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Catching Up with Marty MacKay, President of the HGA

HGA president

“I guess you can say, I know how it feels to be you,” Marty MacKay says with a laugh, and  she has the diverse career to back this up! She has worked at Fortune 500 companies, as the client of Destination Management Companies, managed a large Destination Management Company across several offices, and as the President of Hosts Global Alliance. Marty utilizes her perspective to see the big picture on programs, companies, clients and to drive HGA’s future growth.

The event planning industry has come a long way, “evolving from tour operators to become a more strategic partner to our clients,” Marty explains. Her client-centric approach shines through Marty’s words, as she dives into how DMCs maintain excellence.  HGA encourages certifications and accreditation through industry associations, like the Association of Destination Management Executives International. Such accreditations are a fairly new construct, and are a sign of a dedication to the craft.

As HGA expands to more countries, there is a need to handle the unexpected with poise and standardized emergency preparedness across all organizations. “We accept that things are going to happen that we can’t control,” Marty explains, “instead of saying we aren’t going to travel, we prepare partners and have a plan in place.” She highlights the HGA’s work in creating these best practices and broadcasting those techniques across the industry. “My experience has evolved to the benefit of those around me,” says Marty. “I know what clients are looking for and what planners need to make it happen.”

With this all-encompassing perspective, Marty is a pillar of the educational efforts throughout the industry. Opportunities to educate and develop her colleagues are an investment in the knowledge base for the entire HGA family. “I don’t pretend to be an expert in all of our destinations,” says Marty, but she is an expert in understanding the big picture from both the client and the planner perspectives. By arming her network with information from all angles, she shapes the future of HGA – one destination at a time.

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