Making Mexico Stand Out for Meeting Planners
By: Michelle Stoddard Crowley, Manager, Global Development
Professional Convention Management Association
As the meetings industry continues to expand around the world, our neighbors in Mexico continued to solidify their commitment to welcoming more business at the 2012 North American Advisory Summit, hosted by PCMA and the Mexico Tourism Board. In its fifth year, the summit was held from November 4 – 6 in Mazatlan, Mexico, a striking beachside destination nestled on Mexico’s Western Coast in the state of Sinaloa.
More than 120 suppliers from across Mexico brought their business challenges and ideas for growth to Mazatlan for an in-depth education exchange. Lead by a team of 15 North American advisors, suppliers dove into their most pressing concerns during the two-day program.
Listening to representatives from hotels, convention centers, convention bureaus and DMCs made one fact very clear: the community of meeting professionals in Mexico is a forward-thinking group. From simplifying logistics for planners to assisting with content creation for meetings, they’re all proactively looking for opportunities to make planners’ lives easier and more efficient.
An Evening Celebration by the Sea
After a day of getting down to work, it was time to get to know each other outside of a strictly business setting. Mazatlan’s historical downtown district was the perfect backdrop for an evening networking reception. With picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean, I think it’s safe to say that everyone caught a first-hand glimpse of some of the possibilities of planning meetings in the resort destination.
Around the Roundtables
This year’s program featured a new addition on the second day: speed consulting. Advisors lead 10-minute roundtable discussions as attendees moved from table to table to collect valuable insights into some of the most pressing concerns impacting the Mexican hospitality industry, including:
- Local attendee growth
- Bandwidth and WiFi support
- Social media skills
- Today’s CVB needs
- Convention center funding
From breakout sessions on Day 1 to these fast-paced consulting sessions on Day 2, advisors helped facilitate the sharing of best practices and innovative ideas for the future of meetings in Mexico. I’m truly excited to see how these suppliers integrate these solutions into their conversations with planners, and I’m sure we’ll see plenty of major progress by the time we return for the 2013 North American Advisory Summit in Puebla from November 13 – 15 next year.
On behalf of everyone at PCMA, I’d like to thank the Sinaloa Office of Tourism, the Mazatlan International Center, the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, and of course, our strategic partner, the Mexico Tourism Board.