by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua
Global Meetings Industry Day? If you’re active on social media or read on-line news, you’ll know that every single one of the 365 days of the year has been claimed either nationally or internationally or both by several random causes. Today, the 6th of April 2017, is National Caramel Popcorn Day and National Sorry Charlie Day. Having your own designated day is your free pass to call attention upon yourself, put yourself out there, indulge in unbridled self-promotion, be recognised and applauded for the priceless contribution you make to society as a whole.
Today is Global Meetings Industry Day
So feel free to over-do it with the sticky, sugary 10,000 calorie caramel popcorn all day today and if you’re called Charles or Chuck or Charlie or even Carlo or Carlos please accept my sincerest apologies for all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that may have wounded your fragile ego since Sorry Charlie Day 2016. But for #eventprofs and #meetingprofs Thursday April 6th 2017 is Global Meetings Industry Day, the day when all of us who live and move across the wide spectrum of the meetings industry make a little noise about our special contribution to society.
A major challenge for us as an industry is identity and that starts with what we call ourselves and where we position ourselves. This blog has beaten this particular drum many times in the past so I won’t go there again other than to clarify that when we say “meetings” in Global Meetings Industry Day we intend to be fully inclusive of all activity across the industry spectrum – small and large meetings, seminars, town halls, assemblies, gatherings, symposia, colloquia, conferences, conventions, congresses, festivals, small and big events, special occasions, motivational meetings, incentive travel experiences and so on. Global Meetings Industry Day is a celebration of everything that we do around bringing people together to co-create, build, learn, network, bond, connect, share, reconcile, understand etc. Meetings take place because when people come together, magic happens.
We have done a great job over the past 5 years in aligning our industry and creating platforms from which to tell our story. We have called in the numbers wizards and conjured credible stories that demonstrate the extent to which, as an industry, we more than pay our way. As a result of the meetings and events industry, millions of jobs are created and sustained all over the world and billions of dollars, pounds, euro and yen are pumped into local economies. We have also identified CEOs and business leaders to tell our story and share the indispensable contribution that meetings and events make to their organisations:
Meetings bring out energy, enthusiasm, the power of people … People remember each other from the moments they spent together and connected – Brian Connolly, AdvoCare
Turning moments into momentum – you do that by meeting face to face – James Curleigh, Levis
So we’ve come a long way from being caught, like rabbits in the headlights, when journalists earned front page coverage if they outed a corporation that happened to be holding a meeting in a nice hotel. Now we can confidently point to the comprehensive value of meetings both from the money they generate in and for communities and for the precious ways they bring communities together.
Time to Sing our anthem
We have much to celebrate but also much still to do. It now behoves each one of us, wherever we’re located on this lovely, lonely planet to sing it [with huge thanks to SongDivision] to the rooftops that meetings matter and there’s nothing better than doing it face to face.
For more information and a list of events taking place all over the world for GMID2017 please click here.
Pádraic Gilligan, Patrick Delaney and Aoife McCrum run SoolNua, a specialist agency working with destinations, hotels and venues on strategy, marketing and training for the meetings and events channel.