3 Simple Steps to Sharing Our Industry’s Value

October 30, 2019
Meetings Mean Business

Storytelling – it’s a skill that everyone, from children to seasoned professionals, utilizes day-to-day. Stories that captivate an audience and share a unique perspective can leave a lasting impression. As storytellers, meeting and event professionals have an important tale to share: namely, that face-to-face meetings and conventions improve businesses, communities and the economy. By following the three steps outlined below, we will be well-equipped to share our industry’s value story far and wide. Now, let’s turn the page and begin.

Step 1: Craft Your “Worth Meeting About” Story

Meeting and event professionals understand the value of our industry. In 2017 alone, face-to-face meetings across 180 countries contributed $1.5 trillion of GDP – more than the economies of Australia, Spain, Mexico, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Now, it’s time to make sure this message resonates with two important audiences: elected officials and business leaders. These audiences influence our work in so many ways – from hosting meetings themselves to creating rules that enhance (not restrict) our ability to support businesses and the economy.

Before meeting with these influencers, be sure to create a story that is uniquely your own. As an industry professional and a resident of your community, how have meetings and events positively impacted your ability to thrive and contribute to your local economy? Have you seen an uptick in tourism, thus sparking movement in the job market? Have you been faced with a difficult business decision, made easier by a face-to-face meeting (versus a cold conference call)?

Need a little inspiration to get started? Develop your narrative using our “Worth Meeting About” statement: “If it matters to ______, it’s worth meeting about.” Fill in the blank with anything from “my company’s bottom line” to “my career development.” The sky’s the limit. Lastly, support your story with data points from our online toolkit. Consider this as the evidence driving your story. “Meetings are mission critical” is strong, but “meetings are mission critical and support 25.9 million jobs worldwide,” strikes a deeper chord.

Step 2: Connect with Your Audience

As industry professionals, we know that great things happen when people come together. It’s our job to ensure America’s top decision makers do too. Leaders outside of the industry, including C-suite business professionals and policymakers, need to be reminded of the return on investment of face-to-face meetings, conferences, tradeshows, expos and so forth. Connecting with these external audiences can begin at a local level, such as engaging your region’s Chamber of Commerce, hotel and restaurant association, city council and news media reporters. These influencers can then spread your message to their networks until it reaches additional elected authorities.

Step 3: Deliver

Whether your storytelling venue is an award ceremony, GMID event or Capitol Hill – it’s essential to share with confidence and ease. Remember, this is your story. What, when and how face-to-face events impact global economies and communities is best told by industry professionals: you!

Do you have an upcoming opportunity to share our industry’s value story with a key audience? Reach out to brainstorm, develop and finalize your story, and gather supporting materials.