Become a Recognized Meetings Advocate

Author: Joy Lin
Posted: February 17, 2015
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DMOs recognize meetings and events as one of the key segments that help drive travel and tourism into our communities.

In last year's Twitter chat during National Travel and Tourism Week, DMO pros gathered to discuss advocacy efforts and how that plays into meetings and conventions. The main takeaway was that explaining the benefits of travel and tourism -- and with meetings and conventions often being the lifeblood to visitor spending in many destinations -- is our responsibility.

I learned three important from the chat on just how to become a recognized advocate for the meetings industry, and here are two key opportunities this spring to use them.

1. Link meetings with the tourism economy.

Did you know that meetings account for 15% of the entire travel and tourism economy in the U.S.? That's $130 billion, and account for over $280 billion in total spending.

2. Paint a picture.

Meetings support more jobs than computer, trucking, or broadcast and communications industries -- affecting the lives of 1.8 million people. What does 1.8 million people look like? Let's just say if meetings were a city, it would be the fifth largest in the country.

3. Localize the impact.

Make sure that your local residents and elected officials recognize meetings as an integral part of the travel and tourism economy by sharing information and numbers on how meetings impact your communities. And show how they roll up into a greater, national footprint that benefits us all.

4. Take action.

American Associations Day on Capitol Hill is March 18-19. All association professionals are welcome, including DMOs, who can attest to the benefit of association meetings as an economic driver within our communities. There is no registration cost for the event, inclusive ASAE has scholarships available for those traveling from outside the DC metropolitan area. For more information, visit The Power of A website.

Leaders from across the meetings and events industry are coming together to support the first annual North American Meetings Industry Day on April 16. U.S.-based events will be led by the Meetings Mean Business (MMB) coalition, who are united to showcase the real impact meetings and events have on businesses, economies and communities. For more information and resources and live events, visit the Meetings Mean Business page on the industry day.