The new MMBC website
Following the worldwide economic implosion in Q4 2008, the meetings industry across most global markets was in turmoil. The AIG Effect, based on the mistaken public perception of impropriety on the part of an AIG Insurance department, compounded the challenges greatly.
In early 2009, the industry gathered together to create the Meeting Mean Business Coalition (MMBC), supported by the U.S. Travel Association’s “Keep America Meeting Campaign.” As an industry voice, the MMBC accomplished the goal of changing the conversation revolving around corporate events, to a degree.
Members of the coalition realized in order to be heard in both the public and private spheres, they needed to prove the ROI of bringing people together for destination meetings. As a volunteer-based organization, however, MMBC had always been on the defensive side, challenging public opinion and government oversight.
Based on their success to date, MMBC effectively relaunched in January 2014 with an unprecedented number of industry players working together. The goal of the MMBC now is to be proactive in its promotion of meetings in business development.
The portal is designed to be a resource hub housing research papers, best practices, thought leadership, meeting planning toolkits, press materials and more from suppliers across the industry.
“The purpose of the organization is to protect and prove the value of face-to-face meetings,” says Nan Marchand Beauvois, senior director, national council relations, for the U.S. Travel Association, and liaison for MMBC. “What’s different this time around, versus back in 2008 and 2009, all of the meetings associations, what I affectionately call the alphabet soup, they’re all sitting at the table.”
Presently in development, the MMBC is building an app designed around meetings ROI measurement. Likewise, a “Roadshow in a Box” is being prepared with supporting industry materials for meeting planners to use when they go to present a meeting.
“We’ve literally designed it in terms that government could understand,” says Beauvois. “It’s about jobs and economic impact and not just a frivolous by-product of corporate America.”