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/