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2018 GMID Recap


By: MPISTL | May 2, 2018

GMID-1_2018Global Meetings Industry Day was a huge success and was one of our largest attended events to date with well over 200 MPI members and guests! St. Louis was one of 120 GMID celebrations happening around the world. A big thanks to our sponsors – Maritz Global Events, Explore St. Louis, and Ballpark Village for making this event possible and always making sure it’s a FREE event!

Our panelists included:

  • Kitty Ratcliffe, President, Explore St. Louis
  • David Peckinpaugh, President, Maritz Global Events
  • Sarah Pinkowski, CMP, Meeting Supervisor, Enterprise Holdings
  • Angie Weigel, DMCP, Owner/President, Destination St. Louis, Inc., a DMC Network Company
  • Sara Newell, Director of Sales, Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark & St. Louis Union Station
  • Moderated by: Brian Hall, Chief Marketing Officer, Explore St. Louis

GMID-Panel_2018Brian Hall kicked off the meeting by explaining where GMID came from – it grew from the Meetings Mean Business initiative. David Peckinpaugh is a key member of that coalition. They saw other countries celebrating a meetings industry day and they wanted to join them.

One of the first topics of the way was around trends that the group is seeing. Everyone is seeing shorter turnaround times on events, but new builds aren’t what they used to be and cities are much more constricted. Many third parties are pushing their clients to book out earlier or be more flexible with their dates to fill holes on those short-term bookings. The change in commission was brought up during the conversation. Maritz is telling hotel executives to look at the long-term value of these relationships, but said they are sitting back to see what happens.

So, what is happening in St. Louis – the new, the good and the bad? Kitty Ratcliffe had a lot of updates to give on the city. St. Louis is being very innovative. We are seeing a lot of tech come to the city. New restaurants, the Arch renovation should be complete soon as well as the aquarium at Union Station. While our convention center is struggling to compete with some of the newer ones across the country, America’s Center is getting great survey results from attendees at big conventions. In the not so good category is the NAACP no travel list and just getting folks to consider St. Louis as an option. Angie Weigel said “When we get people here, they love it, but the national news is hurting us.” Educating decision makers before they make up their mind and before they “Google” St. Louis is something Sara Newell is always working to get ahead of. Explore St. Louis has great fact sheet that they share with potential groups that helps them combat the bad press.

GMID-2_2018Everyone on the panel agreed that even with the onset of virtual meetings and new technology that face-to-face meetings will always be preferred. Sarah Pinkowski said she is seeing technology incorporated in the F2F events as an enhancement rather than eliminating them. David Peckinpaugh said Maritz puts a lot into human behavior to design the attendee experience. Team building and give backs are becoming a staple at many events – kids and pets seem to be the most popular. There is also a big emphasis on green meetings with many groups asking hotels’ what their programs are.




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