GMID 2023: How We Got Here

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Mike Massari, Chief Sales Officer for Caesars Entertainment, explains the origins of the Global Meetings Industry Day—March 30—and why all meeting and hospitality professionals need to get involved.

“Just because we’re not at the top of the mountain, that doesn’t mean we haven’t climbed higher than ever before,” said Mike Massari, Chief Sales Officer for Caesars Entertainment, in a video about the Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), which this year will be celebrated on March 30. “Both GMID and Meetings Mean Business remind me of that quote,” he added.

Massari harkens back to the origins of GMID, which started as North American Meetings Industry Day, or NAMID. “We were an invisible industry frustrated that we had no voice, and NAMID was the latest attempt to correct that.” As was the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC), which was founded around the same timeframe to address that same problem. “Much was done at that first small meeting,” he said, despite there only being 10 or so organizations involved at the time.

“It all centered around how we raise the profile of meetings and events so that others understood what we all felt so deeply — that nothing good has ever happened until first there was a meeting. Somehow we pulled together all the voices that make up our industry, and built a future that allowed us to speak with one voice,” he added. Before long, enough programming was happening outside of North America that NAMID was rebranded as Global Meetings Industry Day, or GMID.” At GMID 2023, organizers anticipate that hundreds of events will happen in at least 30 countries, thanks to the more-than 100 organizations that now are active GMID participants. That groundswell of support worldwide, he added, would not have happened without the support of meetings industry organizations such as Meeting Professionals International (MPI). MMBC also expanded rapidly, and recently was absorbed into U.S. Travel.

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“More importantly, over the years, the level of understanding of what the meetings and events industry is and how it contributes to society has increased and our ability to advocate for ourselves using the immense power of our voice has as well,” he said, though he said there is still much to do. Among that work is developing more and better data to show the impact the industry has on a global national and local level. “It is powerful and we share the statistics about our contribution the meetings and events industry has emphasizing the economic impact for creation of jobs, and the value is created through stronger personal connections driving positive business outcomes and building strong communities,” Massari said.

“Great data is used to bring insights about our industry directly to policymakers. This is as true in a local level as it is on a national and global,” he said in the video, adding, “We need more involvement for more people, especially at a local level.

“There’s also immense power in our sheer size, and the number of people who are impacted for meetings and events. We need to harness that power,” he said.

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