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by Loren G. Edelstein | April 1, 2018

Loren G. Edelstein, editor in chief of Meetings & Conventions magazineOn April 12, Global Meetings Industry Day, groups around the world will celebrate the positive influence of events on businesses and communities. (Read more here.) This year's theme: "Real results, real impact, all around the world."

Chris Kelly, president and co-founder of Convene, is passionate about the global power of meetings. "Stop and think," he urged attendees of the BTN Group's Strategic Meetings Summit in New York City last month. "How would the world be different if the U.N. General Assembly was not set theater-style? What if the world's leaders sat down in pods and really talked about things? What if they sat at small tables and ate a meal together family style?"

Kelly's vision is largely why Convene, which runs ultra-chic conference centers, is one of the four companies lauded in M&C's annual feature, "Best Places to Work in the Meetings Industry." All of this year's honorees share a mission that reaches well beyond the core purpose of our business. "Meetings have the power to change how the world works," said Kelly. "That's the rallying cry that we need to be standing behind for our industry."

So many choices planners make can serve the greater good, right down to gifts and giveaways. "Products With Purpose" features items from enlightened companies like Sudara, which helps women rescued from the sex trade earn a living making pajamas. Another, Revo sunglasses, donates money from sales to the treatment of eye diseases in the developing world.

I hope this issue leaves you feeling inspired -- and proud to be helping to make the world a better place, one meeting at a time.