Buyer Q&A: CSR and the Impact of Tourism and Events

Meeting planners have the capability to have a positive impact on the destinations in which their clients’ events take place. Speaking to Candy A. Campbell, CMP, Campbell Scott Events, as part of our Buyer Q&A series, she tells us that she hopes to be part of the change that sees meeting and event professionals take corporate social responsibility (CSR) more seriously. Campbell also identified that what makes an event “luxury” is not just “one thing, one place, one object—rather a complete experience.”

See our full conversation below:

Do you think the luxury MICE market is different from the overall MICE market? If so, why?

I do. The difference can be seen in the use of resources, budgets and level of connections with destinations and suppliers. I find there is a niche market for luxury MICE with nuanced differences in the delivery of programs at this level.

Candy A. Campbell, CMP, Campbell Scott Events
Candy A. Campbell, CMP, Campbell Scott Events (Photo courtesy of Candy A. Campbell)

What makes a meeting or incentive “luxury” in your experience? Is there an example of a luxury service or a “special touch” you’ve created or experienced?

“There is an emanation from the heart in genuine hospitality which cannot be described but is immediately felt and puts the stranger at once at his ease,” Washington Irving famously said.

A luxury meeting or incentive, in my experience, stirs the feelings of joy, excitement and connection that leave memories that cannot be duplicated. For me, luxury isn’t necessarily one thing, one place, one object—rather a complete experience that leaves me feeling joyously content. I had an exceptional experience with the laundry staff at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal. It was a very special touch that was not requested or expected but simply delivered with my needs in mind.             

Do you have or have you had a mentor relationship? How has this impacted you?

I have had two very exceptional mentors in my professional life. For the media company I owned where I need skilled direction for accepting investor funds and the growth of the company as well as its acquisition, the counsel and guidance from my mentor proved to be the most valuable investment of time and resources.  The second helped me transition back to the MICE market and capitalize on my skillset to set myself apart.

What do you believe will be a game-changer for the MICE industry in 2024?

New technology and elevated experiences. I believe unique experiences will be at the height of MICE demand. 

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

The most important lesson I have learned in my career is that is it’s OK to start over—to reinvent yourself and be fluid.

What is your vision for the MICE Industry?

I would love to see more professionals taking CSR seriously—beyond guided activities and local philanthropic efforts (which are still vitally important). The impact of tourism and corporate events at destinations should be better identified. As planners, we have the voice and experience to recommend to clients best practices as well as options available; this includes food sourcing, supplies and resources for event execution, [as well as] engagement with local resources and an understanding of “where things come from.” I hope to be instrumental in presenting what this looks like from the planning perspective and what big impacts can be made with critical decisions from contract to delivery.

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