The following message is from the 2018 Chair of Meetings Mean Business Canada, Heidi Welker on GMID 2018 in Toronto.
What do business events and meetings mean to me?
I guess I would start by saying that I have spent the majority of my career in the event or better yet, Business Events Industry.
Today with the advent of advanced technology there are a variety of vehicles/channels for events and business meetings, but attendees still want to meet F2F to learn from the powerful influencers, experts as well as each other.
It’s about professional development, networking and learning from each other. An event eco system if you will.
Now with my Meetings Mean Business Canada Chair role:
Our industries (both large and small businesses) play a significant role in economic spend, employment, education and wellbeing.
We believe that although Business Events contribute close to 30 billion dollars in direct spending annually and support over 341,000 well-paying jobs, our industry is FRAGMENTED and largely INVISIBLE to policy makers.
We believe that instead of talking to ourselves, as we do so well in the meetings industry, we need an advocacy voice that transcends individual interests, industry sectors and geographical locations and that informs those who shape and make policy.
We know that governments don’t know about or care about MPI or PCMA, CanSPEP or SITE or any of our many, many associations.
However, we know they DO care about economic data and jobs and mobilized public opinion.
WE need to speak their language to create the conditions to ENSURE OUR INDUSTRY PROSPERS.
We believe this requires a focused, unified approach to advocacy, effectively broadening our collective “bandwidth” and strengthening our position to make our voice heard.
With respect to our goals for 2018:
We want to continue the momentum set out last year.
We want to be the advocacy voice/platform for the Business Events Industry in Canada
We want to align our efforts and work in tandem with TIAC (our secretariat)
We want to continue growing our coalition through meetings like this. And then provide deliverable updates to all of you.
We have formed 3 committees to research and recommend:
A sustainable financial model (chaired by me, Heidi Welker).
Curation of unified data for our industry. ( co-chaired by Clark Grue and Reggie Clark)
Executing a plan to tell our Story ( co-chaired by Joe Glionna and Debbie van der Beek)
Lastly, we also need to have a board of directors succession plan that will include national representation
Meetings Mean Business Canada’s vision is to become the single advocacy voice of the meetings industry in Canada through our relationship with TIAC, to communicate the economic and social value of face-to-face meetings to elected officials at all levels of government as well as stakeholders across the country and to thereby shape policy, legislation and investment to ensure our industry prospers.
We currently have over 100 (115 to be exact) supporters on our website.
Please visit our supporters page for more information and how you can help us make a difference!
Similar messages about the MMBC was communicated by industry leaders in many cities across the country including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa.