The highly anticipated 16th Global Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange (GMITE) took place April 7-10, 2024, in Orlando, Florida, which brought North American meeting planners and incentive buyers together with global travel suppliers for an extraordinary experience filled with one-to-one meetings, educational sessions, and dynamic networking receptions.

Hosted at the newly renovated Caribe Royale Resort and graciously supported by Visit Orlando, GMITE offered attendees a unique platform to forge invaluable connections and explore innovative planning ideas in the heart of one of the world's most vibrant travel destinations. Unique to the one-to-one meeting experience, GMITE provided each supplier with a private suite to conduct a total of 1,500 appointments, fostering in-depth discussions and facilitating the exchange of ideas and opportunities.

“As a supplier, I loved the ability to present in a space utilizing video and in-room set up, said Rob Nelson, director of destination global sales, Visit Jackson Hole. “Comfortable space and time to get granular on specifics, and fantastic networking opportunities to connect on a personal level. Looking forward to next year.” 

Each morning guests attended an educational presentation, starting on day one with “Connecting the Dots: Making Sense of Conflicting Data Points,” presented by Michael Dominguez, president and CEO, ALHI. On Day Two, attendees enjoyed an interactive dialogue between SITE CEO Annette Gregg and MPI Academy VP Jessie States, where attendees could ask relevant industry questions.

SITE CEO Annette Gregg and MPI Academy VP Jessie States
SITE CEO Annette Gregg and MPI Academy VP Jessie States (Photo by Meeting Spotlight)

Plus, on the afternoon of Day One, the solar eclipse over Orlando reached roughly 60 percent and all guests were encouraged to head outside and enjoy the phenomenon in the beautiful 72-degree weather.

Each day, after the one-to-one meetings were completed and guests had their time to relax and unwind, buyers were treated to resort site visits, starting with the sprawling Disney Swan and Dolphin, where they enjoyed cocktails and canapes during their tour, a meet and greet with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, ending at VUE, the rooftop space for the evening reception with suppliers. The reception, hosted by the Swan and Dolphin, boasted live music and fabulous dining options and was capped off by multiple fireworks shows for all guests to enjoy.

On Day Two, buyers toured the ultra-luxurious Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the gorgeous Hilton Signia, which then also ended with a fabulous sunset reception with suppliers on the lawn between the two properties, complete with live music, specialty cocktails and incredible food, which capped off an incredible end to their journeys.

“I have cut way back on my industry trade shows because they all tend to have the same suppliers, and it’s a waste of my time and money,” said Mike Nesbihal, CMMM-HMCC, president of WorldWide Meetings and Events, LLC. “At GMITE, I was able to meet with and even more important network with totally different suppliers. I actually met 10 people I never met before and found four destinations I’d never heard of. That’s what my clients pay me to find.” 

Plans for the 2025 GMITE location are in the works. For more information about GMITE, please visit Caribbean- and Mexico-based suppliers can click here to reserve their place for the Caribbean & Mexico Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange (CMITE), taking place August 18-21, 2024 at the Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club in Anguilla.

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