• Professionalism = Accountability

    by User Not Found | Apr 04, 2012

    Interesting to follow the story of poor business management decisions made by the General Services Administration (GSA) in conducting a meeting, as well as some of the industry reaction. I certainly do not see the executive resignation and terminations as condemnation of the meeting industry or meetings and events as ineffective business vehicles. 

    As a meeting professional, I see it as a reminder that as professionals we are accountable for our actions and compliance with the established policies of our employer or client—and also for the exercise of sound professional judgment with personal integrity. And if we make poor personal choices, we have to face the consequences—which is clearly the case here. I am comforted that our members, and in fact the vast, vast majority of meeting and event professionals everywhere, do not exercise the type of poor professional and personal judgment noted as facts in the proceedings. 

    As a taxpayer, I am further comforted that the government has the necessary systems and policies in-place to ensure compliance is monitored.

    As MPI completes its research into the Business Value of Meetings and complementing tools that will help planners measure their success (due out at AIBTM June 19-21 in Baltimore), it's more important than ever to insist that meetings like the one in 2010 are simply no longer acceptable (if they ever were at all). The final step to proving the business value of your events in analysis and reporting, at which point you find out whether or not your goals were accomplished, and why. This stage is critical for ongoing improvement and success, and a step it is clear the GSA never considered. Here is a list to current MPI resources that will help you prove the value of your events.

    Business Value of Meetings
    The Value of Virtual Events
    The Future of Meetings

    White Papers
    Perception vs. Reality
    Stakeholder Commitment
    Defining Your Objectives
    Meaningful Measures
    Analysis and Reporting

    Recent Articles
    Fear of Measurement
    Show Me the Value
    The Case for Change 

    Business Value of Meetings Research Part 1
    Business Value of Meetings Research Part 2
    Business Value of Meetings Research Part 3
    Business Value of Meetings Research Part 4

  • A look back at how we re-imagined innovation

    by User Not Found | Feb 07, 2012

    More than 300 meeting and event professionals joined us recently in Budapest, Hungary for the European Meetings & Events Conference, and the experience left me enchanted with the city and inspired by the delegates.

    A powerful opening general session with couches and yoga balls amidst chairs for delegates to watch dance, live music, dynamic speakers and experience facilitated networking - all coupled with keynote speaker Sahar Hashemi who explained the importance of being clueless and taking leaps - was riveting.  A lady sitting next to me shared that we'd just "blown away 17 years of General Sessions" in her estimation.  And as I know that my feeble attempts here to explain what we experienced can never replace sitting in the room and feeling your hair tingle in excitement you can experience via video the general session online at http://bit.ly/WatchEMEC12 .

    As well as the opening session set the tone for EMEC 2012, each element along the way seemed to just get better.  The sustainability measures put into place through the Novotel Congress Center and the planning team were noted on many occasion from recycling efforts (battery drop offs at the elevators, back of house sorting of all bins) to the locally sourced foods the delegates enjoyed during their meals and breaks. Not to mention the great work delegates were able to do with Budapest Underguide to help feed the homeless within the city.

    Oh and the breaks!  Talk about putting innovation into practice.  Advised by Danish celebrity nutritional expert and chef Christian Bitz on catering choices, the event team in collaboration with the Novotel built out three really unique "coffee breaks".  Themed around Vitality, Brainfood and Artisanal each break transformed the MPI Cafe while the delegates were attending concurrent sessions.  When the delegates adjourned they were greeted with unique displays of unique food and beverages in a variety of choices around each theme. In the case of the Artisanal break - delegates opened session doors and entered into a vintage Hungarian marketplace to explore.

    As these unique elements blended together through the conference I feel confident saying that the delegates were truly able to experience innovative ideas being re-imagined as they learned.  And it is that experiential learning that can catapult them into activating many of these concepts, ideas or practices.  That was certainly the goal with the closing session known as "The Solution Room".  Facilitated by Ruud W. Janssen  and Mike van der Vijver (who made an early appearance at the OGS- see above), the Solution Room was a hit with more than 175 participants. Designed as an attendee-led session where each individual walks away with an actionable plan to implement towards their goals after experiencing EMEC, the Solution Room is an exceptional example of why face-to-face meetings can never completely be replaced.  Ruud has done an exceptional job of crafting a video that depicts what we experienced in Budapest.

