Today is Global Meetings Industry Day.
It’s a day where we have traditionally come together across the globe to celebrate our story and our industry’s place in the world.
But today is anything but traditional.
I first want to recognize our healthcare workers, our first responders and our front line employees who are working tirelessly to keep us safe.
I also want to recognize so many others that have been profoundly impacted by this virus.
Amidst the shock our world is enduring today, it’s inevitable our relevance and significance in a post-COVID world gets challenged.
But I am here to tell you that our place in the world remains exactly the same.
We drive economic and social transformation through business events.
PCMA and the business events industry is now and has always been purpose driven.
Our focus since the early stages of the outbreak in January has been unwavering: Business events will be a part of the solution and not contribute to the problem. Now more than ever, PCMA is resolute in the role business events will play in the recovery and our purpose in the post-COVID-19 world.
Now I want us to focus on the opportunities of tomorrow and how we unleash our energy and abilities to bring people and ideas together to lift us all. This is what we do best. This is our time to step up.
I also need to be candid: Tomorrow, our industry is going to be different.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be better or worse. But it does mean we are going to have to move outside our comfort zone.
We can do this. Every industry on the planet is going through the exact same thing. But few have the opportunity to change tomorrow’s world like we do.
It means developing new skills, re-engineering our business models and finding new partners that weren’t on our radar-screens just months ago.
Now, I know that’s a scary reality for anyone.
The good thing is that PCMA and our partners around the world have already begun supporting business event stakeholders everywhere with COVID information resources, new skill-enhancement courses and research about expectations for our industry’s tomorrow.
If there is one thing I would like you to take away from GMID, it is this:
The Chinese characters for crisis and opportunity are the same.
I believe that within this most dire of crises lies opportunity for our industry.
As challenging as today may seem, it is a wake-up call for all of us on the need to pursue our opportunities for tomorrow.
Simply put: We need to meet differently.
Now is our time to be courageous and take action so that our business events can truly transform the world economically and socially when it is needed the most.