What a difference a year makes. In April 2019, the fourth annual Global Meetings Industry Day spearheaded by the Meetings Mean Business coalition drew its largest audience ever—more than 10,000 people flocked to 230 meeting sites in 42 countries to share ideas and celebrate the impact of meetings and events on economies around the world. For GMID 2020, roughly the same number of people participated—but only through their computers, as the Covid-19 pandemic prevented in-person gatherings at that time.
With GMID 2021 now six weeks away, things seem to be looking better for the meetings and events business. Given the dropping rates of Covid infection and the rising rate of vaccinations, GMID 2021 will have at least some in-person events for planners and suppliers in certain countries, while a marathon of virtual education will be available to remote participants.
On April 8, GMID 2021 will use its in-person gatherings to spotlight for local lawmakers and media outlets the precautions event planners are taking to ensure that in-person attendees are safe and healthy. Under the theme of “Meet Safe,” the in-person events will feature stories from planners and suppliers who have executed on-location events in the past few months. An online repository of such case studies has also been established for anyone to view at meetsafe.travel. While the roster of in-person locations for GMID 2021 is not yet firmed up, events that are confirmed between now and April 8 will also appear on meetsafe.travel.
For industry members who want to participate in GMID 2021 virtually, one option will be Meeting Professionals International’s 12-hour schedule of educational sessions that provide up to 12 continuing education credits. In partnership with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, International Association of Exhibitions & Events, Destinations International, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, International Association of Conference Centers, and Events Industry Council, MPI is creating a broadcast lineup on issues related to holding meetings safely, including best practices, legal and liability consideration, hybrid options, and more. There’s also a “state of the industry” panel discussion with senior executives from both the planner and supplier sides.
MPI’s GMID 2021 live program starts at 6 a.m. Central time on April 8, and is open to both members of MPI and nonmembers at no cost. Register here.