Marin Bright often told the story of how she launched the meetings and events industry’s first lifestyle magazine in 2002, a few months after the devastating attacks on 9/11 and the downturn in the travel industry. Over 22 years, through economic recessions, a global pandemic and personal health issues, as CEO of Bright Business Media, LLC and Smart Meetings, she continued to exemplify the resiliency and grit required to build the Smart Meetings community into the most engaged in the industry by innovating and leading based on delivering value to the industry she loved so much.
That overwhelming force of life made her loss on January 28, 2024, even more devastating to those who knew her. She overcame obstacles and fought for what she believed in. Her tireless initiative, humor and zest for life were legendary.
She pioneered the first one-on-one, hosted-buyer appointment-based events in the United States for hotels and planners, launched one of the first websites in meetings media and encouraged diversity in the industry by kicking off the Smart Women in Meetings Awards—a cause near to her heart at all times.
Bright has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 40 years—first serving hotels and establishing herself as the top salesperson, then launching nine magazines.
Her role in elevating the discussion did not go unnoticed. She has received numerous accolades, including the prestigious WPA Distinction in Leadership Award and two consecutive Folio Top Women in Media Awards as a corporate visionary. Bright has been honored as a Legend in the Northern California chapter of PCMA’s Bay Area Meetings Industry Excellence Awards and named to Eventex’s list of 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry.
On a personal level, her successes and accomplishments include winning a battle with breast cancer several years ago. She shared her story in the inaugural What One Thing podcast last year. She will be sorely missed.
See more photos of meetings industry pioneer Marin Bright and add your own in this memorial album.
In lieu of flowers, the friends and family of Marin have asked that donations go to SEARCH Foundation to continue to assist industry individuals in crisis.