Global Meetings Industry Day is held each April to recognise our industry and the individuals who are a part of our vibrant community.

As our industry celebrates Global Meetings Industry Day, we reach out to you – our friends, colleagues and the communities most deeply affected by COVID-19.  We want you to know we are here to help.

We recognise our healthcare workers, our first responders and our frontline employees who are working tirelessly to keep us safe. We recognise so many others who have been profoundly impacted by this virus.

More than any other industry we know, we are truly a global community. We foster relationships and connections in everything we do. We step up with solutions when we, as an industry and as global citizens, need to support each other.

COVID-19 is a fast-moving issue dominating the news worldwide. More importantly, it is affecting people. People we care for deeply. Many of them may have to make major adjustments just to provide for their families over the next six to 12 months.

At SAACI, our focus is two-fold.

Firstly, we should make informed decisions about our meetings based on sound information and guidance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South African government’s command centre which has our leading medical experts guiding us through this pandemic. As always, health, safety and security are the top priorities.

SAACI has assisted in providing you with information and resources to make informed decisions. For a good starting place, visit our online community at www.saaci.org  Twitter: @SAACIofficial | Facebook: SAACI Official | We also have the askus@saaci.org and share@saaci.org.za to assist with Q&A resources and invite you to use as needed. We have also provided free access to the SAACI online academy for all members – www.saaci-academy.org

Secondly, we already know that our industry is going to be different in the future. We will meet differently. We know how resilient we are. We are adaptive.

This crisis has moved all of us out of our comfort zones. Every individual and industry is going through the exact same thing. We will all re-engineer our business models and find new partners that were not on our radar screens just months ago.

The SAACI board meets weekly to monitor events around the country and the world, to understand how our industry will be a key economic driver in our country’s recovery plan.

In the interim, we have a job to do. We must continue to be good stewards of our industry. That includes reminding one another who we are, the value we provide to those we serve and why what we do matters to others.

We wish to call on you, our members, to continue to engage with us in sharing your views on the shape our industry will take as we work on crafting a recovery plan that seeks to mutually benefit our economy and the communities we serve.

As an industry, sharing our personal reflections in light of COVID-19, we may forecast what the business events industry will look and feel like moving forward.

We can all acknowledge that this moment can be a catalyst for meaningful change, and how we can adapt and advocate in ways that will be critical for our future relevance.

Our industry has weathered disruptions in the past. Working together, we will weather this, too.

We are reaching out to you to be part of this new model for our industry, in turn reach out to us when you need help.

Remember to you can reach out us at share@saaci.org.za

Happy Global Meetings Industry Day from the SAACI Team.