July 14th, 2016

GDP Connection 2016: Emergency Preparedness, The Global Economy & More

We had an incredibly successful Connection 2016 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Hosted this year by .::ECT::. [mice dmc], the conference brings together top meeting professionals and DMC industry leaders from around the world to connect, uncover new destinations, learn about key industry trends, share best practices and experience the host destination through exciting group tours and evening events. We've recapped the key takeaways from our innovative business sessions so that you don't miss a beat on the industry's most pressing topics.

Panel's Advice on Global Emergency Preparedness

Pictured (Left to Right): Catherine Chaulet, Margaret Stafford, Megan Tate, Kim Hester, David Rome, Chris Riccardi, Mustafa Yalcin

Moderated by Global DMC Partners President, Catherine Chaulet, our panel consisted of our DMC and Customer Advisory Board Members as well as Chris Riccardi, Vice President at Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). During the session, the panel reviewed audience survey feedback comprised of what planners, DMCs and hotels believe to be the most pressing concerns when it comes to emergency preparedness. Three main takeaways were discussed to ensure that planners and vendors can work better together when it comes to crisis management:

  1. Prepare in advance. It is important to ensure the basics are in place. Before every program, ensure that all different forms of attendee contact information and emergency contacts are collected. Take simple precautionary steps like making copies of passports if the group is going international. 
  2. Engage the local DMCs and hotels in your emergency plans. Planners have found that DMCs and local hotels are more reliable and valuable than outside agencies. They are the local experts and are connected to all critical contacts such as vendors, hospitals, law enforcement, embassies and governmental agencies. 
  3. Train your team. Make sure all of your vendors and suppliers have contingency and emergency plans in place. Take the time during a site visit or pre-con meeting to ask about their security plans. 

    Global Economic Outlook and Impact of the Brexit

Pictured: Gregory Daco

Gregory Daco, Head of US Macroeconomics at Oxford Economics, led a session on the global economy just two days after the Brexit results were announced. While the Brexit's impact on the global economy was overstated in the initial market reactions, it was a modest shock to the overall economy. He went on to say that it will be tougher for international companies to negotiate, make trade deals and conduct overall business with the UK, but much of the impact is still very unknown. As long as businesses are confident and working hard to make profits, then we have an economy that will move forward.

During his talk, Daco highlighted different emerging markets, like India and Southeast Asia, who have growing potential for consumer spending, and strong pockets of growth around the world in North America (US/CAN/MEX) and especially Europe where employment, wages and income are growing which bodes well for consumer spending and business. He also touched on markets, such as Russia, that have relatively limited prospects for growth due to the falling oil prices. Overall, the world economy is growing at a moderate pace, but understanding the nature of growth is essential.

Travel will remain at a steady pace in Europe, as both outbound travel and travel within Europe is rising due to income growth and increased spending on travel. The Mexican economy is growing by 2.5% due to travel and its weaker currency, since there's a steady pace of US and International visitors who are able to get more value for their money. US outbound and inbound travel is also doing very well and the overall US economy is gradually rebounding with a very low risk of a recession in the near future.

Transforming your Business Starts With YOU

Pictured: Mitch Joel

Motivational Speaker & Digital Marketing Expert, Mitch Joel, gave a thought-provoking presentation about disruption, transformation, and the future of brands.

There are many new realities that will force businesses to rethink their commonly held beliefs about what works in sales today. Consumers have become much more efficient at buying and are more willing to pay for access over ownership (ie. Netflix and Uber). To transform successfully, there are several important questions that businesses need to ask themselves:

  • What can I show my customers that isn't just an ad?
  • What are the tools that I should be using internally, that my customers are using externally?
  • Am I putting a mobile experience for my customer first? 
  • How can I make my brand effective in this age of efficiency?

Apart from the business sessions, the Connection also featured planner breakout sessions, one-on-one appointments, tours around Punta Cana, and offsite evening events.

For more photos from the event click here! If you have any questions about how you can qualify to attend the Connection in the future, please contact your dedicated Global DMC Partners Advisor, or email info@globaldmcpartners.com