More Laws-More Considerations for Meetings

NOTE: The opinions expressed here, as always, reflect the writer's viewpoint and not necessarily that of MeetingsToday, its editorial staff and owners.  Because of the subject matter, the writer feels it necessary to reiterate that point.

Our (hospitality/meetings/association) community is not outwardly talking about the ultrasound laws being passed throughout the United States and the impact they may have on the health (physical and mental) and welfare of all families. Perhaps because these laws seemingly only impact women and, to date, we've not heard of meetings being canceled in the states in which these laws have been enacted, there is not (yet) an outcry.

My last blog was about "walking while Black" and the impact of how one looks or dresses on those who attend our meetings, work in the facilities in which meetings are held, and their safety. (If you've not read it, look at the blog list here.)

Reading a blog by the respected Legal Scholar and Professor, Jonathan Turley about a law passed by the Arizona Legislature and waiting signature by Gov. Jan Brewer, I wondered again, what the impact will be on meetings.

Arizona's hospitality community worked very hard to show that they were in fact not in favor of the "papers please" (SB1070) law. They know the value of people and the importance of meetings to the community. They also dealt with groups that had to cancel their meetings because the groups' bylaws, mission, and members or customers would be impacted by the law. 

This new Arizona law, if signed and enacted, will have broader implications on how and what we communicate electronically and, I think, on meetings.

I know .. I "make us" think about the bigger issues and broaden our view. If we don't, I fear we will all be caught short and have to deal with questions from clients, C-level staff, Boards and members or customers about why we chose a venue and why we didn't inform people ahead of time about laws that are passed.

On what do I base that? The resignation of GSA staff over what I guess we call "clowngate" since "muffingate" and "AIG-effect" were already used. We need to be able to justify so much about why and where we meet and to do so, we need to be informed.

At the very least, pay attention to the laws being enacted in states or municipalities where your meetings are being or could be held. Know what may cause concern or conflict before it does.


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