So as many of you who are professional planners know, the last few weeks leading up to conference or major annual event gets pretty hectic and exciting. And of course here at MPI it isn't any different. The office is abuzz with the latest reports, numbers, updates etc.as the final touches are put on WEC 2011 in Orlando.
The latest news to surge down the hallway is that we have already exceeded the number of registered planners that attended WEC 2010 in Vancouver - and registrations are still rolling in. So after a celebratory "happy dance" it got me thinking, well, are all those planners hosted buyer?
And lo' and behold, they aren't. There are actually more than 75% (growing daily) of our planners that are attending WEC who are not - I repeat not - part of the hosted buyer program. Which means they'll be networking at every opportunity WEC provides them.
Translation - savvy suppliers who want to can connect with planners throughout conference sessions, CSR activities, the Blitz ... the list goes on and on.
Actually, let me create that list of leveraged networking for you in case you or a colleague need some encouragement to attend if you haven't already registered.
- Opening Reception at Epcot - excitement is high, people are reuniting with friends - ask for introductions!
- Educational and Co-Creation Sessions - smart suppliers need to stay in the know too, jump into discussions and meet planners on a peer-to-peer level
- Chapter Receptions - these are combined regional parties that allow you to meet up with other chapters, expand your network and meet together first and foremost as MPI Members
- Big Heart Activities (aka CSR) - when you bond over a common love of dogs while puppy cuddling wouldn't you be more likely to take a call from someone after the conference?
- Career Resource Center - this is an area that's more than just a job bank, explore recruitment opportunities, learn from resume experts, network and expand your circle
- RISE Awards - this year the celebration takes place over a free luncheon and can provide great opportunities to discuss the award-winners as best practice case studies, you can treat them as great conversation starters
- The Blitz! - mixing business and fun creates great opportunities to establish rapport and build relationships
- The HIVE - a great area for the tech savvy and tech curious to meet, discuss and explore the potential of the future of meetings
- The Big Deal - planners get in free and there will be plenty of them in an atmosphere charged with possibility and luck
- Rendezvous - perhaps you've met a prospective employee or client you'd like to woo a bit - buy tickets to one of the hottest nights on the town and take them to Rendezvous
- Closing Reception at Hard Rock - a great place to find and connect with people you met during conference. Don't shuffle business cards around, but grab emails and phone numbers in your phone if you haven't gotten them already. Most of all, celebrate a great conference with new friends and hopefully long-term business colleagues.
And honestly, there are more, but you should really explore them here