How to Celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day 2021

The annual day of advocacy is being recognized with both virtual and in-person events.


On Thursday, April 8, meeting professionals as well as leaders in business, travel and government will gather — both virtually and in-person — to celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day. More than a year since the Covid-19 pandemic set off unprecedented disruption and damage throughout the world, this year's celebration of the importance of business events will take on a greater significance. Organized by the Meetings Mean Business coalition, this international day of advocacy will be marked by a series of events held around the world — all aimed at showcasing the value of business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel and more. 

Dozens of events will be taking place, offering meetings professionals a wide range of opportunities to participate. As vaccine access continues to expand and venues have heightened safety protocols in place, many of the gatherings will take place in person — serving as a marked contrast to last year's GMID. We highlight a number of events below; a more complete list can be found on the Meetings Mean Business website.

MPI GMID Virtual


This all-day virtual event hosted by Meeting Professionals International, in association with Meetings Mean Business, will include education, insights and virtual activities from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT. These offerings include a State of the Industry Panel, featuring industry leaders such as MPI CEO Paul VanDeventer, MMB co-chair Mike Massari and IMEX CEO Carina Bauer.

Other sessions in the packed program cover topics such as "Reimagining Conference Dining," "Trade Shows - The Recovery" and "The Sustainable and Equitable Path to Recovery," as well as case studies of successful in-person and hybrid events. Those interested in joining remotely can register here.

Incentive Live

Tucson, Ariz.

Northstar Meetings Group's annual gathering of incentive industry professionals is taking place in person, at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz. The event will include the interactive Incentive Roundtable, activities and one-on-one appointments between incentive planners and representatives of top incentive destinations, hotels/resorts, cruise lines and more. In honor of GMID, it will kick off with a celebration of the return of live events, featuring an in-person panel of industry leaders discussing the efforts being made toward recovery and the latest Incentive PULSE Survey findings.

The expert panelists include Stephanie Harris, president of the Incentive Research Foundation; David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Global Events; David Kliman, founder and president of The Kliman Group; and Brent DeRaad, president and CEO of Visit Tucson. Northstar Meetings Group's executive vice president and group publisher David Blansfield will serve as the moderator.

The celebration will also include virtual addresses from U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow, Meetings Mean Business Coalition co-chair Fred Dixon and Loews Hotels' co-chairman of the board Jonathan Tisch.

Events Industry Council GMID Conversations


From April 6–8, the Events Industry Council is celebrating GMID with a series of five panel discussions covering several pressing topics in the meetings industry. These begin on April 6 at 10 a.m. EDT with "Advocacy in Action," in which panelists including EIC CEO Amy Calvert, Society of Independent Show Organizers Executive Director David Audrain and Tourism Economics President Adam Sacks examine the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and how to leverage industry resources for one's own advocacy efforts. 

This will be followed by the "EIC Equity Task Force Open House Session," exploring the industry's efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion, both in meeting design and in career and leadership opportunities. On April 7, the organization is hosting a pair of EIC APEX Covid-19 Business Recovery Task Force Open House Sessions, one focused on meeting design and the second on workforce safety practices. On April 8, the final session, "EIC Sustainability and Social Impact Committee Sustainable Event Standards Open House" will explore proposed updates to the EIC Sustainable Event Standards in the areas of social impact, circularity and climate action.

GMID MPI Minnesota


The Minnesota chapter of MPI will be celebrating GMID with an in-person gathering at the Omni Viking Lakes Hotel. The event will include a keynote address from Dayna Frank, CEO of First Avenue Productions, as well as a panel discussion with representatives from a number of meetings-industry organizations, including the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence, International Live Events Association, Society of Government Meeting Planners and more. Bloomington CVB CEO Bonnie Carlson will serve as emcee, and the gathering will include a special message from Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz.

While more than 50 people are expected to be in attendance, participants can also watch the event remotely.

Behind the Curtain: Planning a "Meet Safe" Gathering

New York City

Taking place at the Conrad New York Downtownthis hybrid event will bring together members of MPI Greater New York, SITE Northeast, New York Professional Convention Management Association and EventFluence for an evening of education and insights. A panel of industry experts will discuss strategies for designing safe and responsible events, and best practices for hosting impactful hybrid gatherings. 


Opening of the Meetings Industry Museum

Zacatecas, Mexico

Taking place the evening before GMID, at 7 p.m. on April 7, Mexico's Zacatecas Convention Palace will officially open the Meetings Industry Museum (Museo de la Industria de Reuniones, or MIR). The unique new venue — possibly a world first — will occupy part of the convention center in the capital city of Zacatecas, in the state of the same name in the north-central part of the country.

The museum, which will pay homage to the creativity and strategy of those who have helped to mold this important sector of Mexico's economy, will consist of eight exhibit rooms. Designed to educate and inspire students and the youngest generation entering the meetings and tourism industries, these exhibits will offer insight into the history of the sector — dating back to 1902 — and cover many of the leaders, associations, destinations and conferences that have played integral roles in the development of meetings and events, throughout Mexico and specifically in Zacatecas.

... And More

A number of other events will be taking place throughout the U.S. and beyond, including MPI UK & Ireland's 8x8 Insights virtual event , Caesars Entertainment's Caesars Meets Advocacy livestream and a GMID Hospitality Grand Slam, hosted by San Francisco Travel and other Bay Area industry organizations. To see the full (and expanding) lineup of GMID events, both in-person and virtual, visit the Meeting Means Business roundup here.