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, which provides "how to" tools to help planners produce successful events amid the pandemic.
The Meetings Mean Business coalition has launched the Meet Safe platform to showcase the value that face-to-face meetings can bring to the economy and to assert that restarting the events segment is essential to recovery in the United States. To become the robust resource MMB has envisioned, the site needs planners, destination representatives, and venue and hotel executives to provide details about the meetings they've held successfully. The MMB Meet Safe platform is currently in a building-out stage.
"We want to provide a visual medium so people can see how a safe meeting is put in place," said Nan Marchand Beauvois, senior vice president of membership and industry relations for the U.S. Travel Association and managing director of MMB, noting that event hosts will be adding video and photographs among their event details, as well as contact information, so a person who wants to host a meeting in, say, Wichita, Kan., can get advice from someone who already has held a meeting there.
Developed in partnership with Simpleview, which creates customized online tools for convention and visitor bureaus and other industry organizations, MMB Meet Safe underscores that, with the proper adherence to state and city gathering limits, as well as following health-and-safety best practices, in-person and hybrid meetings can take place now and into the future.
Beauvois said there are two further goals set for the Meet Safe platform. "We also want to use it to position with policy makers the importance of this industry, to show them that meetings can move forward," she said. "And the third goal is to engage with corporate America, because business travel and business meetings are so stagnant. There's a lot of reasons for that, but we wanted to be able to showcase that such events can happen."
Independent event-marketing manager Melissa Pabian, CMP, feels the resources at Meet Safe might help her convince clients to take the leap and make a real plan for an event. "That's one of the biggest challenges we're running into -- it's not that we planners don't have confidence to hold events, but the client isn't comfortable with it," she said.
The information downloads planned for MMB Meet Safe are exactly what pharmaceutical planner Bernadette Mari is looking for. "I've been reading the trades, looking to see what people are doing successfully or not successfully," she said. "I want to know what people are doing first so I can make my own game plan. Every hotel is saying what they're going to do, but I want to know what really happens."
Events currently highlighted on the site include Meeting Professionals International's WEC, held in Grapevine, Texas, Nov. 3; and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau's Annual Tourism Meeting at the Miami Beach Convention Center Oct. 21. Beauvois hopes that by January Meet Safe will be populated with at least one successful event from each state.
To upload information to the platform, meeting hosts and venue operators, planners, destination marketing professionals and suppliers can submit details here about their in-person or hybrid events. Best practices for submissions can be found here; for more information, contact Caroline Campbell, U.S. Travel's manager of national council and industry relations.