EIBTM Live: Why Last Month was a Highlight for CIC & IAEE's David DuBois
At EIBTM in Barcelona, IMR’s James Latham spoke with David DuBois, the newly named chairman of the Conventions Industry Council and president at International Association for Exhibitions and Events, to get a pulse on the major changes of the large-scale events scene.
DuBois has been in the industry for 40 years, and said that last month’s announcement that SAP Global CEO Bill McDermott would vouch for business travel was a highlight of all those decades. “To have a CEO of a major international organization speak about the values of face-to-face [meetings], how much money he and his company are willing to invest to bring in 20,000+ people to their events...and to have another 150,000 engaged virtually--that’s incredible!"
At industry functions like EIBTM, he added, insiders can communicate and share ideas with one another, but MICE professionals also need to target their messages beyond the walls of business travel professionals. With this community distancing itself from leisure travel and tourism and taking an initiative to create its own identity as catalysts for economic and social development, the JMIC and CIC are working on researching, understanding and developing the economic impact of business travel, based on standardized analysis.
Industry associations like the CIC or IAEE can sit with government leaders in Washington, Abu Dhabi, Ottawa, London or Beijing to spread their messages, he added. But, he added, “if we don’t have the numbers to justify the jobs and the economic impact of what the live MICE industry does, these politicians are going to say, ‘You’re just advocating this industry. Show me the numbers,’” DuBois added.