24 Jan 2017 Looking back over an inspiring, exciting year by Fiona Pelham
January 2017 marks the handover of the role of MPI International Chair and gives me the opportunity to look back over the past inspiring, exciting and often challenging 12 months. When I joined MPI in 2004 I did so because I wanted to contribute to a community of passionate event professionals. Throughout my years of volunteering with the MPI U.K. & Ireland Chapter, on international taskforces and then on the international board, I was inspired by being part of a global community that understood “when we meet we change the world.” Over the past 12 months I had the unique opportunity to spend time with our global community from Finland to New York, from Tokyo to Ottawa, and as different as our geographical cultures may be, our passion to bring people together is clearly shared. Being MPI chair is only possible because of the hard work and dedication of the MPI Global Team, MPI Volunteer leaders around the world and our more than 17,000 members. As I said during my comments at the World Education Congress (WEC), every year one person is chair and they represent the members, just as the members represent the chair. While my hope is that I represented our community well, I do know that the support I received from our community made a huge difference to me. It’s hard to know how to say thank you for that (and I do want to say a big thank you), so rather than write a traditional list of thank you notes I thought I would share three stories of learning from the past 12 months with the hope that these stories might also be useful to you in your future. On one of my final chapter visits (with the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter), a small group of attendees stayed behind the event for an extra hour to ask me any questions they wanted. They loved the session and that experience inspired this approach to saying thank you to the global MPI community for the difference that you make bringing people together to create, collaborate and innovate to create a world that works for everyone. 1. Making a difference always starts with taking an action. This sounds very obvious, but on every single visit to one of our MPI chapters around the world I heard stories of people who had had an idea and turned it into action. From the Ottawa and Montreal chapters arranging education sessions on the train to the Belgium Chapter asking for an MPI Foundation grant to keep their event on just days after a terrorist attack. From the Finland Chapter that invited the minister of tourism to their event to the Chicago Area Chapter that spent significant funds on a famous speaker. After a year of chapter visits, the WEC and the European Meetings & Events Conference, the interesting thing is that I can’t remember any actions that didn’t make a positive difference. The learning there is be brave, bold and take those risks--the MPI community is a safe space to try your idea! 2. Understanding your triggers will make you a better leader. We all have triggers, and unless we own them, they will get in the way! I found this out the first week of January 2016 during my first weekly call with MPI’s CEO (part of the role of the chair is to manage the CEO as he leads the MPI Global team to deliver the strategy and targets set by the international board). During that first call the CEO mentioned a few times about asking other people for advice; rather than hearing that as a sensible strategy, I heard that I couldn’t provide enough advice. I spoke to a mentor who pointed out that I had a trigger and I would always hear what I was listening for. That’s the annoying thing about triggers--you always hear them but they mean nothing to everyone else. The trigger of “is this an older male professional telling me I can’t do this” is one of my triggers. During my year as chair I had the opportunity to get so familiar with it I can defuse it in seconds, so that’s one less thing to get in the way! 3. Saying thank you to people is like a secret super power! Saying thank you to our amazing community of volunteers, our dedicated staff at MPI Global and our many partners was by far my favorite part of the role of MPI IBOD chair. At most chapter and MPI Global events I would be given the chance to do so, and this routine changed me because I started to pay more attention to what I could say thank you for. I started to notice the MPI Global staff member who brought me fruit during a run of long press briefings (enough to make anyone hungry!) or a chapter volunteer who had arrived early to test the PowerPoint or the chapter volunteers who rearranged childcare to keep their commitments. I was inspired to make time to do things I usually resist; motivated by the opportunity to thank people, I wrote a blog for International Women’s Day that inspired an MPI Facebook campaign that recognized more than 200 inspiring women from the MPI community. Every opportunity I got to say thank you reminded me of why I was MPI chair--to shine the spotlight on the passion and commitment of our MPI community. In 2017, under Brian Stevens’ leadership, as each member of the international board continues to be connected to chapters and taskforces the practice of saying thank you and listening will continue. In a time when world leaders are choosing to tweet rather than meet, the role of our industry has never been more important. We don’t set up a room–we are the guardians of experiences where people can share their ideas. We don’t arrange food–we ensure people’s health and wellbeing is maintained. Over the last year it has been my honor to chair a community of professionals–professionals meeting to change the world. Thank you - Fiona Pelham, Immediate Past Chair or MPI International Board of Directors (curation from MPI blog)   ...
