Ignite

February March 2019

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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February | March 2019 | Ignitemag.ca | 3 As Heidi Welker, 2018 Chair of MMBC, recently stated: "It is our responsibility to stop talking to ourselves and start reaching beyond our industry walls to educate, create awareness, and showcase the tremendous economic and social impact that meetings create on communities and individuals." I urge you to visit meetingsmeanbusiness.ca to learn more about the impact of the industry and how you can get involved and stay informed. In fact, I'd like to share some new data for you to have in your back pocket when you're explaining what you do to clients or dinner party guests: • Business events account for 34.7% of all tourism in Canada • Business events contribute $19.3B to Canada's GDP; 54.5% of the entire GDP of the tourism industry. The coming year promises to shine the spotlight on the Canadian meet- ings industry. Global Meetings Industry Day (which originated in Canada in 1997, BTW) events will happen across the country on April 14, and in June, Toronto will host MPI's 2019 World Education Congress. We hope to see you there as we celebrate and promote this vibrant, evolving industry! Debbie van der Beek Publisher debbie@ignitemag.ca Just sayin' In celebrating our tenth anniversary, we've spent lots of time flipping through past issues. Time and again, we were struck by the presence of a common thread: the ongoing struggle of the industry to gain recognition and a voice at the table with government and corporate decision-makers. It's inspiring to see how many industry leaders have ded- icated their time and energy to advancing this goal. In fact, around the same time Ignite launched, the Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada (BEICC) was founded to advocate on behalf of the Canadian meetings industry. In 2017, BEICC rebranded itself into Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC), aligning with its successful American coun- terpart. MMBC now has cross-Canada repre- sentation from more than 150 key industry leaders and decision-makers, and is in the process of transitioning from a volunteer-led effort to a professionally managed advocacy platform. I'm thrilled that Ignite is an MMBC media sponsor and that I am a member of the MMBC board of directors, helping to imple- ment the "Telling our Story" communications initiative, which illustrates the power of meetings on both an economic and personal level. Voices rising

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