Twitter Handle Next Up
For Meetings Mean Business Initiative
The Meetings Mean Business initiative to promote the industry’s value to the U.S. economy and local communities is extending its reach into social media. Its official handle — @meetingsmeanbiz — is targeted to go live by the end of August, according to co-chair Larry Luteran, senior vice president of group sales and industry relations at Hilton Worldwide.
With the support of a wide coalition of meetings industry organizations, Meetings Mean Business has gained traction so far this year through a series of core tactics. First, it has focused on raising awareness of the campaign with panels and booths at such industry events as IPW and IBTM-America. Second, it has launched its website to serve as an essential resource with information, links, a toolkit and a data library that show the qualitative, quantitative and monetized value of face-to-face interaction, including meetings, conventions, events, exhibitions and trade shows. Third, it debuted a mobile app that delivers fast access to key resources and news. A cross-section of hundreds of industry stakeholders already have downloaded it. “There’s huge potential to get a ton of people engaged through the app,” Luteran noted. “We’ve done a great job talking among ourselves about the meetings industry, but not to those who may not know our business well.”
To date, the coalition partners have raised more than $500,000 and provided time and expertise to support Meetings Mean Business. “We also have a strong commitment from funders that this needs to be on ongoing campaign, not a ‘one and done,’” Luteran added.
These proactive efforts enable the industry not just to speak with one voice, but keep the importance of meetings front and center. Here’s how you can help!
1. Go to the website often, and download the app as well.
2. Engage with the research, materials and conversation.
3. Help spread the word by using the information in everyday dialogue. “When things are good, people relax a little, but our business is cyclical,” Luteran noted. “The next crisis is right around the corner and will be easier to deal with if we sustain our focus. So we need to get people to make this campaign a priority. All boats rise with a vibrant meetings community.”
Here are some key metrics you can use to demonstrate the value of meetings:
• Business travelers are twice as likely to convert prospects into customers with an in-person meeting.
• Business travel converts every dollar spent into nearly $10 in new revenue for companies.
• In 2013, business travel added more than $265 billion to the U.S economy, employed 2.3 million Americans and provided $42 billion in tax revenues.
• Government travel contributes nearly $33 billion to our economy.
The coalition of organizations supporting the program include U.S. Travel Association, the Professional Convention Management Association, Meeting Professionals International, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, ASAE-The Center for Association Leadership, the Convention Industry Council, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research and more.
Another notable success in promoting the value of meetings was the Exhibitions Day event on June 16-17, which drew more than 100 industry professionals to Washington, D.C. They briefed legislative representatives, key government officials and academicians, sharing verified data on meetings’ value; strategizing ways to bring more international buyers to U.S. events; and contributing ideas to raise the industry’s visibility as a career path. — Maxine Golding
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