YOUR MOST MEMORABLE
65 hotels + 5,000 rooms 2 harbors + 22 miles of beaches
15 wineries + 5 golf courses 200,000 sq. f t. of meeting space
ONE ENRICHING EXPERIENCE
The Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) summarized its 2016 activities and 2017 initiatives at PCMA’s Convening
Leaders, held at the Austin Convention Center
Key successes in 2016 included a “Worth”
advertising campaign that ran during the Demo-
cratic and Republican national conventions, and
during the final presidential debate in Las Vegas.
Although Richard Harper, executive vice presi-
dent of HelmsBriscoe and co-chair of MMBC, said
it is hard to quantify the success of the campaign,
“there’s been little to zero negative [coverage] of
the meetings industry in the last year, so we must
be doing something right.”
Other 2016 successes included the first
Global Meetings Industry Day, with efforts in 30
countries, and the creation of a Meeting Planner
Task Force that seeks to get planners more
involved with MMBC.
MMBC now counts 60 partners in its fold, with
plans to grow that number aggressively.
Also in store for 2017, MMBC created a
licensing agreement so other countries can join
the effort. According to the coalition, about a half
a dozen countries have so far expressed interest,
with three firmly involved in creating their own
Another priority in 2017 will be to further communicate the ROI various meetings segments
bring to communities. Harper added MMBC’s
board meeting at Convening Leaders was packed
with participants, which bodes well for industry
participation in the new year.
Addressing the health of the industry, Paul Van
Deventer, president and CEO of MPI and co-chair of
MMBC, said that forecasts are still positive, but are
not as optimistic as those from a couple years ago.
“There’s still a positive outlook, but it’s come
down a bit,” Van Deventer said.
In other Convening Leaders news, PCMA released the 2016 Impact Report from the PCMA
Education Foundation, which directed $409,000
back into meetings and conventions industry
support such as scholarships for students, other
educational programs and charity efforts.
“PCMA continues to be all about education,”
said PCMA President and CEO Deborah Sexton.
“That is what we stand for and we will continue
in every way to raise the bar.”
Other highlights of the show were a surprise
visit by actor and Austin native Matthew McCo-
naughey at the opening general session and a
closing night performance by local music legend
MMBC PRESS CONFERENCE, PCMA CONVENING LEADERS
MEETINGS MEAN BUSINESS REVEALS PLANS
www.pcma.org i WILLIE NELSON
RICHARD HARPER AND PAUL VAN DEVENTER, MMBC
ON the SCENE