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Global Meetings Industry Day Celebrates the Industry

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) was started in Canada in the mid-1990s by Meeting Professionals International’s Greater Edmonton Chapter and was then known as Meeting Planners Day. In 2015, leaders met with the U.S. Travel Association’s Meetings Mean Business coalition and the Events Industry Council, and decided to include the U.S. and Mexico. One year later, Global Meetings Industry Day was launched.

On this year’s GMID, April 11, in Orlando, Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome composed a poem on the tremendous value of in-person meetings and the positive impact meetings have on the community, businesses and the local economy. ​Hilton’s “The Meeting That Meant Everything” contest asked: “What was that ONE MEETING, that one incredible memory when everyone came together and it all just clicked?” The lucky grand prize winner (who has not yet been announced) will receive one million Hilton Honors Points for his or her organization. In Chicago, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)’s Midwestern Chapter held the Industry Xchange 2024 event at Convene, Willis Tower, with education about the latest trends in event technology.

There were an estimated 50 celebrations and activations in many cities, but the focal point of the day was Meeting Professionals International’s all-day virtual event, with sessions ranging from “Planning Beyond the Comfort Zone” to “The Power of Strategic Partnerships in Diversity and Inclusion.” Interspersed were interviews by MPI’s CEO, Paul Van Deventer, with industry leaders such as Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX; posts by meeting pros from their living room home offices; and live feeds from various GMID celebrations, including in Toronto, where the presenters were so giddy with excitement to the point that they literally couldn’t stop laughing.

Related. Business Events Industry Week Heads to the Capital to Reinforce the Importance of the Global Events Industry

Highlights included a talk by Ishma Haider, who joined U.S Travel Association in November in the new role of Vice President, Group Travel, charged with bolstering the association’s work to increase group/meetings travel to and within the United States. “Every day, I focus on protecting and growing travel in the U.S.,” she told an online audience in the hundreds. “I aim to serve as a dedicated resource for members in this space, working to overcome group travel hurdles and advance this critical industry segment.” Among the developments she’s working on are creating “a group of international inbound subject matter experts” and plans “to innovate our existing event portfolios, identifying opportunities to grow value by giving you the resources you need to stay informed and engaged.”

Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, who joined the American Society of Association Executives last September as President and CEO, spoke of the impact meetings, trade shows, conventions and other events have on the world economy. “In the U.S. alone, meetings and events generate nearly $100 billion in travel spending and directly support 600,000 American jobs,” she said. “This is an essential industry for economic growth. It stimulates advancements in industries and professions that better our society and improve our quality of life. Policymakers need to fully understand our industry’s impact and develop policies to accelerate business travel spending.”

Nicole Bowman, ​​MBA, CEM-AP Vice President, Marketing & Communications at IAEE, identified eight 2024 trends, among them workforce development. “There has been a shift on multiple fronts, with professionals coming and going within the exhibitions ecosystem,” she said, pointing to the creation of the Exhibitions Industry Collective with several other industry associations to foster, educate and offer career paths to key segments of trade show production.

Another trend: technology disruptors. “Leverage tech to your advantage and enhance efficiencies to deliver a good experience,” she said. “Spend time with your department mapping out the best digital experience for event stakeholders. It is worth it for all those meetings to get it right.”

Global Meetings Industry Day took place during Business Events Industry Week, presented by the Professional Convention Management Association and Destinations International.

Reach Ishma at; Michelle Mason at; Nicole Bowman at

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