Ignite June July 2017

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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June | July 2017 | Ignitemag.ca | 45 business meetings + events At this year's Global Meetings Industry Day event in Toronto, Grant Snider, chair of the Business Events Industry of Canada Coalition (BEICC), announced the rebranding of the organ- ization to Meetings Mean Business Canada. The announcement was the result of a lot of soul-searching, says Snider, recalling a meeting of the BEICC board last summer. "There was clear frustration about not mak- ing progress and not being embraced by the industry in a way that was envisioned when BEICC was founded." Inspired by Meetings Mean Business (MMB) in the US—"They have the right people and funding," says Snider—they decided to reach out and propose bringing MMB to Canada. MMB embraced the idea and the two parties now have a licensing agreement that grants access to the website, logo and content. Next steps Currently, more than 50 industry power play- ers—including airlines, convention centres, DMOs, meeting planning companies, AV com- panies and associations—have pledged their support. "We are creating a platform to set up Canada for an effective meeting industry advo- cacy coalition." "We anticipate that by the end of the year we will have a board with 10 or 15 more CEO- level who are financing, supporting and lending New Name, New Mission Earlier this year, the BEICC announced its transition to Meetings Mean Business Canada, a partnership with the US counterpart. Chair Grant Snider (CEO of Meetings Escrow) explains the motives behind the move and the future of effective advocacy for the meetings industry in Canada. voice and name," says Snider. "The audience has to be elected officials who set policy and allow industry to prosper. All levels of govern- ment need to be aware of what we do and sup- port it." Snider emphasizes that there is room for everyone in the new iteration. "If you're in the industry you should be writing your politicians and telling them what you do and how much you spend and encourage them to go to the website. Express yourself." The hope is to have updated and interactive data and resources on the website that officials can easily access and understand. Citing the fact that their US counterpart is headquartered at the US Travel Association, MMB Canada is in talks with TIAC (Tourism Industry Association of Canada) about becom- ing the secretariat and folding MMB Canada into their social media and mailing efforts. "We want to broaden TIACs mandate with a focus on meetings and enlarge their advocacy efforts to make sure it speaks clearly about the meet- ings side of the industry." And over the next few months, MMB Canada will hold regional outreach meetings with existing and potential supporters to get con- sensus around strategic objectives and funding requirements: Consult the website for more information. meetingsmeanbusiness.ca by Laura Bickle

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