I received a final invoice from a hotel recently that had a VAT or Value Added Tax instead of the customary “sales tax” to which we are accustomed in the U.S. Even though it has relatively the same financial effect as a “sales tax”, the wording or verbiage gave me pause and caused me to stop and think (which at 11pm in the evening is no small feat!) What value do we, a Destination and Meeting Management Company or the Meetings Industry in general, add to a Corporation or Association’s bottom line?
Are we relegated to simply becoming a line item on the “expense” side of the equation or are and should we fall under the “asset” column or an organization’s ledger? On our billing and invoices to our clients I think that instead of reading “total expense” it should instead read “total investment” for that is, in fact, what they are making…..an investment in the lives and situations of each and every meeting and event attendee!
I know that it’s only verbiage but it’s also a mind set. If Meeting Planners and Destination Management Companies ever hope to become more than “party planners” we need to learn how to elevate the dialogue and the conversation. Instead of being a “cost column” we should become an “asset column” and the perception needs to begin with the language and terminology that we use every day. Yes it’s only verbiage but then again so is “Global Warming” and we see how well that is received!
So go ahead! Make an Asset of yourself!