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Everyone knows the phenomenon - you go to the trade show or the big industry meeting, you get acquainted with a dozen or a hundred new contacts, you go home - and suddenly you realize that you have absolutely no real bond with the people you just "added" to your network. Was it John from Toledo who thought the new product line was going to turn his business around? No, that was Terry from Jonesville. Wait, Terry wasn't from Jonesville, Bob Jones was from…wait, was Bob Jones the one with the funky ties, or the one who always got a chicken salad sandwich at lunch?

During times when budgets are tight and return on investment is at the top of everyone's list of goals, meeting planners are urged to be more 'strategic' and not to focus so much on 'tactics.' The origin of this seeming dicotomy is "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu, and when these ideas were codified more than 2,000 year ago, the focus wasn't on meetings and events. When these terms are used today in our industry, we all get the implication: strategy-good; tactics-whatever.