Connect Partners with World Meetings Forum to Expand Reach Into Americas and Caribbean

November 15, 2021

Connect teamed with World Meetings Forum (WFM), one of the most important events linking qualified hosted buyers with suppliers for the MICE industry, as part of its ongoing mission to present event planners with a diverse group of impressive destinations.

WFM has nearly 10 years of presence in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean and was the first event in the region to return face-to-face in 2020 in Los Cabos.

Rafael Hernandez, chair of the WFM, will act as a liaison to Latin American, Central American and Spanish-speaking Caribbean DMCs to attend future Connect events.

“We are extremely excited to have highly regarded partners such as Rafael Hernandez and the World Meetings Forum,” said Derek Rodriguez, Connect’s vice president of sales. “I am confident that this would only add to the value Connect offers the events industry as we all are looking to rebound from such a challenging period.”

Hernandez, who has been a leading voice for professional events in Latin America for two decades, has the established connections to further bolster the strong set of suppliers and event professionals Connect attendees have come to expect at its events.

The increased presence of such destinations will meet the increasing demand of Connect attendees looking to source international association conferences, global corporate meetings and incentive trips in Mexico, the Caribbean and beyond. Through Connect’s innovative reverse-style trade show, planners meeting one-on-one with representatives from international destinations can initiate their RFP process and build important business connections.

“We see a great opportunity to help and open new business opportunities for exhibitors that want and need new opportunities with the U.S.-based qualified buyers at Connect events,” Hernandez said. “We expect the same excitement for U.S. companies that can take advantage of opportunities in this part of the world.” 

The timing of the announcement comes as Connect has begun planning for its 2022 portfolio of events. Highlights include Connect Spring Marketplace in Puerto Rico, May 22-24, and Connect Marketplace in Detroit, Aug. 8-10, both of which are expected to draw thousands of the industry’s best event professionals. Connect 2021, Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Tampa, Fla., drew approximately 2,500 event professionals, a sign of a welcomed step forward for the events industry. 

Connect pledges to build off that momentum to facilitate necessary face-to-face professional events with planners and destinations eager to bring in new business. Connect fully expects a robust increase in business travel in 2022 and aims to continue being a leader in finding the right venue matches for important meetings and events.

Photo: San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: