August 01, 2016

The year is 1966: The Beatles' Rubber Soul album goes to #1; opposition to the war in Vietnam builds; cigarette packages begin to carry a federally mandated health warning; and the first issue of M&C appears, marking a true milestone for the nascent profession of meeting and event planning.

In this special anniversary tribute, we present a timeline of M&C's colorful coverage over a half-century, and industry luminaries offer their take on how the meetings business has evolved. Online, you'll find more of such insights, and what these notables had to say about M&C's role in the marketplace. Enjoy, and here's to the next 50!

In our debut issue, "Ladies, God Bless Them! But How Do You Keep 'Em Happy at a Show?" explores "one of the most remarkable and outstanding changes in the meetings and conventions picture since the end of World War II: the presence of large numbers of women at increasing numbers of wives have so arranged their family affairs that they feel completely free to join their husbands on these all-important business and social occasions."

We foresee the demise of the handshake-sealed deal. "The day of the spelled-out agreement, i.e., contract, between hotel and client is upon us."

We cover the growing belief that exercise at meetings is a good thing.

"The New Breed of Spouse Programs" finds that some organizations are steering away from the term "ladies' programs," although the vast majority of participants in such programs are still women.  

Our June cover story, "The Electronic Planner," carries the subtitle "Like it or not, there's a computer in your future" and notes within, "We also resisted electricity, automobiles (and probably the wheel), so it's safe to assume that most of us will finally accept computers bit by byte."

"Dealing With Disaster" covers weather catastrophes, fires, medical emergencies -- and not a word about terrorism. And five years before passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, we feature "Do Your Plans Exclude the Handicapped?" (Of course, today we would use more PC language.)

The term "spouse programs" now becomes "guest programs," as M&C declares: "Spouse programs are no longer just for spouses. And they're not just for housewives either. These days meeting planners are designing programs for wives with their own careers, for unmarried female or male companions and, in some cases, even for husbands."

In "Where There's Smoke, There's Ire," an attendee notes the ubiquity of separate smoking and nonsmoking sections, "and  the no-smoking section is getting larger." Another milestone: "Earlier this year, the federal government outlawed smoking on all scheduled flights of two hours or less."

We take stock of the recent collapse of the Soviet Union in "Razing the Iron Curtain: the Dawn of a Destination."


Our "Annual Guide to Fabulous Food" insists: "American is Hot!"

In likely our first generational story, "Make Room for the Boomers," a consultant predicts that "the days of meetings running into weekends will soon go the way of the Edsel and the Hula-Hoop. The last thing baby boomers want to do is have their careers cut into their free or 'quality' time."


"The Biodegradable Meeting" offers an early compendium of ways to plan an environmentally responsible gathering.