News & Press: Press Release

Connect Announces Strategic Alliance with National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals

Monday, July 6, 2020  

Connect excited to support NCBMP’s future programming with a $100,000 alliance over the next three years.

ATLANTA, Ga. June 24, 2020 – Connect, a leader in live events for meeting planners and those in the travel and tourism industry, has come alongside National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals for an unprecedented three-year strategic alliance where Connect will invest in the organization’s student scholarships, internships and professional development for its members.

The alignment with NCBMP will assist with their mission of empowering Black hospitality professionals as they have a proven track record of moving the needle in this space. Connect will donate $100,000 over the next three years to fund the organization’s important initiatives.

“We have always enjoyed a long friendship with NCBMP, but recent protests and activism has opened our eyes, and we realized we need to take urgent steps within our own industry to support racial equality,” says Chris Collinson, President of Connect.

“The National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals was built on the foundation of empowerment and friendship. We are encouraged by the strategic alignment of Connect Meetings via their actions, not just their public statements and look forward to three years of empowering our friends. It is refreshing to know, that NCBMP has friends of all shades and backgrounds that believe in humanity, equity and the future of our industry,” said Jason Dunn, NCBMP Board Chair.

“We recognize the immediate need to align with great organizations like NCBMP to help ensure our industry is a leader in equality for black people,” adds Collinson. “We have long seen and understood the importance of supporting diversity in our events and company and know these dollars will help toward greater equality for all people. We wanted to double down and partner with NCBMP because the issue is urgent today.”

Stephanie Davis Smith, VP of Content and Marketing, Connect, 678.987.9935
Marlinda Henry, President, National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, 571-366-1779

ABOUT CONNECT Connect is a leader in the meetings, events, travel and tourism industry. Specializing in destination marketing, the company produces digital programs, online and mobile solutions, meetings business and travel magazines, trade shows and consumer events. Connect produces national shows for meeting planners in the Corporate, Luxury, Association, Specialty, Faith, Expo, Sports and Diversity sectors as well as other state- and region-specific meetings- and hospitality-focused events. More information about the company's brands and services is available at

ABOUT NCBMP The National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP), founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization dedicated primarily to the training needs of Black hospitality professionals and all hospitality professionals that support Black meetings/events. Since its founding, NCBMP has made a significant impact in the hospitality community by advocating for equity and helping members maximize their ROI.