Meetings industry leaders came together in Atlantic City yesterday to celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), an annual event created last year by Meetings Mean Business (MMB) to showcase the impact that meetings have on local economies and communities.
The Atlantic City event, sponsored by Meet AC and Caesars Entertainment, featured a panel of industry luminaries including Roger Dow, president and CEO of the US Travel Association; Jim Wood, president and CEO of Meet AC; Michael Massari, chief sales officer at Caesars Entertainment; Karrie Hall, vice president and general manager of Harrah's Atlantic City; Michael Dominguez, chief sales officer at MGM Resorts International; Paul VanDeventer, president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and co-chair of MMB; and Larry Luteran, executive vice president and chief sales officer of Freeman Company. The group discussed the importance of face-to-face meetings and Atlantic City's plans for supporting group business.
"One face-to-face meeting is the equivalent of 20 emails and 10 conference calls," said VanDeventer.
Technology will never kill meetings, Dominguez added during the panel discussion. "The best evidence of this is the number of people who sell technology are meeting face-to-face in droves," he pointed out.
"In Atlantic City we understand that meetings mean business. Connecting and networking with face-to-face meetings is crucial throughout the meetings and convention industry," said Wood. "Meet AC had a record year in event bookings and a year of advancing Atlantic City's image in the meetings and convention market. Global Meetings Industry Day is a terrific day to come together to demonstrate the impact that meetings have on our destinations."
The growing popularity of Atlantic City as a meetings destination was evident not only at the Atlantic City Convention Center, where the panel took place, but over at the former Trump Taj Mahal as well, which Hard Rock International took over and announced its renovation plans for yesterday.
"We couldn't be more thrilled to be part of Global Meetings Industry Day in Atlantic City," said Massari. "At Caesars Entertainment we strongly believe in the value of face-to-face meetings. We are passionate about the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and the work they are doing to bring visibility to the meetings industry. Atlantic City is an important market for us and celebrating this day in this town solidifies how this destination has shifted to accommodate the business traveler."
Below, Roger Dow talks with Successful Meetings about GMID 2017