BY ELAINE POFELDT
In 2015, the Convention Industry Council and Meetings Mean Business coalition expanded National Meetings In- dustry Day—a wildly successful event created by MPI’s Canada chapters—into a North American celebration,
and the rest of the world took note. Last year, North American Meetings Industry Day included 88 events across the
continent. Global organizations soon reached out to say they
wanted the event, which calls attention to the local economic
impact of meetings, to go international.
The culmination of those conversations is
a ;irst for the industry—a new event called
Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). On
April 14 and thereabouts, members of MPI
and their counterparts in other industry associations will celebrate the event together,
from locations around the world.
“What’s fascinating is it’s been organic,” says Michael Dominguez (MPI Southern California Chapter), senior vice president
and chief sales of;icer at MGM Resorts International and co-chair of the Meetings Mean Business coalition, which was created in 2009 to highlight the value business meetings, events and
travel bring to the U.S. economy.
At one key 2016 event, meeting professionals will rally at
the Texas State Capitol as part of a two-day global celebration
that starts on April 14. Hosted by the MPI Texas Hill Country
Chapter in collaboration with Meetings Mean Business, the
event will include a press conference to call attention to the
economic impact of meetings at the local level. At least 300
meeting professionals from MPI and other organizations are
expected to attend.
“We have 12 industry associations joining us,” says Marcia
Williams, CMM, CMP, an independent planner and president of
EVENTive, who is planning the event for the chapter. “It’s truly
one industry. Everyone I’ve talked to says we are making his-
The rally will be followed by a panel discussion featuring
Dominguez, as well as Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO
of MPI; Deborah Sexton, president and CEO of PCMA; Cathy
Breden, CAE, CMP, executive vice president and COO of IAEE;
and Ken Sanders, president of Freeman AV. The chapter will be
streaming it live.
“If you’re not in Texas, not to worry—you can watch it anywhere from your computer,” Williams says.
Thousands of miles away, in Canada, both the MPI Toronto
and British Columbia chapters will be celebrating the international expansion of the event, which started out in Canada 20
A longstanding tradition of celebrating the value of meetings in
Canada has organically developed into what is now Global Meetings
Industry Day in April.
APRIL 14, 2016