Sure, there have been strikes and commission cuts, hurricanes, wildfires and Red Tide (oh my!).
But among all of that, good things have been happening too. Some might even say…progress. Here’s a look back at six of our favorite good things that happened to meetings in 2018.
Iberostar Turns Plastic into Fashion
The Iberostar Group is no stranger to the fight against plastic waste, and this year, the hotel company began replacing its polyester uniforms with recycled plastic. This is a win-win given that polyester is made from petroleum (a byproduct of oil) and that recent estimates show that plastic in our oceans will outnumber fish in years to come.
Hotels Give the #LastStraw to Single-Use Plastics
Iberostar led this one too and a domino effect commenced thereafter as hotel companies and some cruise lines charted a course to eliminate single-use plastics. Iberostar plans to eliminate all single-use plastics at its resorts by next year. Meanwhile, MGM, Marriott, Royal Caribbean Cruises, AccorHotels, Hilton and others have joined the cause.
Hospitality Industry Steps Up for Hurricane Victims
This past September, a number of hotel companies sprung into action to assist hurricane victims following Hurricane Florence’s landfall along North Carolina’s coast. The PCMA Foundation also launched a drive to raise donations that went directly to affected individuals.
Women Found Their Voices
The #MeToo movement hit full throttle this year and reverberated throughout the meetings industry in countless ways. New organizational partnerships and initiatives addressing gender inequality revealed a new generation of women intent on breaking the glass ceiling, female planners offered words of wisdom to younger generations on breaking through the glass ceiling and we at Prevue launched our very own “Women’s Issues” white paper that echoed the experiences of more than 700 females surveyed on the topics of gender equity, sexual harassment and work-life balance. MPICares also developed a sexual harassment reporting tool to this regard.
Pride Was in the Air
Literally, as Virgin Atlantic made plans to hit the sky next summer with the world’s first Pride Flight, comprised of LGBT passengers, pilots and cabin crew. For a hint at how this will go, consider that Tituss Burgess, a known gay actor and the star of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” will play host to a series of entertaining live performances. Virgin Atlantic also made news this year for completing the first flight ever using recycled waste gas.
Cannabis Went Mainstream
Feel-good cannabidiol (aka CBD), known for its therapeutic potential minus the high, went mainstream this year. CBD has become so popular that major hotel chefs across the nation are experimenting with cannabis-infused cuisine and cocktails, even at popular meetings hotels.