On April 6th, our industry banded together throughout the world for Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) to showcase the positive impact that meetings, conferences, conventions and incentive travel have on local economies.
It was a day that we made our voices known to legislators and politicians, as well as our communities to support our promotional efforts.
This year I headed to Atlantic City to be part of GMID with Meet AC and Caesars Entertainment where a panel of industry leaders spoke on the importance of face-to-face meetings. The result was some important takeaways for meeting planners from a distinguished panel that included:
Roger Dow, president & CEO, U.S. Travel Association; Jim Wood, president and CEO of Meet AC; Paul Van Deventer, president & Ceo of Meetings Professionals International and co-chair of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition; Mike Dominquez, chief sales officer at MGM Resorts International; Michael Massari, chief sales officer at Caesars Entertainment; Larry Luteran, executive VP and chief sales officer at Freeman Company; and Karrie Hall, VP and general manager, Harrah’s Atlantic City.
A few Global Meetings Industry Day takeaways for planners:
Hard Work Gets You There
This is an industry where you can succeed with hard work and make it to the top. All of the panel told their story of how they started with their first jobs, such as servers, dishwashers and such, and the successes they have had. A true example of the American spirit.
The Value of Teamwork
Working together helps all concerned; rising tide floats the boat. This is very true of not only competitors working together within our industry, but our meetings industry helping the American people with job creation.
What Technology Is, and Isn’t
Technology is not replacing face-to-face meetings, rather enhancing meetings and events. People want to participate and not just attend, so technology can help them have a better experience.
Face-to-face Still Dominates
Meeting face-to-face is more effective—the equivalent of 20 emails.
Be thoughtful, network, be humble (but confident), practice communication, build relationships, focus on the process and live in the moment. Also remember, content is not king, context is. When you plan your meetings, how does it change your life? The value of our industry lessons pushes out for all.
The biggest takeaway and the bottom line: meetings are NOT going away. Research points out that for every dollar spent on a meeting, three dollars return to the bottom line.
Finally, while the message is strong about the importance of our industry on GMID, as meeting professionals, corporations, destinations, hoteliers, media and other industry members, we all must work together and take the “meetings mean business” message on throughout the year. You can get involved here: www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com
And for more on Global Meetings Industry Day 2017, check out “Record-high Convention Business Gives Vegas a New Reason to Twinkle.”