What we learned on Global Meetings Industry Day 2023.
Whether the gatherings were big or small—several reported between 150 to 300 attendees—one clear message resonated: it’s all about face-to-face. While more than eight in 10 executives prefer in-person meetings to virtual contact, meeting professionals reinforced that message globally, gathering in 35 countries on six continents resulting in 45 million social media impressions and reaching more than 10 million people across the globe. There were more than 365 media mentions.
“(GMID) was such a wonderful visual reminder of the strength and promise of our industry and the immense power of bringing people together,” said Michael Dominguez, President and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). “The outcomes of all meetings events continue to educate, connect and improve our world one connection at a time.”
The business meeting and event industry in 2022 generated nearly $100 billion in travel spending in the U.S., accounting for 38% of all business travel spending.
That metric was emphasized on GMID. In Seattle, for example, while meeting professionals gathered, #MeetingsMatter was evidenced by 3,000 health and physical educators meeting in the city, generating $5.5 million in economic impact. In Las Vegas, meeting industry leaders touted the destination’s nearly 5 million convention attendees in 2022 and expectations of even bigger numbers this year.
Meeting Professionals Are Resilient
While concerns swirl around the state of the economy, overall business projections remain incredibly positive according to a recent Meeting Outlook survey by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), showing only 5% of respondents expecting a negative near future; that’s the second-lowest “negative” result to this data point in the survey’s history. In fact, 37% of all respondents project business conditions will be more than 10% better. Demand for face-to-face meetings and events continues to grow, according to the survey.
Professional Development Resonates
Nearly 2,400 meeting professionals joined MPI’s GMID virtual experience for more than 40 educational segments covering topics including sustainability, emotional intelligence, event data strategy, event and destination planning at resorts, incentive travel research, anti-human trafficking education, workforce development and more. Attendees were able to access a live stream chat feature, a digital wall where they could post updates all attendees could see and direct messaging capability between attendees for connection and collaboration.
Jobs For Hire
The January employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was encouraging as the overall economy added 517,000 jobs with the leisure and hospitality section leading the way by adding 128,000, more than any other sector. Hospitality wages have grown well above all private industry at 8% over the past three years.
But by March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics March Employment reported the overall economy added only 236,000 jobs, the lowest monthly gain since December 2020, while the leisure and hospitality sector added 72,000 jobs, well under the average monthly gain of 95,000 over the prior six months. With a need to fill about 1.5 million jobs for the busy summer season, one solution: increase the cap on H-2B temporary worker visas and permanently exempting returning workers from the cap.
We’re Committed to Fighting Human Trafficking
ALHI, working with the MPI Foundation during MPI’s GMID broadcast, announced it would match up to $10,000 in support of anti-human trafficking efforts. In all, $13,000 was raised.