Bottom line a top concern as companies cut events

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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                MEETINGS &
                                                                                                                                                                                                              CONVENTIONS


Bottom line a top concern as companies cut events




                                                                                                                                             Steven J. Dundas
Planners say businesses avoiding luxuries, scaling back meetings in hurting economy
                     BY BETH FITZGERALD                              stockholders. How can they do a fun event for the staff if they are
EVENTS PLANNER Stan Levy got the call on a Wednesday:                laying people off and the company’s not making money?”
Could his company run a company party for 200 employees                   Levy’s West Orange company, UniRec, means “unique recre-
on the following Sunday?                                             ation.” One of Levy’s team-building events gets co-workers build-
     “Of course, I said yes,” said Levy, a 35 year-veteran event     ing bridges to each other out of Duplo blocks — giant-sized Lego
planner who said last-minute decisions are a symptom of this         products. His company runs Take Our Children to Work Day for
uncertain economy.                                                   some companies, and in the summer, organizes company picnics.
     He’s seen events canceled or downsized, and he’s been                With the slowdown on the corporate side, UniRec is doing
asked to “sharpen his pencil” and quote a lower price. In corpo-     more weddings, birthdays and bar mitzvahs.
rate events right now, “perception plays as important a role as           “I just spoke to a company that for years did a very big com-                         Stan Levy, right, owner of UniRec, an event planning firm, demonstrates
the dollars,” Levy said. “Companies don’t want to be perceived       pany picnic,” Levy said. “This year they’re scaling it back, but                           a typical team-building exercise with toy building blocks with event
as being inconsiderate, especially companies that answer to                                              ➤➤ See   BUDGET on page 21                             planners Ivonne Santiago, left, and Merlene Wilder.




   Green conventions taking root
                                                                                                                                                                             Steven J. Dundas
      Meetings with eco-friendly                                                                                                                                                                in terms of press,” O’Malley said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      With more companies using green
      themes are growing strong
                                                                                                                                                                                                events to showcase their corporate responsi-
              BY JOÃO-PIERRE S. RUTH                                                                                                                                                            bility to the environment, O’Malley said
    AS SOME CONVENTIONS and shows scale                                                                                                                                                         exhibitors must work harder to stand out. “As
    back, green events are growing into long-term                                                                                                                                               everyone adopts a green image, the thing
    placeholders on meeting calendars as more                                                                                                                                                   that’s going to differentiate companies are
    companies look for opportunities to show off                                                                                                                                                the green technologies they display,” he said.
    their eco-savvy products and services.                                                                                                                                                            Pepcom also attracted new clientele with
          Joseph D. Cascio, general manager with                                                                                                                                                the environmental theme, O’Malley said.
    the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center,                                                                                                                                                  Small companies that might have shied from
    in Edison, and the Garden State Exhibit Cen-                                                                                                                                                large shows chose to give EcoFocus a try
    ter, in Franklin Township’s Somerset section,                                                                                                                                               alongside the likes of Lenovo, Nokia and Sony.
    said he’s seeing more green meetings at the                                                                                                                                                       New Jersey will host another green-
    venues. “There have been many ‘change to                                                                                                                                                    themed event Oct. 9, when the Essex Green
    green’ themes that have been added, such as                                                                                                                                                 Business Summit is held on the Newark cam-
    the usual Home Show now shifting to the           In order to showcase their eco-friendly pro
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Could his company run a company party for 200 employees on the following Sunday? "Of course, I said yes," said Levy, a 35 year-veteran event planner who said last-minute decisions are a symptom of this uncertain economy. The conference center is a venue for employee training, and while firms may not be hiring and training in large numbers, "they still need to retain their employees and keep them well trained," he said.
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