Apparently Wells Fargo is catching grief for having an internal conference in Las Vegas. Tigerhawk defends Wells Fargo. I don't know if the meeting if the meeting made business sense to hold in the first place (and I don't want to be in the business of caring which is yet another really good reason for the government not to be investing my money in these companies). But I can tell you that Vegas makes tons of sense for a business conference.
My company has managers located all across the country, which makes it sound like we might be a really big company but in fact we are not. It just turns out that we have a process that allows us to accept relatively small contracts around the country and still turn a profit. Being small, and with profit margins well under 10% of revenues, I can assure you that we do not spend any money on items or events that are frivolous or superfluous boondoggles. Against this backdrop, here are two things I can say with confidence:
- You have to physically gather all you key managers and/or employees in one place from time to time. No amount of teleconferencing and email can substitute for occasional face-to-face meetings. We get all of our managers together for a week once every two years, and I wish I could afford to do it more often.
- Given the fact that we have to meet somewhere, Vegas is just about the cheapest place in the country to hold a national meeting. There are tons of cheap flights there from everywhere. And since the hotels have away of earning money from visitors that most other hotels in the country do not have (ie from gambling) they discount the rooms below equivalent quality rooms in most other large cities. On top of this, every hotel I have used for a meeting in Vegas had great meeting facilities and really knew how to provide meeting and catering services. Finally, many (but not all) of my employees love to go to Vegas, and consider the trip a treat/reward. So, I get a positive reaction from my employees for taking them to one of the cheapest possible places. A win-win for sure.