Last week, event and meeting professionals from around the world came together to celebrate and champion our industry for the inaugural Global Meetings Industry Day. More than 100 events took place on Thursday, April 14, in over 85 locations in more than 30 countries – including the Meetings Mean Business Coalition rally and panel session that I was a part of in Austin, Texas.
It was incredible to see hundreds of my colleagues raise their voices in support of our industry, and to know that the same thing was happening in places like Brussels, Las Vegas, Guatemala, and beyond. GMID became a real movement online as well, generating over 13 million tweets around the world (with the most coming from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, the UK, Argentina, and South Africa).
So what were the key takeaways from the rally and panel session in Austin? Most broadly, as my co-panelist Sherrif Karamat, CAE, chief operating officer for PCMA, said, “When we meet, we change the world.” Meeting face-to-face at an event or brand experience is not only good for business (93% of business executives say meetings improve their ability to close deals), but on a macro level, it is good for mankind. It helps break down barriers, open up lines of communication, and generate innovation. This sentiment was echoed around the world.
On a micro level, the benefits of conventions, trade shows, and brand experiences have a big impact beyond the meeting space. The work we do has a direct impact on local communities, generating tourism and awareness. And it’s not just the mega events like CES or Mobile World Congress that attract hundreds of thousands of attendees. Smaller events generate economic impact since participants often drive, fly, or take a train to get there, and then stay at local hotels and dine at local restaurants.
Events and brand experiences are an essential element in the customer experience ecosystem. Organizations continue to turn to our medium as a way to build relationships, engage audiences, and capture data. For a curated collection of event research, statistics, and proof points, download our stat pack, The Value of Brand Experience.