Hosted by Visit Mesa, Meetings Quest has been scheduled to coincide with the U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel and Tourism Week and will begin the evening of Tuesday, May 6, with an opening celebration at the Mesa Arts Center. The opening celebration, which will feature a “Taste of Mesa” culinary and cultural experience, tours of the arts center and a welcome from Mesa Mayor Alex Finter, will also serve as Arizona’s Travel Rally Day.
To mark National Travel and Tourism Week, Association News publisher Timothy Schneider will host a panel discussion featuring Marc Garcia, president and CEO of Visit Mesa; Sherry Henry, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism; Debbie Johnson, president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association; and Martha Sheridan, chairperson of Destination Marketing Association International. The session will be held on the main stage of the Mesa Arts Center, the 1,571-seat Ikeda Theater.
On the morning of Wednesday, May 7, Meetings Quest will offer two Learning Lab sessions centered on meeting-planning technology and social media strategies for event organizers. The innovative meetings-industry training will be facilitated by Steven Hacker, former president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, who now serves as “The Association Doctor” columnist for Association News. Expert presenters include LinkedIn co-founder Eric Ly, founder and CEO of Presdo.com; Michelle Wyatt, partner at Cadmium CD; Michael Barnett, CEO of InGO; and Jake Zatkin, marketing manager in charge of digital strategies for the National Association of Broadcasters.
Also on Wednesday, May 7, a soul-stirring keynote address will feature Chris Waddell, the most decorated male skier in Paralympic history. Waddell hosted NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Paralympic Games from Sochi, Russia, and has won SportsTravel magazine’s Humanitarian of the Year award for his work through the One Revolution Foundation, which he founded. Waddell’s keynote will be followed by an afternoon trade show at the Mesa Convention Center featuring exhibitors interested in working with corporate and association meeting planners.