In a few days, I’ll join 300 meeting and event professionals at MPI’s EMEC event in Brighton, England. I’ll be part of an opening keynote panel about the renaissance of meetings and events alongside MPI CEO Paul VanDeventer, IACC CEO Mark Cooper, and ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath.
This industry leader panel is a powerful example of our partnerships to promote face-to-face meetings and events — and falls just before the annual global celebration of business events, with Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) taking place later in the week on Thursday, March 30.
According to the US Travel Association, 80 percent of business travelers say the benefits of face-to-face meetings outweigh the benefits of virtual engagement; face-to-face requests and interactions are 34x more effective than email; and two-thirds of execs say F2F is critical to moving their business forward.
New reasons to celebrate
This new era we’re now entering is bringing with it exciting opportunities and many positive indicators for our industry, too.
To start, the workplace is becoming increasing younger, with some estimates projecting a total of 75m workers under age 35 by 2025. This brings new energy, ideas and priorities to incentive programs. These are the new program designers, as well as the new qualifiers. They want purpose-driven experiences that honour the cultures and environments we visit.
We can design these programs, and immerse people even further into new cultures, destinations and experiences.
Our programs can also serve even bigger purposes. With many companies still remote or hybrid, incentives and other business events can build much-needed community for workforces.
A recent Harvard study reported that 36 percent of respondents feel intense loneliness, well above pre-pandemic levels. Bringing people together is a powerful tool to solve this isolation and depression.
Our $75b industry not only drives business forward; it unites people in a disconnected world. This EMEC, Global Meetings Industry Day — and every day — we have much to celebrate.