I recently spent time with a few widely-respected industry gurus. In all fairness, they had earned my respect long before I learned that their opinions match my own – these are in fact the most exciting times for the meetings industry in a generation. As I speak to our IACC members, the story is similar; business demand is up, occupancy is above or near an all-time high, the forecast for the balance of 2017 is strong, with continued growth projected into 2018. And the race to create the best-in-class meeting experience is driving innovation and creativity unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime.
The same can be said of IACC. Interest is high and awareness of the IACC Difference is enjoying exponential growth. Our foundation is built on the premise that face-time makes a difference. In 2017 and beyond, the time we spend together has never been more important. Whether it’s lending a hand to help others, or creating world-class meeting environments, in-person quality time is at a premium.
We have spent a lot of time lately in the Meeting Planner community, raising profiles and creating opportunities for our members.
- Exciting news – and a call to action for all members; aligned with our initiative to find and create opportunities for IACC members to engage directly with the Meeting Planner / Buyers, we have a very exciting announcement. As you know, IACC presently has several signature events, such as our Canada, U.S. and Americas Copper Skillet cook-offs. We are presently finalizing arrangements through MPI and others to host Meeting Planners / Buyers to attend each of these events, including up to 100 Planners to join us at the Global Copper Skillet finals to be held at Americas Connect in Philadelphia in April. Make plans now to attend – and bring your sales team!
- In June, we presented at MPI’s WEC – the World Education Congress is MPI’s premiere annual education event. Attending on IACC’s behalf were CEO Mark Cooper as well as the Executive Committee for IACC Americas’ Board of Directors. We delivered a series of seminars, where we partnered with sponsors such as Corbin Ball, Aramark and SliDo. Our content was extremely popular as most sessions were standing-room-only over the 3-day event – including a main keynote presentation by Mark, discussing IACC’s ground-breaking work on the Meeting Room of the Future. In total, IACC’s sessions were joined by most all of the 2,500 attendees.
- MPI IMEX – we are looking forward to this event in a few weeks where we are creating an IACC Americas Village with an opportunity for all members to exhibit, schedule appointments and meet with Event Planners from around the world. We will again be presenting our most recent report from our ongoing Meeting Room of the Future project.
I will close by reminding you there a many opportunities for all of us to support our friends and loved ones impacted by the devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean, Texas, Florida and across the Gulf States. Please contact me personally if you are looking for opportunities to provide direct assistance. The time we spend face-to-face has never been more important.
Honored to serve as your President,