In a time of crisis, we need leaders more than ever. 2009 has been a challenging year for the visitor and meetings industry, but innovative ideas and strong responses have emerged from creative minds in convention and visitor bureaus across the country and in the boardrooms of many top hotel corporations. Whether providing facts and figures to carry forward the “Meetings Mean Business” message or developing new marketing efforts to reach meeting planners, these leaders are contributing to the overall image and health of the industry.
We now realize, more than ever, the impact in hard dollars and jobs meeting planners have on local economies. Meeting professionals also have more information to help them prove return on investment to their own organizations. And they have more educational opportunities thanks to the efforts of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), Convention Industry Council (CIC) and other industry entities, including our own Marketplace conferences.
Directors and staff of convention and visitor bureaus have worked to reposition and promote their destinations, delivering more value to meeting planners from better Web sites and more attractions to assistance with RFPs and special discounts.
Our readers benefit from all these efforts and developments, so with the support and input of our destination partners, we salute and recognize several of these industry leaders in this special section. They, along with their colleagues, share some of their accomplishments, insight and inspiration. If you recognize them, we hope you’ll add your own words of congratulations. If you don’t, we hope you’ll take the time to introduce yourself when you visit their city or see them at an industry event. And if you have someone you want to recognize or a story about an industry leader you want to share, please contact us at Editor@CollinsonPublishing.com.