IT TOOK WORK for the Meeting Industry Council of Colorado (MIC) to get to “all for one and one for all”—but they
got there. The organization, which promotes collaboration,
networking and knowledge-sharing between members of
13 Rocky Mountain-area meetings-related groups, including MPI, the Rocky Mountain Business Travel Association,
the Colorado Society of Association Executives and others,
was nudged and cajoled into existence by Scott Friedman,
CSP, chief celebration of;icer at Friedman & Associates.
Twenty-;ive years ago, Friedman started getting members of various organizations together for breakfast.
“He kept calling them and saying, ‘Let’s brainstorm
some more, how can we work together, we are all in the
same industry,’” says Debbie Taylor (MPI Rocky Mountain
Chapter), MIC executive council member and past chair,
and founder of Taylor Made Events & Speakers.
Those meetings continued for 10 years until MIC was
of;icially incorporated in 2000. This past March, MIC celebrated the 15th anniversary of its cross-organizational
event, the MIC Educational Conference and Tradeshow.
“Obviously several of these organizations compete. It
took a long time to get trust for everybody to know that,
when you collaborate, when you do things together, we’re
all so much stronger,” Taylor says. “We all have common
goals and we stand together to do one meeting a year.”
Planning for the annual event takes place at monthly
meetings, held in the VISIT DENVER of;ices, which brings
together one board member from each association as well
as MIC’s executive committee.
Standing together has helped expand the reach for all
MIC members. Attendance has trended upward every year;
the meeting last March clocked in 1,160 people. And the
trade show always has more than 100 booths but now also
includes exhibitors from more distant destinations, such as
Canada and Puerto Rico.
With people coming from so many organizations and
locations, great business relationships are blossoming for
Colorado’s planning community.
“You’ve got an opportunity to build relationships with
people that you’re not going to see at your [association]
monthly meeting,” Taylor says. “The energy is better, the
relationships are better. Everybody understands what ev-
erybody else does. It’s just so much more fun.”
Taylor believes other states should really get in on
building a cross-association organization. And the love for
MIC—as well as its in;luence and importance—has de;i-
nitely grown. For the ;irst six years of the organization,
there was no competition for the association’s chair.
“But it’s so successful now, everybody wants to be on
the council,” she says. “We’re so proud of it.”
IN KNOWLEDGE AND IDEAS
COUNCIL OF COLORADO