How Groups Are Celebrating Global Meetings Industry Day

April 7, 2021

Always a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of face-to-face gatherings big and small, Global Meetings Industry Day takes on added significance this year. Just as last year’s all-virtual celebration was a reflection of the pandemic’s beginnings, planned meetings this Thursday, April 8, offer a preview of the future.

Created by the Meetings Mean Business Coalition in 2016, GMID 2021 “represents a milestone in the safe return of major in-person events and for the people, communities and cities who rely on them,” according to Coalition representatives. Events will occur on three continents, including North America, where the momentum continues to build for in-person trade shows, conferences and other events.

Fittingly, celebrations in the United States reflect the different stages of recovery. Some will be virtual-only, while others will include small gatherings augmented by digital audiences (aka hybrid events). Regardless of the manner in which they meet, groups will be highlighting the importance of face-to-face meetings, citing talking points such as these:

  • Prior to the pandemic, in-person meetings and events supported 5.9 million American jobs and spurred hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue.
  • Eight in ten Americans who attended in-person meetings and conventions before the pandemic miss doing so and are just as likely — if not more likely — to attend them in the future.
  • There is increasing recognition among employers, even after adapting to the digital workplace, that face-to-face interaction is necessary for building teams, networking effectively and growing the bottom line at a rate that can’t be replicated by a Zoom call.

Here is a look at what’s on tap for Thursday.

MPI GMID Virtual—Livestream

MPI is presenting 12 hours of content from 6 a.m.– 6 p.m. designed to educate planners and suppliers on effective ways to conduct safe meetings going forward. A virtual photo booth will help the digital audience feel connected.

A marquee attraction, being shared with other events held that day, is a panel discussion involving industry leaders including:

  • Julie Coker, president & CEO, San Diego Tourism Authority
  • Michael Massari, chief sales officer, Caesars Entertainment
  • Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX
  • Paul VanDeventer, CEO, MPI
  • Annette Gregg, senior vice president of experience, MPI

Behind the Curtain: Planning a “Meet Safe” Meeting—New York City

New York & Company CEO Fred Dixon, who is also Meetings Mean Business Coalition co-chairman, will kick off this 2.5-hour event with an industry update. Dixon will then participate in a panel featuring corporate and association planners, as well key figures discussing the future of hotels, diversity and technology. The event will be held virtually via Encore Chime and in-person at the Conrad New York Downtown. It is complementary to all event and hospitality professionals, who are eligible for one hour’s worth of CPU credits for attending.

Caesars Meets Advocacy—Livestream

Caesars Entertainment, interested in showcasing its sparkling Caesars Forum and other properties, is hosting a media FAM trip, including meals and tours. The group will watch the MPI-affiliated panel discussion as well. The event is being livestreamed via Facebook Live.

MPI North Florida at Daytona

This chapter, located in one of the country’s most open states, is going to the races with a day at the Daytona International Speedway. The location highlights the need for unique venues with open spaces while touching on the risky business that are events. Attendees will hear from industry professionals on how to plan for risk and crisis in large-scale events and engage in hands-on, unforgettable training experiences.

PCMA and MPI Kansas City

PCMA’s heartland chapter and MPI Kansas City are hosting a live volunteer event at the Loews Kansas City Hotel. Attendees will form an assembly line to create 500 bags of goods to benefit a local charity, Operation Breakthrough, which focuses on servicing the needs of underserved children in the Kansas City area.

PMCA Capital Chapter

Naturally, efforts in Washington, D.C. center on lobbying. Virtual visits with Capitol Hill staff are scheduled all week. On Thursday, the Capital chapter is teaming up with its Midwest counterpart for a two-hour online gathering that includes esteemed panelists such as Elliott Ferguson, president & CEO of Destination DC and Amy Calvert, CEO of Events Industry Council.

Event Leadership Institute

Howard Givner, founder of the Event Leadership Institute, will lead a 90-minute webinar from 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m. EST. Discussing the future of trade shows and other large events will be:

  • Kathryn Frankson, director of marketing, Informa
  • Tavar James, director, head of experiential marketing, Equitable
  • Brian Morrissey, founder, The Rebooting
  • Nico van Praag, senior vice president of global integrated experience strategy, Freeman Company

GMID MPI Minnesota—Minneapolis, MN

Bonnie Carlson, president and CEO of Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau and MPI’s incoming president will introduce a special message from Gov. Tim Walz during the 2.5-hour bruncheon at Omni Viking Lakes Hotel. Dayna Frank, CEO of First Avenue Productions, will deliver a keynote and then a panel representing different elements of the industry discussing the myriad challenges ahead.

San Francisco Hospitality Grand Slam

San Francisco Travel, Giants Enterprises, Hartmann Studios, Certain and numerous Bay Area meeting and event association chapters will meet remotely. San Francisco Giants Multimedia Producer and Reporter Amy Gutierrez will moderate a discussion centered on the return of gatherings. Bay Area-based panelists will include:

  • Edward Perotti, global director of field events, Pure Storage
  • Jody Brandes, group manager, Genentech
  • Leslie Hasvold, corporate event marketing director, Splunk

Incentive Live, Tucson, Arizona

Northstar Meetings Group is holding a three-day event, April 7-9, at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. The corporate-centric event includes well known speakers like Julie Branstrom, owner/president of Vista Meetings & Incentives; Stephanie Harris, president of the Incentive Research Foundation; David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Global Events, and more.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
HERE, hosting responsible meetings and caring for our communities are top priorities. Through its 'Focused on What Matters: Embracing Humanity and Protecting the Planet' philosophy, MGM Resorts commits to creating a more sustainable future, while striving to make an impact in the lives of employees, guests, and the communities in which it operates. Water Stewardship Efforts MGM Resorts understands the importance of using water efficiently, especially in the desert destination of Las Vegas. Conserving water has always been part of the mission, but MGM Resorts has expanded its ambition into water stewardship. In 2022, MGM Resorts President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle signed the CEO Water Mandate—a UN Global Compact initiative mobilizing business leaders to advance water stewardship. MGM Resorts International was the first gaming company to take this important step. MGM Resorts replaced 200,000 square feet of real grass with drought-tolerant landscaping in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts pledges to reduce water withdrawal intensity by 33% by 2025 and by 35% by 2030. From 2007-2021, use of more than 5.6 billion gallons of water was avoided because of conservation efforts. Caring for One Another MGM Resorts’ Food Donations Program collects and preserves unserved food from conventions held at MGM Resorts properties, then safely donates to food insecure people in the community. Since the program’s launch in 2016, more than 3.7 million meals toward a 2025 goal of 5 million meals have been donated into the community. Donations include: Unserved perishable prepared foods from events Perishable unprepared food from MGM Resorts’ kitchens Nonperishable food items from minibars and warehouses The collaboration with Southern Nevada’s primary food bank, Three Square, has developed the infrastructure needed to safely collect, transport, and store food from MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas, reducing food waste while serving the community. Fostering Diversity and Inclusion To MGM Resorts, a diverse and talented workforce is essential to success. By cultivating innovative strategies that consider multiple perspectives and viewpoints, the company creates an inclusive workplace culture that benefits its employees and community. MGM Resorts takes pride in being a welcoming home for veterans, individuals with disabilities, people from diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ community members, and more. This commitment to inclusion is reflected in the company's recruitment and hiring practices and its social responsibility initiatives. From the workplace to the community, MGM Resorts' commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion remains unwavering, and its efforts continue to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all. MGM Resorts understands its responsibility to contribute to the social and economic progress of the communities in which it operates. HERE, we embrace humanity.