Today, Visit Lake Charles celebrates Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), highlighting the value of professional meetings hosted in Southwest Louisiana.  

Organized by the U.S. Travel Association’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition, GMID serves as a global platform to acknowledge the crucial role business meetings, conferences, conventions, trade shows, and exhibitions play on the local economy. This year’s GMID theme, “Meetings Matter,” emphasizes the economic significance of face-to-face interactions. 

“‘Meetings Matter’ is more than a theme; it highlights the real benefits of face-to-face interactions,” said Taylor Beard Stanley, the vice president of sales at Visit Lake Charles. “These gatherings boost economic growth, encourage collaboration, and open up valuable opportunities for businesses and workers. Today, we celebrate the economic impact of in-person meetings driving our local economy forward.” 

The meetings industry significantly boosts travel spending and sustains hundreds of thousands of jobs annually across the United States. In Southwest Louisiana, this sector plays a vital role in the local economy, supporting a substantial workforce. Meetings and events often lead to increased spending and visitation to local businesses and restaurants. In 2023, Visit Lake Charles hosted 173 meetings, generating an estimated economic impact of over $35 million to the region. 

According to available data from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, covering the first three quarters of 2023, the hospitality industry in Calcasieu Parish employed an average of 13,366 individuals. Notably, this figure reflects a consistent increase quarter by quarter, indicating positive growth trends. 

“At Golden Nugget Lake Charles, we’re committed to cultivating a collaborative and welcoming space,” said Kizzy Frank-Burns, the casino’s senior conference planning manager. “These meetings not only benefit Golden Nugget but also play a vital role in fueling our local economy.” 

Several recent events hosted in Lake Charles emphasize the economic significance of meetings and conferences. For instance, the Louisiana Association for Public, Community, & Adult Education and the Louisiana Association of Self-Insured Employers held their conferences in November 2023, collectively contributing over $372,000 in direct economic impact and supporting 118 jobs. 

Additionally, throughout 2023, the Louisiana Correctional Association, Louisiana Forestry Association, UL Systems Conference, and United Vision Logistics all chose Lake Charles as their preferred destination for hosting events. 

Today, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Golden Nugget Lake Charles, Kizzy Frank-Burns and Taylor Beard Stanley will be available for interviews to delve further into how meetings and events significantly impact our economic growth. Please contact Candy Rodriguez at (512) 920-8488 to schedule an interview. 


About Visit Lake Charles:     
Visit Lake Charles, the official destination marketing organization for Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana, is the only organization in Southwest Louisiana providing advocacy, promotion, and education for the tourism industry. For more information on Visit Lake Charles and things to see and do in Louisiana’s Playground, log on to