Political Science: Meetings Industry Effort Makes Most of Election Season

A new advocacy initiative by the Meetings Mean Business Coalition is taking advantage of the upcoming conventions and election to highlight the role of face-to-face meetings.

No matter your political leanings, if you’re a political nerd, semi-nerd, or enthused voter, the next few months will be exciting for you. Among the highlights: the Democratic and Republican national conventions in July, the election in November, and, of course, the inauguration and its many parties and balls come January.

Meetings take place and positively impact people, businesses, and communities every single day.

Did you ever consider what many of these events have in common?

Well, they’re a place for policymakers, politicians, and the public to get together and meet face to face.

And it’s that commonality that led the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) to launch a new advocacy effort and integrated campaign earlier this month it’s calling “Worth Meeting About.”

“Worth Meeting About will demonstrate how political candidates leverage the power of face-to-face meetings throughout the election cycle,” said Michael Dominguez, MMBC cochair and chief sales officer at MGM Resorts International, in a press release [PDF]. “In doing so, the campaign will highlight that while these events only happen every four years, meetings take place and positively impact people, businesses, and communities every single day. The election cycle is just one example of how the most important decisions, moments, and milestones are worth meeting about.”

Worth Meeting About will target elected officials and policymakers, and throughout the election cycle, MMBC will use election milestones to remind these important stakeholders about how they use the power of face-to-face interactions to engage with constituents and persuade voters. Examples include speaking with voters at restaurants and coffee shops (the focus of a recent National Restaurant Association campaign), debating with others at national conventions, or attending other campaign-related events.

MMBC’s hope is that when politicians and policymakers are reminded of the economic impact of meetings, they’ll fund infrastructure (e.g., public transportation and convention centers) and support marketing efforts that will bring large conventions to destinations in the regions that they represent.

“The idea is while all of those policymakers are together in one place in Philadelphia and Cleveland [for the national conventions], we want to take an opportunity to highlight and advertise the importance of meetings,” Dominguez told industry publication Skift. “We want to remind them that they’re gathering in those cities for a meeting, because their overall objectives are, as we’re saying, ‘Worth Meeting About.’”

The campaign’s first paid advertising will debut at the Republican Convention with signage in Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. At the Democratic Convention the following week, MMBC will have signage in the Philadelphia International Airport as well as billboards along I-95. Targeted digital advertising will also be deployed to reinforce the campaign’s message.

“The coalition’s expanded reach and industry leadership has allowed us to engage in this type of unique advocacy,” said Richard Harper, MMBC cochair and executive vice president of HelmsBriscoe. “We’re excited to launch our first multifaceted campaign to show the industry’s role in the election cycle and demonstrate how these important moments are only made possible by bringing people together face to face.”

Seems to me like a pretty smart way to engage the people who have some decision-making power to ensure meetings and conventions continue to be a part of the economic life of cities nationwide.

Have you ever spun off of the election year to advocate for your association or its industry? Please share in the comments.


Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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