Celebrating the agents of change who propel the meetings industry forward

No meeting professional works in a vacuum. Our world is filled with energetic partners who join us in our ballroom experiments, leveraging their energy, knowledge and sense of purpose to experiment with new ways of creating meaningful change for guests and fostering lasting memories.

In years past, we have recognized these powerful agents of change in a feature we called Suppliers of the Year, and while that title embodied our heartfelt respect and admiration, after the last 18 months, we wanted to evolve the celebration of exceptionalism to honor the critical role our winners play in advancing the entire industry, their communities and the individual meetings that come into their gravitational pull.

So, drumroll, please. It is with fanfare worthy of a Swedish prize for innovations in meeting science that we announce the winners of the 2021 Catalyst Awards. Nominees were suggested by the Smart Meetings community for the crucial role they played over the last year.

Prospective honorees were asked a series of questions to better understand their core beliefs and trajectory. We particularly enjoyed hearing about their future plans. The winners are featured here (in the categories listed on the facing page) with a metaphorical nod to the rigorously scientific approach they take to affecting positive change in everything they do.

Congratulations to these essential partners, and thank you for all you do to energize the industry and make the world a little more hospitable.


Just as the sun is fueled by one of the most powerful sources of energy known to humankind, the energy released when these partners get to work can achieve goals only previously hoped for. Click the link to view winners!


In the ups and downs of the hospitality world, these leaders raised the bar on what is possible, brought the rest of us along and helped us see a better future. Click the link to view winners!


At a time when forward motion was at a premium, these partners helped all of us move in the right direction by leading the way. Click the link to view winners!


Meaningful results require positive energy. These leaders got behind their causes and energized forward progress over the last year. Click the link to view winners!


This honors the force of nature that animates these leaders. Click the link to view winners!


These fast-moving chargers are lighting up the meetings sky with new ideas, creative initiatives and smiles on their faces. Click the link to view winners!


As meeting professionals scrambled to adjust to the realities of streaming, hybrid-era audiovisual requirements and tech-enabled everything, these partners emerged to jumpstart the efforts. Click the link to view winners!