  • The Energy of EMEC 2012

    by User Not Found | Jan 29, 2012

    There comes a moment before a major event when you just get the tingles.  Everything starts clicking and it's as if your actually bringing something to life.  Let me tell you readers, members and MPI fans, this is what is in the air in Budapest right now.

    I just came from the opening general session rehearsals and a little coaching with some speakers.  I'm so excited.  Also, in a hour from now we will be greeting our keynote speaker Sahar Hashemi for a luncheon with the EMEC 2012 press corp. Thrilled.  There is much to blog about and much to learn here, but I fear I'll never capture it all for the blog.  I suppose that's why it's always best to be live and living the event.  But for those that could not make it and are connecting to us digitally here are my recommendations.

    1. Follow @MPI & #EMEC12 on twitter

    2. Be sure to watch our flickr stream http://flic.kr/s/aHsjx3j6Na

    These will give you insights into the users experience and some "behind the scenes peeks" from the staff coordinating the event.

    And last but certainly not least, you can find the outstanding programs for a limited time at http://bit.ly/WatchEMEC12.  Our members will be able to access all of the content free in our Professional Development on Demand Portal in the future.

    For now I must sign off and host an amazingly talented leader and some very inquisitive press.

    Búcsú !

  • Final Preparation for EMEC 2012

    by User Not Found | Jan 27, 2012


    Upon arriving in Budapest, Hungary for European Meetings & Events Conference this year I was greeted with FREE Wi-Fi.  Then I arrive at the Novotel Hotel and was greeted with FREE Wi-Fi, then stopped into the Congress Centre and was greeted by FREE Wi-Fi.  This digital gal is excited!

    Once I looked up from checking in on foursquare and updating my twitter status I was also greeted by the beauty of this great city.  The buildings rise high and and the streets are bustling.  The gorgeous bridge over the Danube River at night was lit up like a beautiful chandelier in the city.

    Of course it's also lovely to see our European team mates again and I enjoyed the walk through of the Budapest Congress Centre. There's something about the space that has a great feeling of anticipation. As I ran into two of our speakers and they both commented on the great "vibe" of the centre.  I think it will be great to see the delegate's responses to the location as well as the Meeting Design experiment lounge and ohhhh the Opening General Session.  For those reading this who cannot attend, watch the twitter hashtag #EMEC12 and our Flickr stream for EMEC12.

    Tomorrow I will update from the media tour hosted by Hungarian National Tourism, and then more each day from EMEC 2012.  While you're here, be sure to bookmark this site: http://bit.ly/WatchEMEC12 for recorded sessions from the conference.

    All by best from Budapest!

  • Delivering on a Promise

    by User Not Found | Jan 16, 2012


    When you promise to deliver on ‘innovation’ in a dynamic city like Budapest to seasoned meeting and event professionals, it’s imperative that you deliver. And that is exactly what EMEC will do a few short weeks from now.


    Delegates will spend quality time among their peers and learn from some of the most unique and visionary speakers from across Europe. They will also encounter a Meeting Design Area with demonstrations of meeting-room innovations and opportunities to participate in a meeting-design experiment focused on the impact of physical positions on groups of participants. Other meeting design elements of the conference include sessions such as “Designing Interaction for High Attendance Events.”


    Elevating the mobile experience, MPI offers EMEC 2012 applications, now available on iPhone, iPod Touch and BlackBerry smartphones that allow delegates to evaluate speakers and sessions immediately, access social networking sites, direct message other delegates and maintain a customized diary for the conference.


    All of these elements and experiences are designed so European event professionals can experience live what they are learning about in dynamic sessions such as “The Revolution Starts Where?” and “Make Virtual Presentations Inspiring & Engaging.”


    While dining at EMEC, delegates will taste cuisine that honours Hungarian classics, which have evolved with modern cooking techniques and pairings. Attendees will experience firsthand the expertise of FlashPoint speaker and Master Class expert Chef Christian Bitz, who consulted on the entire event’s menus. Bitz is a Danish top-model-turned-guru-chef, author, speaker and television personality who has a master’s of science in nutrition and is passionate about making meetings better by choosing food that stimulates the brain. With Bitz’s guidance, the host venue will create four unique coffee breaks where delegates can experience healthy and local food. The themes: Vitality, Brain Food, Back to Nature and Artisanal.


    During the opening reception at the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, delegates will experience Molecular Mixology, the latest innovation in the catering world. The practice manipulates states of matter to create new flavours, textures and visuals that enhance the drink and make the experience stimulating.


