Meeting Mentor Magazine

December 2018

Highlights from MPI’s Redesigned
World Education Conference

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announced several new initiatives at its World Education Conference (WEC) last week in Indianapolis. According to MPI, total registration for the event was approximately 2,200, with attendance evenly split between suppliers and planners.

• New inclusivity certificate program. MPI has partnered with the New York University School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality to conduct a study on how meetings and events can be designed so that all attendees feel welcome. The results of the study will be announced in November at the MPI 2018 Thought Leaders Summit. With insights from summit participants and input from partner Dawn Snyder of Dawn Snyder Associates, MPI will develop and launch a four-hour Inclusive Experience Strategist Certificate program in the first quarter of 2019.

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“We look forward to working collaboratively with industry influencers to inform both the research and education of this very important initiative,” said Melissa Majors, director of the MPI Academy, at a WEC press conference. “MPI encourages our members to embrace and foster an inclusive business environment, and we want to help them design universally inclusive events with our Inclusive Experience Strategist Certificate Program.”

New safety and security guide. In the next few weeks, MPI will publish “The Essential Guide to Safety and Security: Best Practices for Meeting and Event Planning 2018.” The association will also develop education, research reports and case studies based on the guide’s recommended practices, with launch plans slated for later this year and in 2019.

The new guide will include nearly 400 best practices to help planners mitigate risks and protect critical assets, according to MPI. Topics range from handling unattended packages and safely managing crowds to responding to a vehicular attack and securing event data. The guide is free for members and $49 to nonmembers. It will be available on the MPI website

• Enhancement of MPI’s Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) Program. For this project, the association is collaborating with the Indiana University (IU) Kelley School of Business’s executive education program and IU’s Department of Tourism, Conventions and Event Management.

“This unique collaboration between both IU schools will continue to raise the bar on high quality, executive-level programming and relevance for our industry,” MPI COO Darren Temple said in a statement. “This evolution would not be possible without the feedback and engagement of our CMM alumni community.”

Among many changes, the timeline for earning the CMM designation will increase from nine to 15 weeks – the equivalent of a college semester. Participants will now earn 48 clock hours, up from 25 hours in the previous edition of the program.

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MPI spent 18 months rethinking and redesigning its annual education conference. WEC2018 changes include pep rallies, innovative educational tracks offering live learning experiences, liberal use of open-air environments, plus the WEC Village concept. Each village focused on a different theme: Experiential Design, Innovation, Leadership and Social. Each village offered education sessions, CSR activities, food and beverage, supplier tabletops and lounges.

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