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Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) was created to be an international forum for advocacy, awareness and celebration for the events industry, and why events mean business. On April 14, 2020, #eventprofs from around the world gathered online to celebrate #GMID20 and break the Guinness World Record for most participants at a virtual event.

WORLD RECORD Virtual EVENT

Sheltering in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 made coming together to celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) 2020 impossible, but meeting professionals got creative. An attempt to break the Guinness World Records title for largest audience for a virtual conference by #GMIDGoesVirtual brought an unofficial 12,500 at peak on Tuesday for a half-hour presentation that included Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) leadership from the United States, Canada, India and Mexico.

U.S. MMBC Co-chair and NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon, whose city has taken a hard hit during the pandemic, thanked the industry for its support. “My heart is warmed by the stories of the industry stepping up to help,” he said.

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The presentation, which was hosted by Clean Slate Strategies President Jennifer Spear and Social Strategist Miguel Neves, was labeled “the most interactive event in Slido history.” More than 8,800 people participated in the question-and-answer portion of the event, and registered a total of 46,790 votes.

Attendees said the thing they would do first when shelter-in-place orders are lifted was “travel,” followed by family, friends and hugs.

When the question of how you feel right now came up, Spear echoed those of respondents, saying she was “inspired.” Other responses reflected the uncertainty of a time when many planners are out of work: Hopeful, anxious and optimistic were also near the top of the list.

Anh Nguyen, founder of Spark Event Management in Calgary, Alberta, who suggested the virtual meeting in a tweet a month earlier, credited the volunteer efforts of a team that hustled to get the word out and collaborated with all parts of the industry.

Those collaborators included Snoball Influencer Marketing, Event Industry Council, International Live Event Association, Professional Convention Management Association, International Congress and Convention Association, International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence Global and International Association of Exhibitions and Events.

“We will come back better and stronger than ever,” Nguyen said.

The group is still awaits official word from Guinness World Records as to whether it won the title.