Introducing the New NEHA ROI AEC & Exhibition!

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					                                                            Y O u R aSSociation

 ManaGinG eDitor'S DeSK

                                                     introducing the New
                                                     NEHA ROi AEc & Exhibition!

           nelson fabian, mS

          ike you, I have days when I just shake                                                           I would add that increasing numbers of as-
          my head.
          Like this morning. I just read a com-
                                                          In 2010, it is no                             sociations (including NEHA) are evolving to a
                                                                                                        point of view where we value both in-person and
mentary in the New York Times (January 9,               longer good enough                              virtual meetings. Nevertheless, the point behind
“Invitation to Disaster” by Bob Herbert) that                                                           this column is not to indulge in a discussion
explores the ramifications of expected state               to have a great                              about meeting trends but rather to tell you about
deficits that total around $360 billion over
the next two fiscal years. It seems like just
                                                       educational program.                             what NEHA is doing to make our in-person con-
                                                                                                        ference a much more valuable experience for
yesterday (FY 2008 to be exact) that the en-                                                            you, even in these challenging financial times.
tire U.S. budget deficit equaled something                                                                 Change occurs all the time. We either adapt
like that (a little over $400 billion). By the       emergency preparedness are to be successful.       to change or we die. This basic principle of life
way, the FY 2009 federal budget deficit grew         We have vital roles to play in each, and if we     extends to institutions as well. In this case, we
to an imagination-shattering $1.4 trillion.          aren’t competent in our work, these programs       can’t pretend that the world of 2010 looks like
Getting numbers that quantify the local debt         will never become what they need to be.            the world of 2008, when we had such a suc-
in the nation is difficult, though I have heard         One of the most effective ways to acquire       cessful annual meeting in Tucson. The world
of one estimate of around $1.2 trillion.             the CE that we need is to attend a conference      now is very different than it was in 2008—es-
   These are eye-popping numbers to say the          of the type that NEHA and virtually every          pecially when it comes to meetings.
least. And since the public sector tends to lag in   other association sponsor. In fact, associa-          Even with our 2008 conference, we were
economic recovery compared to the private sec-       tions now stand as the number one source for       already changing in major ways both to adapt
tor, it seems safe to say that the economic situ-    adult CE in our country and our conferences        to the different learning styles of younger pro-
ation in the public sector isn’t likely to improve   are one of the principal means by which we         fessionals and to meet the cultural expectation
anytime soon, green shoots or no green shoots.       deliver that education to you.                     that NEHA have greener and greener confer-
   There can be no denying that these huge              The state of the meetings industry today        ences. In both cases, I’m pleased that the chang-
deficits have taken a toll on public and envi-       is not good, however. As if the budget con-        es we have made have kept NEHA in sync with
ronmental health and in particular the ability       straints that compromise your ability to at-       the changing needs and expectations that you
of our profession to remain proficient in its        tend these rich educational events weren’t         have. Our feedback surveys confirm that we are
professional practice. My column this month          enough, the very legitimacy of meetings
Description: [...] associations now stand as the number one source for adult CE in our country and our conferences are one of the principal means by which we deliver that education to you. Know, however, that NEHA understands the very real nature of these challenges. [...] we will NOT try to deny or argue with these trends with some financially insensitive plea that it is your duty to attend professional conferences.
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