February March 2018

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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February | March 2018 | Ignitemag.ca | 3 "We need to tell a better story of what the business events meetings industry does." That, in a nutshell, is the mantra of Heidi Welker as she takes up that mantle as 2018 chair of Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC). "We are a $30- billion industry. We should have a voice and a unified approach." Of course, Welker is no stranger to industry vol- unteer work. Since joining Freeman Audio Visual Canada 30 years ago, she's been involved in vari- ous organizations. "It's a great way to meet peo- ple, understand the industry and learn new ways of doing things." Welker, now senior vice-president, business development & industry partnerships at Freeman, was president of PCMA when the Canadian Innovation Conference (CIC) was launched five years ago. "The goal was to have a new vehicle for senior professionals to collaborate about event strategy and the importance on deliver- ing an experience that emulates the meeting goals, objectives and messaging." She's also on the board of trustees on the PCMA Foundation and spearheaded the John Maxwell fund, which recently awarded four scholarships to attend the PCMA Convening Leaders Conference in Nashville, TN, this past January. So what compelled her to take on the MMBC post? "I am so passionate about this industry. Everyone wants a legacy. I want to know that I made a difference and helped make the indus- try stronger." As we've mentioned previously in these pages, last year the Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada (BEICC) transitioned She means business Laura Bickle, Editor laura@ignitemag.ca @LauraIgnite to Meetings Mean Business Canada (a partnership with the US counterpart) whose mission is to serve as a vocal and effective advocate for the meetings industry in Canada. Welker believes strongly that "the more people understand the importance of business events, the faster MMBC can become the single advocacy voice for business events in Canada." With that in mind, she is supporting the production of toolkits and communication vehicles that help illustrate the industry's importance as well as promote it to both domestic and global audiences. Also on her radar is the message that MMBC must benefit both large and small business and that it repre- sent the interests of both groups. The MMBC is still building support across the country, having held meetings in Western Canada last year and doing the same in Ontario and the East Coast in the coming months. You can learn more about MMBC at meetingsmeanbusiness.ca laura's logic Me and Heidi Scan the QR code or visit Ignite's digital edition on ignitemag.ca.

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