@MPIGNY- Summer 2014 - (Page 8)
- Meetings Mean Business
BY ROGER DOW
PRESIDENT AND CEO OF U.S. TRAVEL ASSOCIATION
he story of the meetings
and events industry is
untold. In recent history,
it has been defined
mostly by isolated
incidents of abuse by
a few unscrupulous individuals, which
have driven breathless media coverage
and politically-charged rhetoric. While
headline-grabbing phrases like "the
AIG effect" are catchy, by no means
are they representative of the meetings
and events industry and the value it
brings to businesses and economies.
Meetings mean relationships,
business deals, collaboration and
stronger communities, among many
other positive outcomes. As a result of
the national conversation, a coalition
of industry leaders, including the U.S.
Travel Association, Maritz Travel and
more, joined together to push back
against the negative commentary.
Through the creation of the Meetings
Mean Business (MMB) campaign,
the coalition launched a national
movement to change the conversation
around business travel and explain to
customers, associations and businesses
the true value of meetings and events.
Defining the Value of Meetings
The true value of face-to-face business
meetings, conferences, conventions,
incentive travel, tradeshows and
@MPIGNY SUMMER 2014
exhibitions comes in many forms. Faceto-face meetings create opportunities
to build relationships and drive
collaboration across industries.
Simply put, there's no technology
available that can replace a handshake.
MMB sees these vital interactions
happening every day at events across
the country. Through conversations
with coalition members and industry
leaders in various sectors, MMB has
found that the sidebar conversations
held during a tradeshow or exhibition
often prove to be the most fruitful.
And you never know where a casual
cup of coffee with a business partner
or new acquaintance might lead.
Paul Van Deventer, president and chief
executive officer of Meeting Professionals
International (MPI), can attest to this
fact. With more than two decades of
corporate experience, Paul has learned
that the most productive forums for
business are often the most unexpected.
Just recently at a global conference, Paul
said that a simple cup of coffee with a
new acquaintance opened the door to
huge opportunity for his organization.
"During a break in the schedule, a
friend of mine introduced me to someone
I hadn't previously met," he said. "We
had one thing in common - we both had
leadership roles with large associations.
So we grabbed a cup of coffee, sat
down and just started talking."
As the conversation progressed,
it became apparent that both
organizations had some of the same
goals and same ideas when it came
to breaking into new markets.
"As we sat, we started to think about
ways that our associations might be able
to work together," he said. "By the end
of the break, we'd mapped out a way to
pull in a third group and create an entirely
new go-to-market strategy that will be
a huge benefit for everyone involved."
Through this chance meeting,
MPI found two new partners that
have the potential to open up a
whole new world of business.
"The best benefits are often the
events that you never anticipate - the
unplanned conversations," said Van
Deventer. "The friends that I've met,
the business contacts I've made and
the ideas that have come up during a
conversation in the hallway or over a
drink go so far beyond what happens
in any other environment. That's
the real power of face-to-face."
What MMB Stands For
Meetings Mean Business is a proactive,
best-foot-forward campaign, drawing
support from leaders across business,
professional associations and destination
marketing organizations (DMOs).
The campaign is centered on three
pillars that prove the substantial value
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY- Summer 2014
Ask the Board
President’s Message by Carvie Gillikin
Changing the Conversation – Meetings Mean Business
From Carry-Ons to Conference Shoes – Conference Style at Its Best
What’s in My Travel Bag
Day Trips and Weekend Getaways From NYC
Why It’s Time for a Paradine Shift
If Trade Shows Were Uber
Meet the 2014-2015 Board of Directors
28th Annual Auction & Mixology Madness
Member Spotlight a Conversation With Marissa Lynn Pilku
Notes From the Field
@MPIGNY- Summer 2014