by Alex Palmer | April 17, 2018

Industry organizations, associations, planners, and others took time to spotlight the value of meetings and business events as part of Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). Taking place on April 12, the worldwide event saw groups and individuals throughout the world celebrating the impact of the industry. 

Established by industry-advocacy group Meetings Mean Business (MMB), the event was established to show the ways both large and small that face-to-face gatherings can bring benefits, from bringing business into local communities to boosting the global economy. The tagline, "Real results, real impact, all around the world," was reflected in more than 160 celebrations and media events across six continents aimed at underlining the wide-ranging work being done throughout the industry.

"GMID reveals the true convening power of our industry and connects the work we do every day to the long-term impact we have for businesses and economies around the world," said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and co-chair of MMB, in a statement. 

The organization credited the campaign with drawing more than 40 million social media impressions and statements of support from the United States' Department of Homeland Security, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as governors of Washington, Texas, and Minnesota, along with the mayors and city officials of Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin, Baton Rouge, Atlantic City, Broward County, FL, Erie County, NY, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Penang, Malaysia.

"Let's call today Global Meetings 'Impact' Day," Chris Meyer, vice president for global business sales at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said at a gathering at the Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas, attended by Van Deventer, pointing out that 6.7 meeting and convention attendees visited the city in 2017, with an economic impact of $9.3 billion for southern Nevada.

At AT&T Park in San Francisco, more than 350 guests, representing 10 Bay Area industry associations, gathered and networked at the home of the San Francisco Giants. On the other side of the country, NYC & Company's spotlighted the impact of meetings with a tri-state meeting planner event, a Times Square billboard, and lighting major buildings including the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Empire State Building blue. In Asia, MPI Japan held a networking event with government officials; in Australia, Marriott International hosted a Meetings Mean Business Lunch Forum at Sydney's Sheraton on the Park; and in Europe, MPI chapters in Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and many other countries held their own gatherings. For a full list of the events, visit meetingsmeanbusiness.com/gmid/events.

"GMID helps our industry elevate the critical work meeting professionals perform on a daily basis," Julie Coker Graham, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau and co-chair of MMB, told Successful Meetings. "While those of us in the industry are very familiar with the benefits that meetings and events provide for individuals, businesses, and communities, GMID allows us to help the media, elected officials, and the general public better understand our contributions. GMID is a high-impact, highly visible platform for us to share our industry's value story."

This is the third year of the global event, which grew from a Canadian Meetings Industry Day into a North American Meetings Industry Day in 2015. The approximately 160 GMID events is the largest number yet, up from 120 events in 2017.