After 10 years of work, the Meetings Mean Business Coalition is in a stronger data-supported position to advocate for the meetings and events industry. So said Trina Camacho-London, vice president of global group sales for Hyatt Hotels and MMBC co-chair, at a press conference held during the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders conference January 5-8 in San Francisco.
Flanked by Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Co. and fellow MMBC co-chair, and Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Camacho-London told members of the meetings-industry media that “it’s been a decade since the financial crash that spurred the creation of MMBC. We must promote the economic and social value of in-person events and safeguard the industry against both financial and reputational threats. Our goal is to bring all segments of the industry together as one voice to promote its impact.”
One thing that can boost the meetings and events industry among corporate, association, and governmental decision-makers is data. MMBC cites a figure of $2.53 trillion in global economic impact, $135 billion in direct meeting and event spending in North America alone, and one million North American jobs directly related to meetings and events. Even so, Dixon said that MMBC “is going to be renewing our focus on economic data. One of the issues we had ten years ago was that we weren’t sure of the scale of the industry, so we couldn’t really talk about it intelligently. We're going to continue to work on compiling data and information on market trends, so we are prepared with the latest figures when we need them. We're going to strengthen our efforts online to reach more influencers and continue to remind policy makers and business leaders that they all have to leverage face-to-face meetings” to succeed in their work.
In 2020, MMBC will spread its message with supporting data and real-world stories through a push aimed specifically at mayors, city council members, and local chambers of commerce across the United States and in other countries. “These groups, particularly the mayors, have been important champions for our industry over the years, and they're making decisions that impact our industry’s financial and reputational health every day,” Dixon said. In fact, MMBC is joining the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2020 to expand its opportunities to engage the group’s members year-round.
The other major initiative for MMBC is Global Meeting Industry Day, set this year for April 14. In 2019, 275 GMID events were held in 54 countries around the world; they received more than 88 million social-media impressions. The events include rallies, press conferences, panel discussions, educational events, and award presentations. More than 120 North American destinations are expected to host GMID events this year. For information on attending an event or creating one in your city, visit https://www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com/gmid.