Friday, April 07, 2017
Global Meetings Industry Day
Yesterday (April 6, 2017) was Global Meetings Industry Day and I had the pleasure of attending a large celebration in Austin, TX.
Thirteen different meetings industry organizations hosted this informative and fun gathering. (Sadly the National Speakers Association Austin Chapter was not among the organizing sponsors - and in the future we need to make sure NSA participates!).
Many friends and clients were present, and the food was amazing. Plus the open bar started at 3:00 PM ("day drinking" is very Austin). Similar events took place in major cities around the country promoting how meetings mean business.
The two panel discussions were very informative. The first one covered the economic impact of meetings on the Austin economy and the Texas economy while the second dove into issues around security.
Many probably do not realize that the meeting industry is the 3rd largest industry in the region in regards to the economic impact. It has a $7 billion impact and over 120,000 people are employed directly and indirectly because of meetings and hospitality. With over 1900 associations based in Texas, these groups employ 21,000 people. Since a major component of the association business being meetings, they are directly contribute $1.2 billion to the state's economy.
In the dangerous world we live in there are many places that terrorists can attack. Large meeting venues are having to address the same issues that other public arenas are facing in regards to protecting the crowds that convene. The conversation was a bit frightening, but also eye opening to the realities of the times we live in. As a speaker I took notes on the topic, as everyone who is part of the meeting industry must be educated on how to handle incidents that could happen without warning.
I am proud to be part of the meetings industry. Speakers are often absent from industry meetings like this, and yesterday was no different. I looked around and did not see any of my other local professional speaker friends in the audience. It is a shame that speakers do not see themselves as connected to the industry in the same manner as hoteliers, caterers, transportation companies, etc... Speakers are meeting professionals. I recently wrote and article for MPI's Meeting Professional Magazine called "More Than A Speaker", that covered how planners should be hiring engaged partners that do more than deliver a keynote.
(Read the article here: http://www.mpiweb.org/blog/all/mpi-blog/2017/03/27/more-than-a-speaker)
Happy Global Meetings Day to all the Event and Meeting Professionals. We are lucky to work in a cool business that has a real impact on people.
Have A Great Day