With the news coverage of the General Services Administration’s conference spending, it is easy to forget how valuable meetings are to the economy and to improving the American (and international) workforce.  Eric Casey CAE, the executive director of the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, wrote a letter to the editor of The Washington Post on this topic that was published in today’s edition.  His letter, which can be read in full here, defends the value of educational meetings and worries that federal, state, and local employees will be reluctant to attend association conferences for fear of criticism:

Most conferences are serious affairs that provide those in attendance with useful and important benefits, such as accelerating the process of technology transfer, providing professional development and training, creating marketplaces for buyers and sellers to conduct business efficiently, and allowing for face-to-face exchanges that yield insights that cannot be duplicated online.

Is your association facing reduced federal, state, or local government employee attendance?  The Power of A campaign has some excellent statistics on the economic benefits of association meetings and conventions; visit http://thepowerofa.org/associations-matter for more information.