December 2, 2023

FROM THE HEART BY BEVAN SPRINGER – Celebrating face-to-face meetings

March 31, 2023

Celebrating face-to-face meetings

MPE CEO Bevan Springer (right) is pictured with MPE videographer Cornell Young (center) and Omari Breakenridge, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s Director of Digital Strategy & Creative Services, in Fort Lauderdale this week. 

Credit: Greta Andzenge, MPE VP – Operations

As someone who attended several meetings this month, I have personally experienced the value of face-to-face interactions. 

I traveled to Barbados for discussions and a press conference hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, then attended the Routes Americas airline route development conference in Chicago, and most recently participated in the productive Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Fort Lauderdale.

This year’s Global Meetings Industry Day theme was “Meetings Matter”, which emphasized the economic and societal importance of in-person meetings. The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) highlighted the multilayered benefits that come from meeting face-to-face and the critical message it sends to elected officials and business leaders.

As USTA reminds us, meetings and events drive local economies and businesses, while also powering other industries, spurring new ideas, forming deeper business connections, and fueling individual professional growth

After more than two years of virtual meetings, it’s time to change course and embrace data from a respected study that proves that face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than emailed ones.

While the high cost of travel and accommodations can be a drawback to in-person meetings in the post-pandemic world, there are often more economical options to be explored. Of course, this sometimes comes with a degree of inconvenience, such as additional connecting flights or booking hotels that are not as easily accessible to the meeting venue.

Two significant upcoming meetings on the Caribbean tourism calendar are the 41st Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Barbados from May 9-11, 2023, and the CTO’s Caribbean Week in New York from June 5-8, 2023, which is being held under the auspices of the CTO Foundation.

If you’re involved with Caribbean travel and tourism, these gatherings are not to be missed as they offer an opportunity to forge connections and foster education, while bolstering the economies of Barbados and New York City, respectively

I hope my colleagues will join me in embracing the power of face-to-face meetings so that we can continue to foster connections that drive business growth and enhance our communities.

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