MPI Blog

From the CEO



As 2017 winds down, I cannot help but think of all that our industry has endured this past year. A few weeks ago, I gave the following speech during the opening general session of IMEX America on Smart Monday and wanted to share it with the larger MPI global community as a reminder that together we can accomplish so much for our industry.

“I am joined here on stage with my friends and colleagues, all leaders in our industry, to together demonstrate the strength of this community and the importance of standing together and standing strong!

Carina Bauer and Ray Bloom from the IMEX Group; Mike Massari from Caesars Entertainment; Brian Stevens, chair of MPI, from ConferenceDirect; Chandra Allison from The Venetian/The Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino; Janet Sperstad from Madison College; Richard Harper, my co-chair of Meetings Means Business, from HelmsBriscoe; and Brad Kent from Visit Dallas. Thank you for joining us.

Over the past year our industry has been impacted by an unprecedented number and scope of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The latest being the senseless, horrific and tragic incident that occurred Sunday evening right here on the Las Vegas Strip—in the heart of the global events industry.

But as I witness this horrific string of incidents, I continue to be awed and amazed by how we stand together to support each other in times of crisis.

This is a strong, powerful and caring community. And as a community, we must continue to advocate for the critical importance of face-to-face experiences, while also focusing on enhancing the safety and security of our attendees.

I commend IMEX for their immediate, firm and courageous commitment to this trade show. And I commend our community for how we have banded together, throughout these incidents and across the world, to support each other and to support our industry.

In recognition of this week’s tragedy, our first responders and all those impacted, please join me in pausing for a moment of silence and reflection…

Thank you for being here and for being part of our community.

‘When we meet, we change the world!’

You are the catalyst and inspiration behind live events and we thank you for your contributions to our industry.”

Let’s keep everyone affected by the recent tragedies in our thoughts and prayers. We can also show our support by making a donation to national and local relief organizations such as the American Red Cross, All Hands Volunteers, Direct Relief, One America Appeal, Florida Disaster Fund, Houston Food Bank, National Compassion Fund Las Vegas and the Sonoma County Resilience Fund.

About the Author

Paul Van Deventer
President & Chief Executive Officer at Meeting Professionals International

Paul Van Deventer joined the MPI Global Team in April 2013 as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, he leads the strategic direction of both MPI’s global association and the MPI Foundation, with responsibility for managing its global staff, operating budget, membership programs and community services.