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Four Takeaways from Global Meetings Industry Day

Four Takeaways from Global Meetings Industry Day

Association and event professionals around the globe recently celebrated Global Meetings Industry Day. Held this past Thursday, the event was a collective “roar” heard in 88 big-city locations where professionals ensured that stakeholders knew one thing: the impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, trade shows and exhibitions have on people, business and communities.

This year, for the 20th anniversary of the event, I had the pleasure of attending festivities at the Toronto location, where CSAE Trillium Chapter was a partner. Letters of proclamation were issued from three levels of government: Toronto Mayor John Tory, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Here are some quotes and takeaways from the event: 

  • “We can’t be excellent by ourselves. Events like this don’t come together by themselves,” said affable former CFL football player and now professional speaker and civic leader Orlando Bowen, who emceed and moderated the event.
  • Broadcast journalist, author and consultant Howard Green was the keynote presenter. Sounding a cautiously optimistic view of the events and tourism industries, he stated, “If the loonie stays low, more people are going to come here [to Canada] for meetings and events.” He did, however, warn of three looming threats: inevitable economic cycles, terrorism and the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency (albeit the latter half-jokingly). 
  • In a panel discussion, Johanne Belanger, CEO of Tourism Toronto, noted the dramatic impact that Airbnb is having on hotel booking. She noted seeing a recent RFP that gave a room block number but stated only 70 per cent of attendees would use a hotel, as 30 per cent preferred “unconventional booking.”
  • Also from the panel discussion, David Adler, CEO and founder of Bizbash, asked “How many people love their jobs?” The whole room raised their hands.


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Toronto, John Tory, Kathleen Wynne, Justin Trudeau


Events, Membership



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