Eight peer groups have been launched by the Meetings Industry Association (mia) to support the evolving needs of the business meetings and events sector.

With clear terms of reference and assigned chairs, the new focus groups provide a platform for mia members to engage and collaboratively explore innovative solutions to the industry’s current opportunities and challenges.

To date the designated special interest peer groups include large venues, academic venues, multi-venues, student membership, LGBTQ+, sustainability, destinations, Instant Book, and Stadia with more in the pipeline for 2024.

Our peer groups are specifically designed to facilitate and encourage much-needed conversations on issues and opportunities related to each area,” said the mia’s chief executive, Kerrin MacPhie.

The groups purposefully span every corner of business meetings and events and offer a platform allowing our members to collectively join forces to efficiently address issues and identify opportunities to ensure that we as a sector are better equipped to adapt and thrive.”

She added: “They also provide a fantastic touchpoint for us to engage and ensure our support continues to remain truly reflective of the evolving roles and needs of the sector’s multiple stakeholders.”

Kelsey Summerfield, National Meetings and Events Account Manager at Valor Hospitality Partners UK and Europe, is chair of the student membership group. Fifteen years ago, she opted to do International Hospitality and Business Management at university when only 10% of graduates joined the sector, which she sadly doesn’t believe has increased today.

She said: “I see students working in the industry who have the same spark and tenacity as I did, but they don’t see the business meetings and events industry as a career. That’s why I think the mia student membership is so important. It’s a gateway to inspiring the sector’s next generation of talent with a varied range of exciting opportunities.

The key role for the student membership peer group is to ensure that we are engaging with those aspiring event professionals of the future and offering exclusive membership benefits that resonate and provide clear direction and guidance to those looking to start a career in our sector.”

The mia peer groups meet regularly, with members from across the UK. To find out more about the groups and their terms or references visit https://www.mia-uk.org/Peer-to-Peer-Groups

The outcomes of the regular meetings will be shared with members via the mia’s Members’ portal.