Convention bureaus across the U.S. are promoting their cities’ diversity inclusive meetings. The message acknowledges minorities, as a whole, are becoming the majority population in America. This action is also an attempt to separate themselves from the rise of alt-right nationalism. With the United States poised to become a minority-majority country by 2040, multicultural markets are no longer a niche outreach business target for convention & visitors bureaus. This is also helping build stronger networks and relationships among all ethnic groups within their communities. Diversity inclusive meetings helps deliver a more valuable event experience for all attendees.
Tourism is Hiring
Recruiting young people for tourism careers may indeed help in the effort to facilitate more diversity inclusive meetings. “One of the main challenges is recruiting minorities to the meetings industry” – says Dan Williams, senior director of convention sales for Experience Columbus, which has actively promoted diversity in the Columbus, Ohio area.
“While there are many opportunities available, there is a lack of communication about those jobs. The industry as a whole needs to make the opportunities more widely known. “Currently, while the industry has a diverse group of leaders, it is not reflective of society, based on the size of our industry. There is a lot of potential for growth and room for improvement, so we need to spread the word and start initiatives to encourage exploration in the industry at a young age.
more culturally diverse, one of the main challenges of the meetings and hospitality industry is to make everyone feel welcome.
“Becoming culturally proficient means understanding your customer, based on a specific knowledge of a person’s country of origin, cultural nuances and other traits such as gender and educational level,” says Margaret Gonzalez, IAHMP’s founder and president. “As an international organization, we recognize cultural fluency as critical for the success of meeting professionals. Connecting with customers is no longer a luxury: It’s a necessity. When you understand customers’ needs and preferences, you can more effectively win their loyalty.”
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