How Groups Are Celebrating Global Meetings Industry Day

April 7, 2021

Always a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of face-to-face gatherings big and small, Global Meetings Industry Day takes on added significance this year. Just as last year’s all-virtual celebration was a reflection of the pandemic’s beginnings, planned meetings this Thursday, April 8, offer a preview of the future.

Created by the Meetings Mean Business Coalition in 2016, GMID 2021 “represents a milestone in the safe return of major in-person events and for the people, communities and cities who rely on them,” according to Coalition representatives. Events will occur on three continents, including North America, where the momentum continues to build for in-person trade shows, conferences and other events.

Fittingly, celebrations in the United States reflect the different stages of recovery. Some will be virtual-only, while others will include small gatherings augmented by digital audiences (aka hybrid events). Regardless of the manner in which they meet, groups will be highlighting the importance of face-to-face meetings, citing talking points such as these:

  • Prior to the pandemic, in-person meetings and events supported 5.9 million American jobs and spurred hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue.
  • Eight in ten Americans who attended in-person meetings and conventions before the pandemic miss doing so and are just as likely — if not more likely — to attend them in the future.
  • There is increasing recognition among employers, even after adapting to the digital workplace, that face-to-face interaction is necessary for building teams, networking effectively and growing the bottom line at a rate that can’t be replicated by a Zoom call.

Here is a look at what’s on tap for Thursday.

MPI GMID Virtual—Livestream

MPI is presenting 12 hours of content from 6 a.m.– 6 p.m. designed to educate planners and suppliers on effective ways to conduct safe meetings going forward. A virtual photo booth will help the digital audience feel connected.

A marquee attraction, being shared with other events held that day, is a panel discussion involving industry leaders including:

  • Julie Coker, president & CEO, San Diego Tourism Authority
  • Michael Massari, chief sales officer, Caesars Entertainment
  • Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX
  • Paul VanDeventer, CEO, MPI
  • Annette Gregg, senior vice president of experience, MPI

Behind the Curtain: Planning a “Meet Safe” Meeting—New York City

New York & Company CEO Fred Dixon, who is also Meetings Mean Business Coalition co-chairman, will kick off this 2.5-hour event with an industry update. Dixon will then participate in a panel featuring corporate and association planners, as well key figures discussing the future of hotels, diversity and technology. The event will be held virtually via Encore Chime and in-person at the Conrad New York Downtown. It is complementary to all event and hospitality professionals, who are eligible for one hour’s worth of CPU credits for attending.

Caesars Meets Advocacy—Livestream

Caesars Entertainment, interested in showcasing its sparkling Caesars Forum and other properties, is hosting a media FAM trip, including meals and tours. The group will watch the MPI-affiliated panel discussion as well. The event is being livestreamed via Facebook Live.

MPI North Florida at Daytona

This chapter, located in one of the country’s most open states, is going to the races with a day at the Daytona International Speedway. The location highlights the need for unique venues with open spaces while touching on the risky business that are events. Attendees will hear from industry professionals on how to plan for risk and crisis in large-scale events and engage in hands-on, unforgettable training experiences.

PCMA and MPI Kansas City

PCMA’s heartland chapter and MPI Kansas City are hosting a live volunteer event at the Loews Kansas City Hotel. Attendees will form an assembly line to create 500 bags of goods to benefit a local charity, Operation Breakthrough, which focuses on servicing the needs of underserved children in the Kansas City area.

PMCA Capital Chapter

Naturally, efforts in Washington, D.C. center on lobbying. Virtual visits with Capitol Hill staff are scheduled all week. On Thursday, the Capital chapter is teaming up with its Midwest counterpart for a two-hour online gathering that includes esteemed panelists such as Elliott Ferguson, president & CEO of Destination DC and Amy Calvert, CEO of Events Industry Council.

