Over 12,500 event professionals gathered virtually to celebrate Global Meeting Industry Day
“GMID Goes Virtual” brought together professionals from over 30 countries to spread hope and positivity in the event industry that is highly affected by COVID-19
For Immediate Release – Over 12,500 professionals from the event and hospitality industry gathered virtually to commemorate Global Meeting Industry Day (GMID) on Tuesday April 14, in an attempt to create the largest audience for a live-stream conference.
Participants joined in from Canada, USA, Mexico, India, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Philippines, Colombia, Singapore, Kenya, Portugal, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, India, Slovakia, Portugal, Costa Rica, and many more countries.
The event called “GMID Goes Virtual” was planned as an alternative way for professionals from around the globe to come together and raise the collective voice of the events and hospitality community. Global Meetings Industry Day is an initiative designed by Meetings Mean Business (MMB) to be an international forum for advocacy, awareness, and celebration for the meetings & events industry.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person MMB events had been canceled, instead event professionals showed once again the creativity, resilience, and unity of the industry by producing an innovative and engaging virtual experience for more than 12,500 attendees which sent a message of positivity and hope to the highly affected community.
The grassroots event, which started with 50 colleagues from around the global, and only connected through, the events industry, were spurred to action by Calgary-based Anh Nguyen, Principal and Founder of Spark Event Management. She wanted to take GMID virtual as an opportunity to connect, and to provide a platform to share a message of resilience with their industry peers. Long hours were spent consolidating this project to show that the events community stands together, even when apart.
The 30-minute interactive online event served as a platform for engagement and connection, while compiling valuable industry research on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world of live events.
Using the audience interaction tool Slido, attendees engaged in polls that reflected the status of events, and promoted messages of support and encouragement as the industry plans ahead for recovery. GMID Goes Virtual became the most interactive event in Slido history with over 8,800 people participating and 46,790 votes submitted.
A “virtual” hug between event professionals
Several companies and industry associations kindly donated their time and resources to the success of the event. Michael Levesque, CEO of Resolve Collaboration, an organization specialized in digital events and responsible for the tech implementation of GMID Goes Virtual, explains that “working on the GMIDGoesVirtual team was an incredibly challenging project. Our team worked to pull together disparate technology platforms into a single unified solution to help break a world record attempt. We did it with very little advance preparation, a constantly evolving agenda and with our team fully deployed at home offices. Resolve Collaboration is delighted that we were part of making history.”
Av Strategies, a national full-service audio-visual company in Canada, was proud to have been a part of the technical team that made today happen using their world class webcasting network services - Derek Orr Calgary Branch Manager, AV Strategies.
Another key collaborator for the event was snöball Influencer Marketing. Rachel Stephan, their Event Marketing Strategist, comments that in this time of uncertainty, working together with an amazing group of event professionals who united to create something magical, uplifts her spirits. “It was a natural fit to put the power of snöball to do what it was built to do: amplify voices and mobilize individuals to become brand ambassadors and influencers.”
After the enormous success of the event, Miguel Neves, international speaker on digital engagement strategy and one of the moderators of GMID Goes Virtual, says that “it’s been such a pleasure working with this group of amazing professionals on this grassroots virtual event that has really become a movement. I borrow from Margaret Mead to say that, you should never doubt what a small group of thoughtful, committed event professionals can do.”
This powerful event would not have been possible without the support from industry organizations such as: Meetings Mean Business Coalition, the Events Industry Council (EIC), the International Live Event Association (ILEA), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO), the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE Global), the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and many other industry leaders.
Looking to the Future
After the incredible success of the virtual event, Nguyen highlights that the fact that the entire industry mobilized itself to create this movement after one simple tweet is proof of the strength, impact, power, and tenacity of event professionals around the world.
“Regardless of what happens after the event, record or no record, we should be so proud to work in this industry. There is absolutely no doubt that when the time comes, we will be back - stronger than ever and ready to take on whatever awaits us on the other side."
Stephen Melville - GMID Goes Virtual Team