Daniel M. Weintraub's article on Sen. Campbell's Women's Conference (Aug. 30) does a monstrous disservice to professional conference planners by insinuating that organizing a conference isn't real work deserving of real pay.
He describes the conference as having $564,422 in expenses. "Of that amount," he writes, "$165,000 went in 'consulting fees' to West Coast Seminars, a firm owned by (Karen) Smith and (Sen. Campbell's wife) Margene Campbell."
The quotation marks around the words consulting fees give the connotation so-called, making a kind of cheap joke about the profession of conference management.
As an independent meeting planner, I can tell you that many consultants working a meeting as large as this particular conference, which has hundreds of speakers and over 10,000 attendees, would charge $1,000 per day for the complicated and detailed services rendered.