Raise your hand if your friends or family member still have no idea what you do as a meeting and hospitality professional? Sure, some of my friends understand, but you all are industry professionals! And we have a holiday to prove it: Global Meetings Industry Day.
Listening to my parents describe is sometimes comedic (trust me, they are good intentioned and very proud), but I quickly find myself stepping up on my advocate soapbox and beginning with “Actually, as a meeting professional, I manage a budget that impacts the community and partners who work in it. Let me tell you more about not what my job is, but why I do what I do…”
After all, meetings mean business. Did you know, as reported by Meetings Mean Business, our industry contributes more to the U.S. national GDP than the air transportation, motion picture, sound recording, performing arts and spectator sport industries? Think about that. Our industry in 2016 generated $845 billion in economic impact for 2016 in the United States. I can’t imagine the growth we should see from 2017 and beyond. We need to share it, and Meetings Mean Business Coalition has made it possible for us to continue to share this information as one voice.
Global Meetings Industry Day, which is April 12 this year, is the perfect time for us to showcase the real impact that conferences, conventions, exhibitions/tradeshows, meetings and business incentive trips have on our economy.
Not only is it about the dollars we see spent in communities, but it is the job which are created from housekeeping at the hotel to the CEO of an events firm, the personal connections which have driven me through mentorship and growth, and the business relations across the globe who assist in booking business and crafting experiences. We have a community that is strong, and one that makes face-to-face meetings more important than ever.
Together, we stand as one voice. Make sure you share what you do by sharing with #GMID18, and note that this year’s tagline “Real results, real impact, all around the world” shines bright as we come together on April 12. Plan an event for your community, or seek out a local event to attend by visit meetingsmeabusiness.com/GMID.
Angie Ahrens, CMP, was preciously senior director of meetings and events at Connect, overseeing the programming of all Connect events.