2018 Suppliers of the Year

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Partners who bring the world together

The dictionary definition of hospitality is the “friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers.” That is a fitting description for the partners who work side-by-side with us to ensure that no one feels like a stranger.

Each November, we recognize the outstanding suppliers—hotel properties, vendors, associations and individuals—who help event professionals create experiences that do more than impress: They change minds and build economies.

This year, we worked with Destinations International and IAEE to single out some of the rising stars in the industry for special recognition. Then, we asked all our winners to tell us, in their own words, their personal definition of what it means to make people feel welcome, the pivotal events of their lives that led them to that conclusion and that one thing they do to always deliver on that promise.

As usual, I was touched by the thoughtful answers and found myself wishing that more people today understood the transformational power of bringing people together to eliminate the needless caverns of understanding that can separate us. Sometimes, one thing is all it takes to make a big difference in someone’s life—and pay major business dividends.

Join the conversation online and tell us how you #MeetSmart and one thing you do to spread hospitality. —JT Long