16 Jan 2017 #EMEC17 - Experience the passion of the European meeting and event community!
As meeting and event professionals, our passion for what we do drives us. We create emotional experiences that bring people together. We create human interactions that enlighten, inspire and energize. We help people become better people. Our passion for connecting people is what will unite us for MPI’s 2017 European Meetings and Events Conference in Granada, Spain, where we’ll refocus on the human side of events. Granada is alive with the spirit of duende, the spirit of passion and evocation. Everywhere you turn, your senses will be delighted and your emotions heightened, your mind filled with possibilities and your soul filled with potential. As a result, you’ll learn, you’ll laugh, you’ll fall in love with what you do all over again. #EMEC17’s programming lineup features evocative sessions and exciting formats that will get you thinking outside the ballroom and about the future of what’s possible. Our general sessions will invigorate: On Sunday’s we’ll dive into the Mavericks economy; Monday’s Pitch Perfect keynote will help you hone and effectively deliver your business’s story; and on Tuesday we’ll uncover what it takes to deliver Extraordinary Experience Design. #EMEC17’s concurrent sessions and master classes will cover everything from the art of Quiet Influence and the effects of Social Innovation to the importance of emergency preparedness and lessons from an SAP corporate planner. Learning Labs will feature Hackathons, StorySlams and SpaceRaces. And that’s just a sample of the learning experiences you’ll have at your fingertips. But let’s not forget the business opportunities that abound. #EMEC17’s Hosted Buyer program puts qualified planners face-to-face with suppliers to get business done. And the networking events, including the MPI Foundation’s Rendezvous fundraiser, provide everyone the chance to connect and reconnect in incredible environments with the best local cuisine and culture that Granada has to offer. When we meet, we change the world. When we meet at #EMEC17 in Granada, the spirit of duende will change our minds and our souls, and rekindle passion for what we do. Looking forward to see you in Granada! MPI team ...
9 Jan 2017 EduLab at #EMEC17!
#EMEC17 has a fantastic lineup of speakers and subject matter experts to give you fresh ideas, keep you current on trends and create exciting new pathways for your events —and your career. See here below our EduLAB sessions. SpaceRace: Design Your Learning Environment Race to create your EduLab learning environment using a motely mix of common, cultural and outside-the-box elements that start you thinking about how you design unique experiences for your participants. Network with your friends, partners and peers as you consider how your delegates could create their own laboratory of learning. StorySlam: Overcoming Modern Meeting Challenges Don your beatnik beret and snap your fingers as you discover how five industry providers helped clients overcome challenges to exceed business goals and objectives during this StorySlam session, during which speakers will have four minutes to share how they conquered dilemmas, predicaments and impasses to design amazing experiences. Dotmocracy: Choose Your Own (Topic) Adventure Come to this EduLab session prepared with a burning topic that you want to discuss, and then we’ll vote on what issues we want to problem-solve in our Great Dotmocracy. Brainstorm with your peers about shared challenges, and leave with solutions to our industry top dilemmas. Open Mic: Your Volume is On! Share your funny story, embarrassing failure, industry opportunity, best or next practice or just how much you miss your dog during this Open Mic session for any skill level or job type. Laugh, (maybe) cry and learn from your peers in this safe place, where (almost) anything goes! Hackathon: Experiential Design with Purpose Hackathons bring together an industry’s greatest minds to solve problems and help communities in need. During our EMEC 2017 Hackathon, we amass the industry’s greatest thinkers and implementers to help a local nonprofit or NGO by creating a one-of-a-kind experience for future visitors to Granada. Looking forward to see you in Granada! MPI Team  ...
26 Dec 2016 Meetings go Green!
A new guide has been issued to provide tools, best practices and courses of action to event managers for organizing eco-friendly low-waste activities, highlighting several existing innovative solutions. This guide has been developed as part of the Meetings go Green project, led by the MPI Belgium Chapter and funded by the Brussels Institute for Environmental Management (Bruxelles Environnement) within the Brussels Waste Network (BWN) programme. The BWN assists and advises Brussels-based companies in the field of waste prevention and management. The programme ensures networking between environmental advisors from different sectors of activity to enable the exchange of best practices in business waste prevention and/or management. The Meetings Go Green project aimed to increase awareness among event managers (e.g. hotels, businesses, caterers, conference centres, etc.) through four workshops that took place in 2016 and were coordinated by the environmental consultancy ‘21solutions’ and the event agency ‘Yuzu’. This guide is the result of many discussions, presentations and exchanges of ideas between the participants. Several aspects considered essential for greening events have been addressed: 1) sustainable procurement 2) reduction of food waste 3) waste sorting 4) recycling, eco-design -a concept detailed in the guide  5) material reuse A total of about sixty participants benefited from many example-rich interventions by sector professionals and actors active in the event industry (companies & associations). This guide is designed for all planners and suppliers who organize or work on events throughout Belgium, including Brussels. We hope that this tool will help you to develop practical and innovative initiatives, allowing you to save money in the medium-term, increase the added value of your events, and become a pioneer in sustainable event management in Brussels or elsewhere in Belgium.   Download the full report here! Happy reading! Written by teams in charge of the project coordination: 21 Solutions and Yuzu. A quote from Bruxelles Environment: ‘By using resources more efficiently, reducing waste, ensuring that one’s waste becomes another’s feedstock, and by extending the life of products locally, it is possible to reduce the impact of trade and production on the environment, while developing the well-being of Citizens . The circular economy is not limited to the recovery or recycling of materials; it also involves consideration of the product design; from the beginning, we need to know how long the product will last and how the embodied resources will be reintroduced into the economic cycle at the end of the product’s life’. ...
