The SGMP Link
Nov. 14, 2013

SGMP member survey — Reply deadline is Friday
Just another quick reminder to those members (especially federal planners!) who have not yet provided their thoughts on the industry and their membership via the survey sent via email from SGMP on Monday, Nov 4. We ask for your participation by Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern time. It will only take about 10 minutes of your time! We are unable to confirm if we received your feedback. But if you did not receive the link to the survey, send an email to with "RE-SEND SURVEY" in the subject line. More

Travel industry adds jobs in spite of government shutdown
Successful Meetings
Because of its impact on tourism — it cost the United States an estimated $152 million per day in economic output due to lost travel-related activity — the government shutdown could have easily hindered travel industry growth. Instead, the travel industry actually added 16,000 jobs in October and contributed more than 6 percent of October's total non-farm employment gains, according to the U.S. Travel Association, which released an analysis of the U.S. Department of Labor's October jobs report. More

Let us pray? Supreme Court divided on God in government meetings
Should prayers to God open government meetings? That's the controversial question a divided Supreme Court debated. At oral arguments about whether public prayers at a New York town's board meetings are permissible, the high court took a broad look at the country's church-state history and even the Supreme Court's own traditions. More

Lawmakers want overall budget numbers before Thanksgiving
Government Executive
Top congressional appropriators are urging House and Senate budget conferees to agree by Dec. 2 on overall discretionary spending caps for fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015. Setting the spending caps for the current fiscal year and fiscal 2015 should be the conference committee's "first priority," said Kentucky Republican Hal Rogers and Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski, who lead the House and Senate appropriations panels respectively, in an Oct. 31 letter to top members of the group tasked with reaching a budget deal before mid-January.More

Report looks at changing trends for event speakers
International Meetings Review
Recently, Tagoras and Velvet Chainsaw Consulting published a report on The Use of Professional and Industry Speakers in the Meetings Market, compiled from the results of a web-based survey that questioned 175 event planners. The report found some interesting trends on how the relationship between speakers and planners has changed over the past two years. Here are some takeaways.More

National scholarships for 2014 NEC accepted now through Dec. 4
Every year, SGMP's Gilmer Institute of Learning awards NEC scholarships based on the number of meetings planned by the applicant. Applications are being accepted from planner members nationwide now through Dec. 4. [After national scholarships are awarded, each chapter opens an NEC scholarship application process to support its members to attend the NEC that is based on level of chapter activity.] More

7 business travel expenses you never knew you could write off
Business Insider
Taking an extended trip away from the office is often a necessary step in getting your business to the next level, but doing so can get expensive. That's where expense reports come in. The key is to know your company's expense policies, since they differ from business to business. But for expenses that may not be entirely covered by your company, it helps to be familiar with IRS tax code. Here are some things you might not have known were tax-deductible. More

Which hotel features do you most look forward to?
Discussing the state of hotel Wi-Fi has become a trusted pastime among road warriors and travel experts. In one week Skift ran three stories about Wi-Fi and hotels. The general consensus is that we want it faster and we want it free. But do we want it more than anything else? Skift decided to ask more than a thousand people what they looked forward to most at hotels. Is it the Wi-Fi, or is it something you can really sink your teeth into?More

Hundreds who worked during shutdown join lawsuit against government
Government Executive
Hundreds of federal employees have signed on to a lawsuit against the federal government, seeking damages that resulted from not receiving pay on time during the shutdown. Five Bureau of Prisons employees originally filed the suit, alleging the government violated the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act when it delayed full pay for employees forced to work during the shutdown until agencies reopened Oct. 17. Less than a week after the suit was filed, more than 500 workers have signed on to join it, according to the law firm representing the employees.More