Meeting Mentor Magazine

May 2024

ConferenceDirect to Hold Inaugural DEI Conference

ConferenceDirect will be holding its first-ever customer event that focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion August 29-September 1 at the Hilton Denver City Center. Dubbed D22, the conference will give ConferenceDirect associates and more than 50 top association and corporate clients the opportunity to explore issues related to DEI in the workplace and on site at in-person meetings and events.

 “We are excited to have the inaugural DEI 2022 event at the end of August in Denver,” said Brian Stevens, CEO of ConferenceDirect, who will kick off the conference with an opening statement on why this is a topic that ConferenceDirect wanted to tackle in a client event. “The event will specifically focus on DEI issues as it relates to our industry.” Because the issue remains a “work-in-progress subject,” there is a continuing need for both more education and more action, he added. “We are happy to use our platform to help continue the focus” on this important topic.

Among the speakers on the agenda are Kristen Wells Scott, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with Hilton, who also will moderate a panel discussion on attracting and developing diverse talent with panelists including Darrell Hammond, Sr., Inclusion and Peak Performance Facilitator. Participants also will collaborate and share best practices around a number of DEI-related topics, such as creating inclusive event environments, vendor selection and management, attracting a diverse audience to conferences, the role of DEI in meetings and, especially relevant at this juncture in time, how to navigate politics and social issues when selecting a meeting host city.

Michelle Mason, President and CEO, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, also will lead a panel discussion on the “why”s and “how”s of DEI, and clients will be share stories about their own DEI journeys. Each day will feature a “lunch and learn,” with speakers including Shawn Parker, Strategic Account Management and Corporate Group Sales with Hilton; and Greg DeShields, Executive Director, Tourism Diversity Matters. DeShields, who is speaking on the second day of the event, will reflect on learnings from D22 and look forward into the future for DEI in the meetings industry.

In between sessions, participants will have plenty of time and opportunity to network during CSR activities, receptions, meals and other group activities.

“I am excited about the opportunity to bring clients, partners and associates together to discuss the importance of DEI,” says ConferenceDirect Vice President of Global Accounts Brian Chisolm. “As meetings industries specialists, we have the unique opportunity to create and shape conversations across a spectrum of industries. DEI conversations are not limited to individuals of any group, but are the responsibilities of all groups to include space for them to happen,” he said.

“ConferenceDirect’s D22 Event will help get this done and I look forward to getting to Denver!”

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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 4,400+ associations, corporations, and sporting authorities through our 400+ global associates.

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, is a business journal for senior meeting planners that is distributed in print and digital editions to the clients, prospects, and associates of ConferenceDirect, which handles over 13,000 worldwide meetings, conventions, and incentives annually.

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