that I found called SustainableMeetingsPortal.com and it’s simply a place to go and kind of again, aggregate some information. There’s so much information on all these different topics on the swine flu, on the economy and how it’ affecting our industry on Green Meeting that these [Indiscernible] [0:06:15] fights are coming up where they can pull together a lot of information from different places, maybe even from, you know, the podcaster from magazines or from direct input by planners and suppliers and people like that so really just looking for some of these portals right now to pass along because it’s hard to give you as much information as contained in even one of them in a simple short podcast.
On the Green Meetings, when I’m looking at the front page right now, there’s things like green trend redefine thoughts like food and beverage and meetings can significantly reduce garbage, green meetings in action, how a convention can change the destination. So there looks to be some really good information on there. In particular, this is – one of those topics beyond the economy that is really changing our industry and affecting our industry just like the Senate bill or the assembly bill in California here about waste of food. A lot of people are paying a lot more attention to sustainability and green and you really want to make sure that you’re up on these topics and that you’re providing good information to your client’s internal and external both.
So, I think for today, that’s going to be the podcast but it’s great. We appreciate you listening. I know soon, Mike will be back from his vacation down in Australia and Tom will be back online with us and we will be able to do another one with everybody here so you don’t have to just listen to me rattle on for a day. Anyway, thank you for listening, MeetingsPodcast.com and we’ll find you next time. Thank you.