The reality of today’s business world is that many of us spend more time working on a computer than with real people; the entire workday seems to revolve around your desktop, laptop, iPad and mobile. Screens and technology have enabled people to be closer together than ever before – instantaneously – but they also lack a key, irreplaceable component: personal, real live connection. And that’s why, on Global Meetings Industry Day, the entire meeting, convention and hospitality community came together to support the meaningful interactions and relationships cultivated by conferences, conventions, meetings and events.
On April 6th at Chicago’s McCormick Place, we showed the power of our great industry through partnerships, team work and vision, by hosting one of the largest GMID events in the world. This year we combined our GMID celebration with Industry Xchange to create an industry-wide, collaborative education and networking event for meeting professionals. Also, this year’s event included a special collaboration with Choose Chicago’s Annual Meeting. During the Choose Chicago Annual Meeting, their team reviewed where they are performing as an industry today and a focus on some of the opportunities, goals and challenges which lie ahead. The session also included a special award, honoring Tom Ricketts and the Chicago Cubs’ championship performance, with a special appearance by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.
During the break between the Choose Chicago Annual Meeting and the Industry Xchange session, attendees savored delicious bites, networked with each other and participated in a Clean the World Hygiene Kit build sponsored by Tourism Vancouver. The 500 hygiene kits will be distributed throughout various agencies in Chicago in the coming weeks.
During the Industry Xchange education session, we heard from a distinguished panel of industry experts including David Whitaker, the new President & CEO of Choose Chicago, David Kennedy with the new Wintrust Arena and Arie Crown Theater, Jim Goodman with the American Dental Association, Lise Puckorius with the OCL and Dave Peckinpaugh with Maritz Global Events. The panel discussion was facilitated by Minding Your Business’s Katie Callahan-Giobbi and focused on key issues facing our industry today. From tourism and meetings infrastructure, to state and federal legislation, safety, security and technology, the panel covered the current and future effects. One interesting discussion was based on visitor perceptions on how they impact where we place our meetings and that impact in the industry.
The audience helped drive the content of the session by using the Freemen XP Touch - an audience response system.
GMID/Industry Exchanges was a true success thanks to great team work. Hats off to the Committee, led by Greg Werstler, CSz Business Chicago, Tanya Kinsman, American Dental Association, Amanda Jackson, Network Services Company and Justine Radies, CNA Insurance. This was an event for the future.