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Amidst Global COVID-19 Lockdown, 11,000 Meeting and Event Professionals Rally for GMID: Virtual

Global Meetings Industry Day Press

A recap of MPI’s 12-hour live virtual broadcast featuring education and industry leader panels

DALLAS, April 16, 2020 — The economic value of meetings became the rallying cry during ‘Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID): Virtual’ as Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide, celebrated online with several partner industry associations, corporations and leaders on April 14, 2020. 

Nearly 11,000 industry professionals joined the event, collectively making it the largest virtual event to date for MPI’s global community. Previous MPI GMID celebrations allowed participants to virtually visit destinations around the globe and enjoy specific regional face to face celebrations complemented with online educational sessions, all complimentary.  

With the backdrop of the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this year’s GMID: Virtual event was particularly important to a community facing business closures, layoffs and furloughs. For 12 hours, MPI offered an online GMID event connecting members and non-members with personal and professional education, robust panel discussion, conversations on recovery and meeting together again and moments of laughter; all while being delivered across the globe simultaneously translated into local languages.

Rallying with one another, attendees were able to observe and share content that was actionable, meaningful and inspirational. Throughout the day-long gathering, many conversed through the virtual chatroom allowing for idea-sharing and personal support. 

“The ability to connect in a meaningful way and generate professional opportunities is critical to leading our economic recovery, perhaps now more than ever”, said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “This was among the most powerful experiences we have ever delivered to our industry. It was truly awe-inspiring and very emotional to see the overflow of passion verbalized via chat dialogue from our amazing community of professionals.” 

Following are key stats from MPI’s 2020 Global Meeting Industry Day: Virtual:

  • There was a 30-fold increase in registrations compared to last year’s event. A total of 15,084 meeting and event professionals registered, of which 3,197 registered day-of and 10,983 attended
    the virtual event. 

  • Engagement from attendees was strong. Cumulatively, attendees consumed 51,071 hours of programming with an average time of consumption standing at 4.5 hours. Throughout the broadcast, there were 12,134 chat entries between the attendees.

  • In total, MPI delivered 18 education sessions with many focusing on topics relevant to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and including crisis communications, business agility, virtual event planning, sustainability and more, providing eligibility for attendees to get up to 12 total certification hours.

  • There was also a special ‘State of the Industry’ leadership panel which provided timely updates and insights on how the industry can recover. The panel, moderated by Annette Gregg, Senior Vice President of Experience at MPI, featured: Roger Dow, President & CEO, US Travel Association; Steve O’Malley, Division President Maritz Travel, Board Chair, MPI; Paul Van Deventer, President & CEO, MPI; Susan Robertson, President & CEO, ASAE; Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council; and Jason Dunn, Group VP, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, Chair, NCBMP.

  • The MPI Foundation, the philanthropic arm of MPI, announced it released almost $300,000 to assist members in distress continue their professional engagement as part of the day’s outreach to the global community. To complement their ongoing subsidy, the foundation raised $6,888 via online donations far surpassing its one-day goal of $5,000. Funds raised will go towards ongoing educational scholarships and allow recipients to attend MPI’s World Education Congress in Grapevine, Texas.

A link to the recording of the GMID broadcast will go live on the MPI website within the coming week at

About MPI
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including 17,000 engaged members and its Plan Your Meetings audience. It has more than 70 chapters and clubs with members in more than 75 countries. "When we meet, we change the world."

Media Contact:
Drew Holmgreen,

About MPI

Drew Holmgreen
Vice President of Brand Engagement

Drew is the Vice President of Brand Engagement at Meeting Professionals International. Outside of positioning the MPI global brand for success and growth, he enjoys spending time with his wife and little boy, and sampling craft beers.





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