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A Meeting of the Minds

Canada’s meetings industry day sparks #NAMID  

When National Meetings Industry Day (NMID) in Canada launched nearly 20 years ago, it didn’t have the backing of a powerful marketing engine, such as Meetings Mean Business (MMB).

Just like the MMB Council, which includes a number of meetings industry heavyweights, Canada’s meeting professionals also needed to prove the value of the meetings sector.

“The purpose of the early [NMID] founders was to gain recognition about the meetings industry from our local government and how important it was to the overall economy of the city, which then grew to a national level of recognition of the meetings industry,” explained Stuart Taylor, business manager for all Canadian chapters, Meeting Professionals International.

Representatives from each of the eight Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Canada chapters formed a council to bring widespread recognition of their meetings industry. NMID resulted from these advocacy efforts.

“It has always been a struggle to get corporations and government involved in NMID. We do a good job within our own industry to recognize NMID, but for some reason, it doesn’t translate to other business or government entities even though those areas also use meetings to be successful,” he said.

As of a 2012 Canadian Economic Impact Survey, Taylor cited, the country’s business events attracted 35.3 million visitors and contributed CAN $29 billion in direct spending.

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“Most of the chapters have been fortunate to receive proclamations from mayors in their respective cities each year for NMID, and we have been fortunate in the last three years to have received an acknowledgement letter from the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, recognizing NMID and the importance of our industry,” stated Taylor.

With 45 U.S. MPI chapters, a national meetings day across America has never occurred, probably due to the logistics involved, Taylor speculated.

“Some of the MPI U.S. Chapters over the years have created their own industry day in their state based on previous discussions with Canadian chapter leaders at MPI conferences,” he added.

MPI CEO Paul Van Deventer asked for Taylor’s assistance in researching how the NMID model could be organized across North America. With the help of MPI in Canada and the U.S., MMB Council and Convention Industry Council drove the launch of North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID) on April 16, 2015.

Posted in Features, News
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