About the Hall of Leaders & Pacesetter Awards

Since 1985, the Convention Industry Council has honored the industry's outstanding leaders and innovators with its Hall of Leaders awards. Nominations are submitted either by CIC member organizations or the general industry community. Only those who have substantively contributed to the industry and whose efforts continue to shape it qualify for nomination. The nominee must also prove his or her versatility through a range of actions that have impacted and redefined meetings, conventions and exhibitions.

Outstanding Leaders

The Hall of Leaders award is the premier recognition program in the meetings, conventions, exhibitions, hospitality and travel industry--our industry's "lifetime achievement award."  The award recognizes outstanding leaders who have undoubtedly shaped the industry.  The defining quality among these leaders is that the industry would not be what it is today without their contributions. Members of the Hall of Leaders are: 

  • Pioneers--whose contributions helped to shape the industry and whose work continues to advance it;
  • Influential--leaders whose work has affected the entire industry;
  • Prolific--demonstrating distinguished achievements of lasting value, including significant leader roles, development of original ideas, techniques or innovations in products, training or services for use in the industry;
  • Altruistic--contributing to charitable efforts, their communities and the welfare of others.


One hundred fourteen extraordinary leaders have been inducted into the CIC Hall of Leaders representing the industry's brightest talent and outstanding leadership. The presentation of the award is made during a formal Hall of Leaders Gala. In addition, each inductee is honored at the Hall of Leaders Recognition Pavilion, located permanently in the Washington (DC) Convention Center. The pavilion contains a short tribute video to each inductee, highlighting his or her career.

Videos and biographical information about these incredible leaders can be found on CIC’s Virtual Hall of Leaders as well as The Events Network on Bob.tv.

A second Hall of Leaders is housed in Chicago’s McCormick Place. The McCormick Place display features bronze plaques which bear the inductees’ likenesses and includes brief statements of their contributions to the industry



With Hall of Leaders firmly established as the premier recognition program for lifetime achievement and leadership in the meetings, conventions, exhibitions, hospitality and travel industry, CIC has created the Pacesetter Awards to celebrate emerging leaders and industry supporters. Rather than spanning a lifetime of achievements, the Pacesetter Awards recognize people whose recent accomplishments chart a course for where the industry is today and where it is headed tomorrow.

There are three focus areas of the Pacesetter Awards:
  • Young Professionals – Young professionals with a proven track record of successful leadership, and whose foresight and innovation have led to groundbreaking changes (or actions) that are making a palpable impact on the industry today.
  • Sustainability and Social Responsibility – Advocates at any level of their professional careers whose proactive leadership on social responsibility initiatives and impassioned drive are moving the industry – either as a whole or in specific segments – closer to an overall adoption of accepted standards and best practices around sustainability issues.
  • Leadership and Innovation– Innovators at any level of their professional careers whose ideas, approach and concepts are changing the way we think of meetings and events and how we perform our jobs. The implementation of these professionals’ techniques and/or products are helping move the industry forward in unexpected and groundbreaking ways.