On April 4th, event professionals from all over the DC metro area gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center for PCMA’s Global Meetings Industry Day to discuss the importance of face-to-face meetings. To kick off the action-packed day, Cyndi Radke, TCMA's Executive VP of Sales and Event Planning, offered welcome remarks to reiterate how important the day would be for the meetings and events industry and how much of a difference can be made when passionate event professionals come together to prove their point to congress members.
The room was then split into smaller groups to prepare for an appearance on Capitol Hill as part of #GMID19’s mission to bring congress’s attention to both the “Stop Online Booking Scams Act” and the “Jolt Act.”
The Stop Online Booking Scams Act
One aspect of a meeting planner’s job is to coordinate and plan the entire trip for the client. This includes booking their air fare, hotel stay and organizing the entire agenda for the trip’s duration. Unfortunately, there are a number of third-party hotel reservation sites taking advantage of customers, ultimately running scams and schemes to steal their money. This is not only very illegal but it also has a negative impact on third-party planning companies due to a lack of trust from existing and potential customers. In order to eradicate this issue, the “Stop Online Booking Scams Act” aims to prohibit third-party online hotel reservations sites from scamming consumers. Through this Act, these online sites will not have the ability to charge a customer’s credit card or bank account unless they provide a description of the offered good or service, the cost and other material terms before the transaction can be completed. For more information on the Stop Online Booking Scams Act, click here.
The Jolt Act
Conferences, trade shows, business meetings and conventions typically require travel from guests all over the world and are vital to the success of the meetings and events industry. Unfortunately, the ability for individuals to obtain visas to travel in and out of the Unites States to attend meetings has become an extremely difficult and drawn out process due to all of the immigration laws that have been put in place. PCMA Capital Chapter and MPI Potomac Chapter champion the Jolt Act, because it would allow international visitors to travel in and out of the Unites States with ease while not compromising national security. In order to do so, this Act will require the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to enforce security requirements that used to be optional such as maintaining high level airport security, assisting in the operation of an effective air marshal program, maintaining the highest level of security standards when issuing passports, travel documents and more. For more information on how the Jolt Act would resolve this issue, click here.
After an afternoon on Capitol Hill, event professionals reconvened at the Reagan Building to close out #GMID19 with a debriefing session to talk about their successes and a reception to celebrate Global Industry Day. Almost every group was able to speak directly with a congress member about their cause and felt that they were able to make an impact. Looking forward to another successful event in 2020!