At a strategic retreat in 2017, we had an outside facilitator attend a Meetings Industry Council of Colorado (MIC) meeting. Afterward, he approached me and said, “I can now see why MIC is so strong. There is such a spirit of community and collaboration here, although I’m not sure how you get anything done with all that hugging and kissing that goes on before the meeting!”
We are an exceptional meetings and events community in Colorado. We like each other! We’re fun, talented, energetic and committed—and we will always make time in the agenda for hugging, kissing and catching up. With origins dating back to 1987 and official incorporation in 2000, MIC has built an excellent reputation in the hospitality industry. Let’s take a moment to celebrate our strong, collaborative and creative community.
Like the hospitality industry itself, MIC is successfully founded on the principle of powerful collaboration: that we, as individuals and associations, are better and our overall achievements in the industry greater because we are stronger together. The 13 member organizations that compose MIC are CFEA, CMCA, CSAE, GBTA, HSMAI, IAEE, ILEA, MPIRMC, NSA-CO, NACE, PCMA, SGMP and VISIT DENVER (all the acronyms we know and love) and make us some 3,400 members strong.
As the current chair of MIC, I’ve been thinking about how to articulate the distinct dynamics of our organization in the spirit of celebration. Here’s my best shot.
MIC is unique. However, our secret is no secret. We are unique because it takes commitment and willingness to lay aside our personal agendas and organizational hats and to focus on what is best for the collective good in order to be this successful. This is what MIC is all about. Other areas of the country have tried to duplicate what we have in Colorado, without success. As a council, we are committed to continue improving how we operate as an organization and conference planner. Our 2018 conference, scheduled for March 13-14, is shaping up to be an amazing experience focused on innovation, connection and growth. Attendance has tripled since 2006, with the 2017 registration number of 1,205 (not including exhibitors) setting a record.
MIC gives. Through our Serving Up Hope event, we continue to support the Food Bank of the Rockies and have raised more than $250,000 since 2006. But our support of the community doesn’t end with local nonprofits. We’ve all seen how our members rally to support our fellow colleagues who experience health issues and other life challenges. I can personally attest that the outpouring is incredible.
MIC is Colorado. While we continue to attract attendees from around the country, the core of our community is Colorado based and reflects the spirit of adventure that is Colorado. I don’t think it’s by chance that our beautiful state is the venue where we’ve been able to create, grow and sustain such an incredible organization. Just look west. We are a reflection of our home base—a place that attracts people who are adventuresome, challenged, inspired and fulfilled.
So much to celebrate! I am constantly amazed at the humility, kindness, sharp wit and creative minds that permeate this group. In a nutshell, MIC reflects the spirit of hospitality itself. We know, because we’re all in this business, that hospitality is not just what we do, but how we relate to one another while doing it.
While the pace of our industry seems to continue to go faster with globalization, technology and the demand to do more with less, some things will continue to ring true. Collaboration, courtesy, compassion, communication and commitment to each other will always win the day. This is what makes us who we are at MIC, and I am exceedingly grateful to be a part of it. That, and all the hugs and kisses!
Dean Savoca is a meetings and events industry veteran with over 20 years of experience. He is the current chair of MIC and speaks across the country on leadership and performance development.