Business News

Industry Celebrates Its Purpose in April

Skift Take

Between the PCMA-led Business Events Industry Week and the U.S. Travel-led Global Meetings Industry Day, there is plenty of opportunity to celebrate the industry in April.

Business Events Industry Week (BEIW) is slated to take place April 8 – 11 in Washington, D.C. and will feature numerous events and workshops at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and across the city. PCMA invites participants to “engage in the art of partnership, tackle your grandest challenges, and seize unprecedented opportunities with the same fervor that has propelled society’s greatest achievements.”

The week-long gathering, which held its inaugural event in 2022, is produced by PCMA in partnership with Destination DC, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the National Coalition Of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP). Destinations International (DI) is also involved in hosting three events.

Several topics and themes are on the schedule, including convention sales, societal transformation, the future of association meetings, work-life balance, and women’s leadership.

BEIW coincides with another significant day of celebration for the events industry – Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), slated for April 11. PCMA Capital Chapter is set to host its own GMID celebration as part of the BEIW’s programming; there will be a slew of industry celebrations to mark the occasion on April 11.

Business Events Industry Week Schedule of Events

April 6 – 9

BEIW kicks off with DI’s Certified Destination Management Executive Credential (CDME) Spring courses. Its two core courses (Destination Advocacy and Community Relations and Strategic Issues in Destination Management) are sold out, but waitlists are open. It also offers two elective courses, Destination Economic Development and Human Resources and Culture Transformation.

April 8 – 9

DI also hosts the 2024 edition of its Convention Sales and Service Summit, a “cross-functional gathering of sales and services professionals dedicated to helping clients plan and execute successful meetings and events.”

April 9 

Tuesday features three events. 

  1. The invitation-only PCMA Global Leadership Conference, which will be held at the JW Marriott Washington, DC, brings together the PCMA Board of Directors, partners and chapter leaders. 
  2. ICCA is hosting a half-day program titled, The Future of Association Meetings and Societal Transformation. It will explore the future landscape of association meetings and their role in societal transformation.
  3. The NCBMP is hosting a session titled “Reclaiming My Time: A Practical Conversation on Toxic Corporate Culture and its Effects on Black Professional’s Work + Life Balance.” It features Sharinda Williams-Simmons, chief creative officer at The PTO Nomad, discussing topics including identifying the signs of a toxic corporate culture, strategies for change and the power of implementing travel for improved work-life balance.

April 10

Wednesday features three more events.

  1. Showcase, an event in partnership between PCMA and DI, invites planners to connect with industry partners through immersive booth experiences. Exhibitors will showcase experiential activations and access educational content throughout the day.
  2. The evening is reserved for Fashion Show, the PCMA Foundation fundraiser that invites attendees to celebrate authenticity, pride, compassion, and living life boldly and in vivid color! The event will be emceed by Amanda Perna and will feature industry professionals sporting their favorite Palm Beach attire. 
  3. The same evening kicks off the IAEE 2024 Women’s Leadership Forum with a networking reception.

April 11

The final day of BEIW features the maing programming of the Women’s Leadership Forum. The topics featured are unique to women in the exhibitions and events industry and it promises to provide knowledge and strategies for career development.

The PCMA Capital Chater’s GMID Celebration features a keynote presentation on the state of Congress and issues surrounding the 2024 Presidential Election and a panel discussion on the event industry labor force as well as innovative approaches to event management.

BEIW concludes Thursday evening with the Visionary Awards,  a black tie event recognizing exceptional individuals in the events industry and the contributions they’ve made to their organizations.  

Global Meetings Industry Day 

GMID’s roots can be linked back to the mid-90s when members of MPI Greater Edmonton Chapter launched Meeting Planners Day. It evolved into National Meetings Industry Day in Canada and later North American Meetings Industry Day, already under the umbrella of the U.S. Travel Association’s Meetings Mean Business coalition.

U.S. Travel now promotes the event as “an international day of advocacy showcasing the undeniable value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities.” It offers members of the events community to amplify the various ways that meetings matter through the resources provided in the organization’s GMID 2024 toolkit

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) will host possibly the largest GMID event in the form of a 12-hour virtual event broadcasting a program featuring industry leaders speaking on an array of topics that will rotate hourly. IMEX CEO Carina Bauer, NCBMO CEO Jason Dunn and Encore Senior Vice President Amanda Armstrong are just a few of the industry leaders scheduled to appear.

Several MPI chapters across North America are also set to celebrate GMID.

  • The MPI Arizona Sunbelt Chapter is hosting a GMID celebration with the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Arizona Chapter.
  • The MPI San Diego Chapter invites members to “take flight with MPI” at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
  • MPI South Florida Chapter celebrates GMID with a special April Education Event at the Westin Fort Lauderdale.

On June 5, the exhibition industry celebrates its own event, the Global Exhibitions Day, an initiative launched by UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry in 2016. This year’s event is held under the theme “exhibitions are catalysts to sustainable futures.”