Event Leadership Institute

Howard Givner, founder of the Event Leadership Institute, will lead a 90-minute webinar from 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m. EST. Discussing the future of trade shows and other large events will be:

  • Kathryn Frankson, director of marketing, Informa
  • Tavar James, director, head of experiential marketing, Equitable
  • Brian Morrissey, founder, The Rebooting
  • Nico van Praag, senior vice president of global integrated experience strategy, Freeman Company

GMID MPI Minnesota—Minneapolis, MN

Bonnie Carlson, president and CEO of Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau and MPI’s incoming president will introduce a special message from Gov. Tim Walz during the 2.5-hour bruncheon at Omni Viking Lakes Hotel. Dayna Frank, CEO of First Avenue Productions, will deliver a keynote and then a panel representing different elements of the industry discussing the myriad challenges ahead.

San Francisco Hospitality Grand Slam

San Francisco Travel, Giants Enterprises, Hartmann Studios, Certain and numerous Bay Area meeting and event association chapters will meet remotely. San Francisco Giants Multimedia Producer and Reporter Amy Gutierrez will moderate a discussion centered on the return of gatherings. Bay Area-based panelists will include:

  • Edward Perotti, global director of field events, Pure Storage
  • Jody Brandes, group manager, Genentech
  • Leslie Hasvold, corporate event marketing director, Splunk

Incentive Live, Tucson, Arizona

Northstar Meetings Group is holding a three-day event, April 7-9, at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. The corporate-centric event includes well known speakers like Julie Branstrom, owner/president of Vista Meetings & Incentives; Stephanie Harris, president of the Incentive Research Foundation; David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Global Events, and more.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Just when it seems like Las Vegas can’t get any bigger, brighter or more exciting for groups, MGM Resorts raises the bar again. The company continues to invest and innovate across its portfolio of Las Vegas resorts, with new attractions and upgraded experiences for attendees of all interests.  Remodeled Guest Rooms MGM Grand is the largest single hotel in the world with over 5,000 guest rooms and an 850,000-square-foot conference center. It is home to the newly remodeled MGM Grand Studio Tower—700 reimagined guest rooms with a fun mid-century vibe. Nearby, the iconic New York-New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino recently completed a $63M redesign and remodel of its 1,830 guest rooms and 155 suites. Down the street, Bellagio Las Vegas is sporting renovated rooms in the Spa Tower with sunrise-inspired decor and luxurious soaking tubs in Premier King rooms after a $110-million transformation. Reinvented Luxury Experiences The Luxury Meetings District, made up of Bellagio Las Vegas, ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel & Spa, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas, is now more connected than ever before. A new interior walkway opened this October for a seamless attendee experience – connecting Vdara, Bellagio, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, guests can now walk from Park MGM to Bellagio in around 15 minutes. New on the scene in the Luxury Meetings District is Cathedrale at ARIA, TAO Group’s upscale establishment specializing in exquisite French-Mediterranean cuisine offering elevated private dining experiences that opened in May. Heralded by World’s Best 50 Restaurants, GQ and VOGUE, LPM at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is opening this fall and will deliver its signature spontaneity and imaginative celebration of France’s Mediterranean cuisine, art, and culture to the unique luxury resort in impeccable fashion.  A “New Wave  for Mandalay Bay A new wave of enhancements and experiences has arrived at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, including Flanker Kitchen + Sports Bar, an 8,445-square-foot restaurant that opened this June, perfect for pre- and post-game eats and drinks. Event planner’s favorite, Chef Michael Mina’s StripSteak, received a full renovation and now includes one of the largest private dining rooms on The Strip. Retro by Voltaggio debuts a one-year residency with a fun take on pop culture of the 80s and 90s with classic American dishes. An exciting addition planned for 2024 is Swingers, a 40,000-square-foot oasis of street food, miniature golf and art at Mandalay Bay. Most exciting for meeting planners, the 2.1 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center  is undergoing a complete refresh, with lightened space, added eye-catching art, and improved technology infrastructure for even more flexible space. Energy-efficient digital signage now leads the way with faster internet speeds and new AV options. From renovated guest rooms and meeting spaces to celebrated dining options and dedicated teams, MGM Resorts is dedicated to delivering exceptional and innovative meeting experiences.