by Tom Isler | February 01, 2008

OscarWith Oscar season approaching, and with the recent completion of the meeting planner movie contest, sponsored by Palace Resorts (, we’ve been mulling the most memorable depictions of the meetings industry in film history. Here are our top picks.

The Big Kahuna (1999). In this adaptation of the stage play Hospitality Suite by Roger Rueff, Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito play attendees preparing for a Midwest Manufacturing Association convention and hoping to land a major contract once there.

The Conversation (1974). Gene Hackman’s surveillance expert is a keynote speaker at, and walks the floor of, a security convention in San Francisco, in this Francis Ford Coppola classic.

The Fugitive (1993). Harrison Ford, playing a doctor wrongly accused of murder, confronts the film’s surprise antagonist during a pharma meeting in a Chicago hotel.

The Witches (1990). Roald Dahl’s children’s story about a boy who stumbles upon a convention for witches, who have gathered to test out their new potions, is wicked fun.

What’s Up, Doc? (1972). This screwball comedy, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, concerns a music professor (Ryan O’Neal) who travels to a San Francisco convention to win a grant and runs into a mischief-making Barbra Streisand.

Sons of the Desert (1933). Comedic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy attend a fraternal convention without telling “the wives,” who happen to watch a newsreel of same convention and spot the transgressors.

Did your favorite examples miss the cut? E-mail the titles to us at