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 Meetings Mean Business: A Year in Review and a Glimpse Into 2015

Anyone who has engaged in a successful business deal, educational workshop or motivating conference understands the importance of face-to-face interactions. Strong relationships are rarely built solely from virtual communication and technology. It’s the firm handshake, the ability to look someone in the eye and observe body language that makes these interactions more dynamic and meaningful. Over the past year, Stephen Perry has been working with leaders from the across the travel industry, including business, professional associations and destination marketing organizations, to help re-launch the Meetings Mean Business (MMB) campaign. Throughout 2014, MMB has leveraged its communications platform to showcase the value that meetings, events, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, exhibitions and trade shows bring to creating jobs, generating economic impact and driving business success.

“As mobile devices and digital transactions chip away at the personal interactions we rely on to do business, nothing will ever replace the outcomes generated by meeting, face-to-face, to exchange ideas and do business. The personal relationships forged from that experience are why the convention business is vital to our community and its economy. The MMB Coalition is doing important work to showcase the personal connections, positive business outcomes and strong communities that the convention industry creates. This industry represents a $6.5 billion annual injection into our economy, which helps fund the city’s infrastructure, security and special events recognized around the world, among other things,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO, New Orleans CVB.  

2014 was a monumental year for MMB. As a collaborative coalition, MMB enlisted and engaged advocates to unite the entire industry under one voice. Through the leadership of David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel and Larry Luteran, senior vice president of group sales and industry relations at Hilton Worldwide, the coalition educated key stakeholders, media and policymakers. In its first year the campaign successfully launched a mobile app, established a social media presence,  created toolkit materials and engaged with the grassroots and grasstops at industry conferences and events across the country.

As we look towards 2015, there are many new, exciting initiatives on the horizon for MMB. Recently, we announced that Michael Dominguez, senior vice president of corporate sales at MGM Resorts International, will assume the leadership position of coalition co-chair. Under Dominguez and Peckinpaugh’s leadership, MMB will expand advocacy efforts through an industry-wide platform, work with partners in Canada and Mexico to host the first annual North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID), develop research reports, grow a circle of champions outside the meetings industry and continue to engage with the media and business leaders.

In this next year, we will work with the coalition to continue the momentum and demonstrate our industry’s value by focusing on the campaign’s core pillars: creating personal connections, driving positive business outcomes and building strong communities. Visit and download our app to stay up-to-date on campaign activities and to get involved.