April 7, 2022, marks the seventh annual Global Meetings Industry Day, a day of recognition and appreciation for the meetings and events industry. With the industry’s tumultuous changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, both Global Meetings Industry Day in 2021, as well as this year have taken on the theme of “Meet Safe”. This international event is not only a means to showcase the importance and perseverance of the meetings and events industry but to also acknowledge the individuals who make the industry everything that it is - including all of the incredibly influential faculty and industry leaders at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. This article includes insights from a few members of the Tisch Center faculty, providing reflections and hope as the world comes together to celebrate the events industry.
Professor Lynn Minnaert, PhD, Tisch Center Academic Director and Clinical Associate Professor, has centered her work and research around important industry topics including social tourism for low-income groups, family tourism, and diversity and inclusion initiatives in events. On the topic of Global Meetings Industry Day, Professor Minnaert recognizes the role and impact that the Tisch Center and all its students continue to have on the industry.
“The Tisch Center has been at the forefront of event education for over 25 years. Throughout that time, the event sector has experienced multiple crises, and each time it has overcome. So on Global Meetings Industry Day, we say: Meet Safe, Meet Often, Meet Happy! Our students and alumni will continue to shape this industry so it can thrive again and become more resilient.”
Professor Michaela Boruta, Tisch Center Adjunct Instructor, and president of Boruta Consulting, LLC, specializes in event planning and has executed events ranging from corporate events and fundraisers to private parties. Global Meetings Industry Day provides space for reflection, and Professor Boruta offers insights on the industry in recent years and the way forward.
“Looking back at 2020 when the whole meeting industry was abruptly disrupted, the Global Meetings Industry Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on this radically changing nature of meetings and events. This is a fantastic moment, especially for aspiring event professionals to realize and experience how flexibility and creativity come to play an important role in hosting and planning events. We all have faced challenges of pivoting events in times of great uncertainty and delivering value to our clients while at the same time navigating ways to even host an event. We questioned how to stay motivated, creative and on top of our game when there seemed to be little to no hope in coming back to what we had known so well and felt comfortable doing before.
Looking ahead, I think there is actually no way of going back to hosting and planning events as we once used to. We have expanded our ability to adapt to new environments, requests and possibilities that we had not even thought of before or perceived as feasible. For anyone entering the event industry, these are exciting times. We can reach new and oftentimes global audiences, become more efficient regarding how we plan and host meetings and events with all the tools technology can provide and being smart about it, and create experiences for live, hybrid and virtual meetings that go beyond a usual coffee break or gamification, just to name a few. This and much more is for us to break through and bring to existence, which has been already happening to a bigger or lesser degree.
In these last few years every single event professional has been pushed to their limits to the advantage of our clients and guests and many of us have gained new skills and confidence coming out of these times to meet rapidly evolving requirements and exceed expectations of customers in this industry. Events push our limits, that is for sure, but it is an amazing field to be in if you are up to the challenge! Game on!”
This semester, the Tisch Center has the honor of hosting Professor Joe Goldblatt as a visiting professor. Professor Goldblatt has had a diverse career, and some of his accomplishments within the events industry include publishing the first special events textbook ever written for college students, developing the first undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs in the field of event management, and serving as the founding president of the first professional society for event managers, the International Live Events Association (ILEA). On the subject of Global Meetings Industry Day, Professor Goldblatt provided some concluding remarks and reassurance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
”The world shall continue to meet to learn, to network, to sell, to buy, and yes even to fall in love one meeting at a time. During my fifty years in the meetings and exhibitions industry I have witnessed massive evolution from conventions that lasted for over a week to now when three days is a lifetime. From typewritten name badges to virtual name cards. And from a world of broad smiles as folks reconnect to a sea of face masks topped by sparkling eyes. Despite feast or famine, financial collapse, terrorism or pandemic, we shall continue to meet just as we shall continue to fall in love one meeting at a time.”