Global Industry Meeting Day

Contact:  Lynn Hobeck Bates/941-955-0991 Ext. 103

E-mail: [email protected]

April 14, 2016

SARASOTA, FL. (April 4, 2016)— On April 14, 2016, Visit Sarasota County (VSC) will join with other destinations across the globe to raise awareness of the first-ever Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). Lead by the international advocacy coalition Meetings Mean Business (MMB), the day is meant to raise awareness and showcase the impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions have on people, business and communities across the world.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of what the meetings industry means for our economy,” says Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota County. “The industry is a priority for VSC and helps keep our occupancy rates on par year round.”

VSC works closely with area hoteliers and meeting venues to attract meeting planners and groups further maximizing the impact the industry has in the Sarasota County marketplace.

Last year VSC assisted in booking over 5,000 room nights through meetings, which will produce an estimated $3.6 million economic impact to the region. The total meetings impact is even greater as VSC does not include meetings and groups that book directly with local lodging and attraction partners.

The competition to host groups and meetings is competitive, so VSC has concentrated on attracting niche groups that fit well in our destination. This year, VSC launched a financial incentive program for meeting planners and groups to book in Sarasota County.

“GMID will unite the meetings industry in a way that has never been done before,” said David Peckinpaugh, former MMB co-chair and president of Maritz Travel. “The growth and success of our industry are critical to the world’s economy and we look forward to communicating our value on the global stage.”

To learn more about GMID, visit Follow and participate in the digital conversations at @MeetingsMeanBiz on Twitter and by using the hashtags #MMBusiness with #GMID16.

For more information on Sarasota County visit


About Sarasota County

Located on Southwest Florida's Gulf Coast, Sarasota County offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene, a diverse array of culinary experiences and a variety of opportunities to take advantage of the clear waters and the great outdoors. Sarasota County provides the quintessential, laid-back beach getaway with numerous sprawling, white-sand beaches, including Siesta Key Beach, named the top beach in America by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice™ in 2015. For more information on visiting Sarasota County, visit or call (941) 706-1253.

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