Resolutions for a New Year

January 19, 2017
By Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of ‎Meeting Professionals International and Co-chair of Meetings Mean Business

Every year around this time, MMB board members come together at PCMA’s Convening Leaders conference and practice what we preach: We sit in a room, discuss what’s working well, and determine a path forward for the coalition. We tackle big questions and engage in vigorous dialogue, the likes of which can only be done face-to-face.

What are the measurable objectives for MMB? Who are the people we need to engage, both within our industry and outside of it? What are the principal measures of success? Such questions were at the heart of our conversations at PCMA in Austin, where just last week, we came together to finalize plans for 2017. During the meeting, MMB board members committed to a shortlist of priorities for the coming year. Here is a look at four of them:

1. Generate greater awareness of the industry’s value.

Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) is one of the best ways we have to promote ourselves as an industry. This year, GMID will take place on April 6, 2017. Coalition members, industry partners, and meeting professionals all around the world will champion the value of our industry through events, social media, petitions and more. We need your help to ensure it is a success. To get started, check out our GMID primer, how to get involved document and event host checklist.

2. Engage directly with meeting planners.

This is an area I’m personally very passionate about. As MMB co-chair and CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), I am a strong supporter of the new MMB Meeting Planner Task Force, which met for the first time at PCMA in Austin. The Task Force brings together thirty meeting planners from across the country who have committed to working with MMB and helping us to answer tough questions, such as: What’s the role of advocacy in the industry and what are the most pressing issues we face over the next year? This group will help shape new programs and resources, influencing how MMB advocates on behalf of the industry.

3. Create new proof points and research.

Because we know that facts and figures are key to telling our industry’s value story, we will continue to commission research that speaks to the positive impact of our industry and offers data to substantiate our messages (similar to our Business Leaders Survey and Small Business Survey).

This spring, we’ll introduce MMB quarterly dashboards, illustrating the impact of meetings in key congressional districts and quantifying the revenue generation, tax contribution and industry-related jobs. We’ll also focus on how the meetings industry acts as an economic driver in different destinations across U.S.

4. Spread our message around the world.

MMB recently developed a licensing agreement that allows international partners to build their own coalition chapters. As a result, other countries are able to adapt the MMB U.S. model for communications and outreach in a way that is authentic to their country and their culture. Our hope is that new organizations emerge to help globalize messages about the value of in-person meetings and the industry that provides them.

At the same time, we still need your commitment and engagement to advance our work domestically. If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to explore MMB’s toolkit and advocacy pages to see how you can get involved in the work of our coalition. A great first step is to sign up to receive MMB updates on a regular basis.