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Showing Support for the Value of Meetings

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Many people are so busy in their day-to-day jobs that they have little time to reflect on the challenges or, as the optimist would say, the opportunities to establish themselves as the recognized leader within their industry. CMPs have already established themselves as leaders of the meetings industry. However, as long as an issue or problem remains indiscernible, it is guaranteed to remain unsolvable. We can never solve problems by making excuses. In fact, we cannot fix a problem that we refuse to acknowledge. Optimists often view problems as opportunities in disguise.

The issue we have to acknowledge and continue to work to solve is relevancy for meetings, the meeting professional and the meetings industry. We must be diligent in advocating the relevancy of meetings. And we have been.  In the last few months, there have been events in North America that have raised awareness and educated leaders about the value and impact of meetings and the meetings industry.

On April 16, the Meetings Mean Business Coalition held the first North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID) as a way to engage the grassroots community by showcasing the industry’s strength and demonstrating the tremendous value of face-to-face meetings. The Convention Industry Council was very instrumental in assisting and coordinating groups throughout North America that wished to hold events in support. Here is a brief recap:

Participating countries hosted 88 events:
  • Canada – 8
  • Latin America – 17
  • Mexico – 16
  • United States – 47
NAMID events included rallies, press conferences, speaking panels, educational events, award presentations and proclamations.

NAMID was covered extensively in the industry trade magazines, picked up by CNBC and garnered 3,283,043 total impressions of #NAMID15. By the end of the day on April 16th, #NAMID15 was trending in the top 10 on Twitter.

The most recent advocacy event was the second annual Exhibitions Day, June 9th in Washington D.C. Efforts focused squarely on bringing members of the industry together to engage, as a single and cohesive voice, with U.S. Congressional leaders, keeping the following objectives in mind:
  1. Raise awareness about the industry as a whole among government and other influential audiences
  2. Educate our nation’s leaders about the value and impact of exhibitions and events on cities and communities across the United States
  3. Help government officials be more cognizant of our industry and its relationship to "their work"

Attendees met with members of Congress and their staff to address four primary topics:
  1. Asked for the passage of H.R. 1401 – the JOLT Act
  2. Support for Open Skies agreements
  3. Support for Trade Promotion Authority
  4. Advocated the importance of supporting government attendance at exhibitions and events
Organizations that supported this event were the International Association of Exhibition and Events™ (IAEE), the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), Convention Industry Council (CIC), Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), E2MA, Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA), Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA), International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Major American Trade Show Organizers (MATSO), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Professional Conference Management Association (PCMA), Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and the U.S. Travel Association (U.S. Travel). Additionally, industry media partners who supported the event include Expo Magazine, Trade Show Executive(TSE) and TSNN.  

The Exhibitions Day news releases were picked up by nearly 200 publications, resulting in more than 165 million impressions. Exhibitions Day garnered 4,170,656 total impressions of #ExhibitionsDay.

These two events are shining examples of the advocacy power our industry can have when we work together and collaborate on events for the good of the entire industry. 

One might ask "How may I help?" "How can I stay informed?" Well, the answer is simple. The Convention Industry Council, along with Voices In Advocacy®, has a portal named CIC AdvocacyHub™ available for anyone in the industry to sign up for "Advocacy Updates." These updates are delivered via email when, and only when, the grassroots of the meetings industry need to be informed on current, relevant issues. Click here to join the CIC AdvocacyHub™ effort.

We must all continue to speak out as one voice about one industry to have our relevance heard.

About Roger Rickard
Roger is the guy organizations call when they need help with advocacy. As the founder of Voices in Advocacy® and author of "7 Actions of Highly Effective Advocates," Roger works with organizations by "Supporting Causes & Developing Advocates." 


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