legacy

What Will You Leave Behind?

Legacy can come in many shapes and sizes, places and people.

People or organizations who are passionate about something and put their hearts and minds into it, typically also want to leave something behind after their work is done: a best practice, a new approach, a better future for others or the earth … or maybe even create a building, a song, or a work of art. Something that says “I/we were here” and “ I/we tried to leave things a little bit better.” In other words, passionate people and organizations often want to leave a legacy.

The concept of a legacy can sound a bit big and daunting. Where do we start? Can one person or a small organization really make a difference? Does it require a huge, earth-shattering move, or can it be something small—or start small and grow over time?

At IMEX, we believe the people and places in the meetings industry are in a prime position and have already begun to create exciting legacies of all shapes and sizes, legacies that go beyond event-to-event thinking and help us leave a positive mark.

So, throughout 2018 we’ll be helping the attendees at IMEX in Frankfurt and Las Vegas tease through what they might want their legacy to be for themselves and/or their organizations, and how and where they can get started.

Legacy is, in fact, IMEX’s theme for the year and will be reflected strongly in our partnerships, community programs, and educational offerings.

To make the concept of building a legacy more accessible and digestible, it will be shared through five lenses—Political Legacy, Knowledge Legacy, CSR Legacy, Environmental Legacy, and Personal Legacy. Living, breathing legacy best practices and examples of amazing people doing cool things in each of these areas will be leveraged heavily to provide ideas, resources, and inspiration.

On the political front, for example, there are some really interesting ways that innovative, mid-sized cities—for example, Nashville, Tenn.; Victoria, Canada; Albuquerque, N.M.; Bristol, England; Stuttgart, Germany; and Monterey, Calif., (just to name a few)—are creating a legacy of rich, industry expertise sharing and unique, industry-driven experiences for meeting goers visiting their cities that, in turn, play a role in local and regional economic growth. These are examples we can all take heart in and learn from in small and big ways. (In fact, see a just-released report called the “Rise of Midsized Cities.”) Perhaps you’ll want to pick the brains of some of the folks behind these efforts at IMEX in Frankfurt?

Also, how about being a part of the collective energy of women in the meetings industry at the inaugural “She Means Business” program at IMEX in Frankfurt on EduMonday to help get your legacy-creation juices flowing? Topics like diversity and justice, empowerment, personal development, and creating culture shifts will be explored, with all welcome to join in. Legacy weavers like Laura Winterling, CEO of Space Time Concepts Ltd. and the European Astronaut Centre; Karin Nordmeyer, chairwoman of the U.N. National Committee, Germany; and Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of Business Events Sydney, will be featured.

So, although legacy can, at first blush, seem a rather lofty topic to bite off, we have lots of great “road signs” and super people right here in our industry and beyond who can help steer us towards leaving a legacy. We just need to be open to taking the first steps of the journey.

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