When Lindsay Arell accepted the Convention Industry Council Pacesetter Award last week during IMEX America, she challenged the audience of top-level meeting industry professionals to change an industry. Her passionate plea is essential to our future and for those of you who didn’t hear it, I share it with you now.
“I am so incredibly honored to be receiving this award from the Convention Industry Council and my colleagues.
For those of you who may not know me, my role in our industry for the past 8 years has been to work with planners and suppliers to implement more sustainable best practices in their operation and events. When I started in this role, these efforts were few and far between. However, the idea that we could and SHOULD do things different was beginning to take shape and the conversation was started. In fact, as I look around the room tonight, some of those early adopters and leaders are here.
One of the reasons I have been so inspired to continue on this path is because the scope of influence that the meeting industry has globally. When we bring innovation, creativity, and sustainability to our meetings and events, we have the opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of people. This includes not only the suppliers we work with and our staff, but also the attendees of our events and potentially their friends and family. If a person experiences sustainability at an event, they may very well bring those practices back to their office and into their daily lives and to their friends, partners and children. And as we all know, there is a meeting or association for every type of person… meaning our scope of influence is seemingly limitless.
But it all starts here… I truly believe each and every one of us can participate in this movement! Therefore I am taking this opportunity tonight to appeal to you all with a call to action. I urge everyone in this room – suppliers and planners – to begin the conversation around sustainability. Just ask… what can we do differently or expand upon to improve the sustainability of my operation? Then, take that step. Even if it is just one… we all need to get on the escalator of change and together we have the power to shift our industry. Thank you very much!”– Lindsay Arell, October 12, 2014
Thank you, Lindsay, for your inspired dedication and the call to action. Let’s make her proud!