    Registration is open, and inspiration is just around the corner for those who want to invest time in their careers and join hundreds of other leading professionals in Budapest, 29-31 January at EMEC. More information is available at www.mpiweb.org/EMEC.

  • Congratulations to the Newest CMM Professionals

    by User Not Found | Jan 10, 2012

    Congratulations to the latest graduates of the Certified Meeting Management program, hosted in 2011 in Cancun thanks to the sponsorship of Mexico Tourism Board and Riviera Maya. For your outstanding accomplishment, hard work and dedication to advancing the profession, we all commend you on your CMM.

    Jennifer Bowen, CMP, CMM
    Stormi Boyd, CMP, CMM
    Marla Burton, CMP, CMM
    Cortney Carroll, CMP, CMM
    Karen Cassmeyer, CMP, CMM
    Jamie Cook, CMP, CMM
    John Dirba, CMM
    Amy Drotar, CMP, CMM
    Marla Entrikin, CMM
    Bertha Escarzaga, CMP, CMM
    Eli Gorin, CMP, CMM
    Lisa Gracyalny, CMP, CMM
    Karyn Hamilton, CMM
    Andrea Harvey, CMP, CMM
    Katie Herritage, CMP, CMM
    Jill Heyerdahl, CMP, CMM
    Russell Holloway, CMM
    Brett Jarvis, CMM
    Kristi Johnson, CMP, CMM
    Angela Long, CMP, CMM
    Missy Madden, CMP, CMM
    Karen McCallson, CMP, CMM
    Michele McDermott, CMP, CMM
    Laura Moore, CMP, CMM
    Amrita Nichols CMP, CMM
    Nann Philips, CMP, CMM
    Virginia Phillips, CMM
    Elisa Richards, CMP, CMM
    Lilly Rocha, CMP, CMM
    Christopher Rochette, CMM
    Mario Alberto Sanchez Nava, CMP, CMM
    Michelle Schneider, CMP, CMM
    Colette Schobbens, CMP, CMM
    Joseph Smith, CMM
    Kathryn (Katie) Smith, CMP, CMM
    Judy Susser-Travis, CMP, CMM
    Michelle Taunton, CMP, CMM
    Lorie Thomas, CMP, CMM
    Annabel Tomlinson, CMP, CMM
    Jeff Urban, CMP, CMM

  • The joy of giving

    by User Not Found | Dec 15, 2011

    Each year, MPI sends greetings for the holiday season to our members, colleagues and partners.  Those e-cards are always designed by one of our award-winning designers.  This year, however, one designer had an even greater impact on our holiday card.  Jason Judy not only designed our card, but also influenced the selection of our charity this year. After Jason told me the story about one of his mission trips, and an organization that he had encountered I was moved, and so was everyone here at headquarters who has learned about Meds and Foods for Kids.  So I thought it would be great for all of our readers and members to better understand why we made this selection, and to hear from Jason about his experience with the group.


    Last spring I witnessed the remarkable impact of Meds and Foods for Kids (MFK Haiti) in a small village 6 hours south of their facility in Cape Haitian, Haiti. Their revolutionary product, Medika Mamba (“peanut butter medicine”), is farmed and manufactured locally, requires no refrigeration or water, and has an 85% recovery rate in malnourished children under the age of 5. So not only is their work addressing one of the most tragic issues that we face as human beings, it is doing so with a sustainable, economic model within the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

    Photos and charts in the open-air clinics carry all of the proof. In just 6 weeks, many of the children hardly resemble the former versions of themselves, having gained the necessary weight to repair their muscles and organs and return home fully healed from the deadly condition they had when they arrived. The transformations are truly hard to believe.

    More Medika Mamba desperately needs to exist. The current expansion project at MFK Haiti includes a new factory that will increase their reach from 8,000 to 80,000 children annually, while also becoming completely self-sustaining by 2015.

    I’ll never forget seeing the Medika Mamba program in Montrouis, Haiti, and I’m proud to be part of an association that is willing to participate in the great work happening through MFK Haiti. In big and small ways, it’s the decisions and efforts of all of our members, volunteers and staff that tell the complete story of our shared impact on our industry and the world.

    And so maybe it really is true, that when we meet we change the world.



  • Get ready Europe...here we come!

    by User Not Found | Dec 14, 2011


    Serving a diverse European audience with a demanding appetite for learning and networking, EMEC 2012 will connect inventive thinkers inside and outside the industry at this annual conference held by Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Event delegates will experience, and experiment with, new meeting design formats and educational opportunities as never before. This enables them to take the time to explore new ideas and theories in a risk-free environment with colleagues before putting innovative new strategies into action.


