A coalition of meetings-industry leaders announced the relaunch Tuesday of Meetings Mean Business, a national campaign to showcase the value derived from business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions. The industrywide coalition made the announcement at the Professional Convention Management Association's Convening Leaders meeting in Boston. The coalition co-chairs, Maritz Travel president David Peckinpaugh and Hilton Worldwide senior vice president Larry Luteran, were joined onstage at a press conference by the executive leaders of PCMA, Meeting Professionals International, the U.S. Travel Association, the International Association of Exhibits and Events, the American Society of Association Executives and Destination Marketing Association International. The coalition is partnering with communications company Apco Worldwide on the campaign, which aims to educate the media, policy makers and industry stakeholders about the role of meetings in creating personal connections, driving business results and benefiting communities across the country. The coalition plans to raise about $500,000 to fund the campaign for the first year. A full list of coalition participants, as well as additional details about the campaign, can be found at meetingsmeanbusiness.com
. An earlier version of the campaign was launched in 2009 and included a widely used study showing the worth of holding off-site meetings.