Photo Credit: mia

The Meetings Industry Association has had a “very positive year” offering “real value” in “extremely difficult circumstances”, the trade body’s board of directors informed members attending yesterday’s AGM.

Taking to the stage at the association’s 32nd annual general meeting, chair Steve Jones proudly recalled the successes of the last year, which have seen member retention levels remain strong, despite the ongoing impact the pandemic has had on the business meetings and events sector.

He highlighted how the mia continues to provide high levels of support to its members, including a voice to government as part of its crucial role in providing counsel and primary intelligence to both the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Business Events Recovery Group (BERG).

Meanwhile, the ongoing best practice guidance and Covid-19 tools, including the relaunch of miaTouchstone, continued to be highly valued by members. As a result, the mia’s website has witnessed a 70% increase in traffic compared to pre-pandemic levels while the association’s education calendar delivered 43 events for over 1,200 delegates on a whole host of pertinent topics.

Looking at the year ahead, chief executive Kerrin MacPhie spoke passionately about how the next 12 months are filled with optimism and how AIM Secure and the further enhancements to the accreditation scheme will play a key role in providing booker confidence. In the meantime, while the mia’s lobbying work will remain indefinitely, she said the association’s new powerful data intelligence tool – miaTouchstone – will play a crucial role in providing tangible intelligence to government and industry.

She said: “Not only will miaTouchstone prove invaluable to members, but it will also provide the top-line big data that government requires – insight such as the value of the sector, the volume of business meetings and conferences held, the number of direct employees across the sector alongside the economic impact on a local and national level for instance.”

Photo Credit: VisitBritain

The last year has also seen the mia’s profile continue to increase as it achieved the greatest share of media voice amongst its neighbouring associations, thanks to its ongoing public relations strategy and swift reactions to the ever-evolving situation.

Delivering the financial report, treasurer Barry Cope revealed the association has delivered a relatively good financial performance, despite the extremely difficult circumstances. He said: “The association is financially stable, can meet all of its forthcoming priorities and is well-positioned to deliver enhanced benefits and services to its members going forwards.”

Concluding the AGM was the appointment of the mia board for 2022/2023. Steve Jones of Wyboston Lakes Resort remains as chair while Charles Sargeant of Whittlebury Park retains the title of vice-chair and Kevin Breeze of the Robinson College University of Cambridge is company secretary. Barry Cope of ACC Liverpool was appointed as treasurer.

Other board members for 2022/23 include Lime Venue Portfolio’s Jo Austin; NEC Group’s Allan Boyle, Marketing Liverpool’s Jennifer Jensen; VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s Debra Lang; The Grand Brighton and Richmond Hill Hotels’ Andrew Mosley; Green & Fortune’s John Nugent; The Jockey Club’s Christopher Ogston and the QEII Centre’s Mark Taylor.