Top 25 Influencers of the Meetings Industry

Meet the people leading us through a difficult year.

top 25

This year has presented serious challenges to our industry, so significant and so deep that none of us would have believed they could happen. Many recall the dire effects of 9/11 on the travel industry; the impact of Covid-19 will be 10 times worse, per a July forecast from the U.S. Travel Association. By May, more than 8.1 million U.S. hospitality workers were laid off due to the pandemic, and lost travel spending is expected to hit $505 billion nationally by the end of this year.

Other factors exacerbated simmering tensions in an already troubled year. George Floyd’s death in May spawned nationwide protests and ignited the Black Lives Matter movement — exposing a long history of racial injustice in the meetings and tourism business and driving a concerted effort to effect change. Those championing LGBTQ rights intensified calls for workplace diversity and tolerance, and devoted a virtual town hall meeting of the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association to the concerns of the BLM movement.

Meanwhile, meeting planners and suppliers sought guidance — from legal experts for their upended plans, medical professionals for Covid-safe operations and tech gurus for producing digital events.

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