    Those delegates needing to channel their entrepreneurial spirit will enjoy hearing from Sahar Hashemi, a British entrepreneur and the co-founder of Coffee Republic, who developed a £30 million turnover business. She first introduced the tea-drinking British market to U.S.-like coffee consumerism, has started innovative venture Skinny Candy and advises thousands of new business start-ups each year. But it’s Hashemi’s outlook on innovation in modern business that will prove most insightful for delegates, enabling them to look for unique opportunities they can leverage in their own business and leadership practices.


    Hashemi won’t be the only innovator on the main stage. Catch ground-breaking, Hungarian musical innovator Balázs Havasi—fresh from performing for 200 million at the Shanghai Expo. A TED global presenter and Guinness World Record holder, Havasi is known for his “most piano key hits in one minute” set at the Academy of Music Budapest and is described as an ambitiously thoughtful pianist and songwriter with a unique perspective when it comes to “re-imagined innovation.”


    Delegates who aren’t regular members of MPI will have a unique opportunity to experience some of the programming that takes place at the chapter level.  MPI capitalises on its chapters’ exceptional programmes, and has selected two from its “Best of the Best” competition to appear at EMEC. MPI France presents Mike Clanton and “Don’t Let Your Event’s Technology Zombie Control You!” focusing on successfully planning and executing technology-dependent events. Meanwhile MPI Netherlands brings Dr. Xander Kranenburg and “Beyond Digital Creativity - Mashup all your ideas,” with insights on techniques and tools that help professionals work more efficiently and enhance creative events.

  • Measurement Toolbox Resources, Now At Your Fingertips

    by User Not Found | Dec 01, 2011

    We've reached the next step in the Business Value of Meetings research initiative, known as BVOM. Just last week, during EIBTM in Barcelona, we introduced the BVOM toolbox to the industry and we’re excited about the reception so far!

    The toolbox is a collection of resources findings that are intended to help professionals overcome the five barriers to measurement and reporting implementation. The five initial whitepapers serve as the foundation for the toolbox, which is an ever-growing resource for planners and suppliers. Each piece is dynamic and delivers key takeaways that guide BVOM practices.

    MPI will continue adding toolbox pieces, such as instructional videos, glossaries, case studies and more, beginning this month. Members will have unlimited access to each tool as part of their investment with MPI; non-members professionals are able to purchase.

    As you familiarize yourself with the new BVOM toolbox resources, reading and learning from the whitepapers, which of the takeaways given are you looking forward to implementing? 

    Go comment!
  • Camaraderie + Exploration = Innovation. Re-Imagined.

    by User Not Found | Nov 15, 2011


    Every year I look forward to our annual European conference for so many reasons.  Primarily because I don't often get the chance to work face-to-face with my European MPI colleagues and it's great to be amongst such a diverse group of pros.  And also because it's always exciting to explore a new part of Europe I haven't seen, and get to mix it up in a different culture. 

    I think those are also two compelling reasons that many people attend the European Meetings & Events Conference - camaraderie & exploration.  And as we narrow in closer, and closer to 29 January 2012 I get more excited about how the team is delivering in those areas too.  All under the umbrella of Innovation. Re-Imagined.

    In recent email with our MPI Chairman, Sebastien Tondeur, he mentioned, "Innovation is key to social progress, economic development and, therefore, growth and job creation." So of course, that's incorporated in the latest press release my team and I sent out this week. <insert smiley face of your choice here>

    And it's true, but I also know that the word "innovation" gets bantered about so much in marketing and corporate lingo that it's often mind-numbing. So our wordsmith team here at HQ answered my challenge to come up with alternatives and countered me with 36 different words that also mean innovative. Some of my favorites that I think really apply to EMEC 2012 are:

    You'll see on the EMEC website that the delegate experience is organized under the topical areas Educate, Exchange and Experience, with a full slate of content  from 22 European speakers (and a few from North America) will explore special interest areas. Then, pulling from the best our European members have to offer, the Chapter Best-of-Best sessions will be choice content and speakers submitted by chapter leadership that reflect the needs specific to the European region, a design that has proven to be popular with EMEC delegates.

    Registration is available now, with early rates of €599 for members and €899 for non-members until 6 January 2012.

Contributors Archives MPIWeb Suggest a link ENGAGE - the official blog for MPI Subscribe