This story on the radio this morning totally caught my attention:

GSA Chief Resigns Over Extravagant Spending

ExcessEventSpending

And while I was listening to the brief segment, and again when reading this news article, I was dumbfounded by what seemed to be an utter lack of common sense on the part of the convention organizers. Why in the world would an agency make $50 per plate breakfasts and a clown entertainer a part of the convention.

But then a thought occurred to me. How many event planners (or event just casual party throwers) look at a budget in front of them and imagine “Oh, what I would do with an unlimited budget”? Generally speaking, we often have grander ideas than our pocketbooks can carry and wish that we could to more… bigger… better. If only that pesky budget wasn’t holding us back.

Big time event planners and event planning agencies wouldn’t event bat an eyelash at the $820K that this former GSA (General Services Administration) Chief helped spend. But to that planning team I can imagine that $75,000/day budget was a dream come true. It was enough to put a sparkle in their eyes and let their imaginations run wild, a chance to go all out and provide something “over-the-top” – an opportunity which any planner would love to have.

So, while I’m not downplaying the blatant poor judgement that was used on this 2010 event, I do wonder how easily I – for instance – could lose my head if faced with abundant resources. How far would I go if the Big Bad Budget was not around…?