TAMS Grows to 2,500 Members

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The pandemic was fertile ground for a new grassroots industry group—known as the Travel and Meeting Society, or TAMS—to flourish.

The first society of business travel and meeting industry professionals, TAMS is a community poised to make a difference and able to disrupt in a way that current industry associations can not. Founded by long-time meeting industry leader Susan Lichtenstein, managing partner of DigiTravel Consulting and former director of global procurement at Cisco Systems, TAMS promotes itself as “a collaborative, grassroots and independent society of business travel industry professionals designed to drive the business travel and meeting & event industry forward through collaboration and networking.”

The idea for the group came to Lichtenstein in March, as the lockdowns started and the industry began to implode. “I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we all got together—suppliers, buyers—let’s get together and see if we can move this forward. And I did a simple LinkedIn post asking if anyone was interested in getting together to try to see what’s next and if we can help. I thought I would get 10 people and I got 10,369 views.”

Since then, the group of 2,526 volunteer members has built a web site and social media sites and rolled out three downloadable reports (Standards of Safety in Business Travel, a Return to the Road Communication Kit and a Diversity Conversation Toolkit), as well as webinars on topics such as transferrable skills for industry members who are unemployed.

At the Heart of TAMS

The concept of “Every Voice Matters” is at the heart of TAMS. Its flat organizational structure is led by committee leaders focused on 11 topic areas, ranging from disruption to diversity to sustainability. The leaders have 18-month tenures, which keeps the organization fresh and allows opportunities for others to lead.

At the moment, funding is solely donation-based. Learn more here: https://www.tamstravel.org/

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.