At the opening press conference at Imex America, McDermott spoke live via satellite link, detailing his drive to change SAP’s events strategy upon his appointment as CEO.
Highlighting the top performers incentive programme and the January kick-off meeting as core events to drive business growth, McDermott rallied other CEOs to recognise the importance of events as a key driver to a brand’s growth strategy.
He commented: "I will be a spokesperson for your industry, I will make other business executives and boards understand (the value of meetings)."
McDermott’s address was followed by an update from the Meetings Mean Business coalition, launched in 2008 to champion the economic impact of meetings and currently co-chaired by Maritz Travel Company president David Peckinpaugh and Hilton Hotels group sales and industry relations SVP Larry Luteran.
Peckinpaugh commented: "We do not know what the next crisis may be, so we need to continue to highlight the impact of our industry. It means jobs and it means economic impact and financial results – that is what we want politicians to say when they are asked about our industry."