December 01, 2001
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts December 2001 Current Issue
December 2001
Short Cuts:
Goodbye black tie?


Leave the penguin suits and sequins at home. Planners are encouraging meeting attendees to pack light and dress casual. The change will make it easier to comply with baggage restrictions and, ideally, will help boost what many expect will be a low-attendance year.

“We wanted people to feel comfortable about traveling,” says a spokesperson for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals in Austin, Texas. “A pair of Dockers takes up a lot less room than a three-piece suit.”

The association, which decided in the days following Sept. 11 to go ahead with its Oct. 16-20 annual meeting, downgraded its dress code for the entire event. Functions that were business attire became casual; a black tie event became black tie optional. The meeting attracted 585 attendees, a drop of only 15 or so from last year’s total.

Planners also are changing dress codes as a reaction to the economy and the fact that the usual five-course final night banquet now is often pared down to three. As decor, entertainment and menus reflect a more budget-conscious meeting, the dress requirement is altered accordingly.

For the Professional Convention Management Association’s annual meeting in Nashville this January, David Dubois, CMP, CAE, is spreading the word to sponsors and hosts that “less opulent is OK,” and that goes for attire, too. Nobody will miss donning formalwear, expects the president and CEO of the Chicago-based association. Adds Dubois, “Black tie events are passé anyway.”


Back to Current Issue index | Back to Short Cuts index
M&C Home Page
Current Issue | Events Calendar | Newsline | Incentive News | Meetings Market Report
Editorial Libraries | CVB Links | Reader Survey | Hot Dates | Contact M&C