19 Dec 2016 A year in review!
It’s true: 2016 will go down as having been fraught with economic and social uncertainty as well as both threatened and actualized attacks at meeting and event venues—including the Pulse nightclub shooting, the deadliest attack in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001. Yet another tragic reminder of event safety came down earlier this month with the Ghost Ship art collective/party fire in Oakland, Calif., that claimed dozens of souls. Click here to download the 2016 Year in Review from The Meeting Professional. No, not nearly as pleasant as last year’s summation, which centered on disruptive business types and how they were impacting our professional landscape. Instead, the summation of 2016 may be best expressed through a renewed focus on safety and security issues at events—beyond contingency for an alternate venue should rain interfere with your plans, all the way to keeping people alive. Even as the U.K. considers the legal challenges of exiting from the European Union and presidential vote recount efforts in the U.S. percolate, uncertainty continues to spread with more surprising political developments, such as Italy’s populist-leaning “No” vote, the resignation of Italy’s Prime Minister and the resignation of New Zealand’s Prime Minister—all of which took place over the course of 24 hours in early December! It’s not just all danger and the unknown, though. In our third annual Year in Review you’ll find essential updates and about these and other important topics, trends and people of 2016—including original MPI research and peers that you interfaced with, thanks to The Meeting Professional. Written by Michael Pinchera,  Senior Editor The Meeting Professional (TMP) Happy Holidays to the MPI European Community! MPI in Europe Team ...
12 Dec 2016 #EMEC17 a preview of Educational sessions
#EMEC17 MPI signature event brings together the planners and suppliers of our industry to explore trends, opportunities and soak up local inspiration to ultimately transform the way you do business. Here is a snapchat of two Educational sessions #EMEC17: •Kristi C. Sanders: Event Technology Trends and the Meeting of the Future   What do Pokémon Go, driverless cars and the Internet of Things have to do with the MICE industry? They’re all technologies disrupting how we do business. Twenty years ago, having a mobile phone was optional, hotels took room reservations via telex machines and the only way to be social online was to join an AOL chat room. Now everyone with a smartphone is walking around with a fully-loaded production studio in their pocket, social-sharing what they experience with people who are only virtually there. What will meetings and events look like 20 years from now? Gaze into the crystal ball with Meeting Professional International’s Director of Professional Development Kristi Casey Sanders, DES to see what future events in your city might look like. •Kristi C. Sanders: Experiential Marketing Boot Camp: Case Studies, Strategies and Next steps To quote Tim Sanders: “Meeting and event organizers are the movie producers of the corporate world.” You have the power to change behavior, educate, entertain and emotionally engage your participants. Experiential marketing is the most obvious way Meeting & Event managers can do this, but the best practices are not yet widely known. In this session, you’ll learn why this has become the fastest growing form of marketing in the world, what makes these kind of campaigns effective, analyze the steps you need to consider if you want to plan your own experiential events and explore what that could mean for your upcoming programmes or brand campaigns. During the Experiential marketing boot camp, participants will learn about events doing it right, what success factors are in play and the have time to create their own experiential marketing manifesto to guide how theyr design their next event! #EMEC17 is designed with four key tracks: General Sessions. People find inspiration when they make connections between ideas. Each year, EMEC curates the stories of innovators who have managed to flip an issue on its head and achieve positive change. During our General Sessions, these visionaries share their stories, in interactive environments designed to yield collective “a-ha!” moments EMEC Laboratory. Discover atypical brainstorming environments designed to encourage the collision of ideas and approaches. Together, participants examine case studies, experience new processes and prototype creative solutions to real business problems. Find meet-ups, meeting autopsies, campfires and more, that propel you out of your usual frame of reference. Workshops. Subject matter experts lead workshops on a variety of industry topics. From supplier-oriented education, trends and innovation, neuroscience and meeting design to Lessons from your peers, you’ll find opportunities to carve new pathways in your brain, your career and your meetings. Immersive Experiences. Find yourself in the heart of the city for learning and networking opportunities that are outside the convention center—and the box. Embrace local culture and find a sense of place as you participate in unique educational opportunities, learn more about yourself and your peers, experience personal breakthroughs and learn how and why immersive environments can facilitate amazing experiences in #Granada!        ...
6 Dec 2016 New Extended Meetovation Education focuses attention on impact and sales
It was probably no coincidence that Karin Krogh was the first to be certified! Following the new upgrade to Meetovation 3.0, it takes official approval from VisitDenmark to educate and certify Meetovators, and at the time of writing, only three have passed through the eye of the needle so far. But then Karin is both deeply committed and passionate about the meeting industry and has as former President of MPI Denmark Chapter been a persistent advocate of the Meetovation concept. Furthermore, Karin is a host, facilitator and moderator at major international conferences – besides being an author and teacher of personal power and impact. And she had a particular reason to create an expanded Meetovation education.  The purpose of the meeting is essential At many companies, employees are in charge of planning and booking events without knowing what the purpose or the objective of these events are. -If there’s no objective, it’ll be difficult to define whether an event is a success or not. You might compare it to asking for a train ticket at a station without having decided where you want to go. When you have a clear objective, it’s a lot easier to prepare a programme. This makes it absolutely essential to find out what the company’s goal for the event is, says Karin. One purpose of meetings and conferences might be to comply with organisational changes, new learning or new functions in the company. It could be a conference that aims to increase job satisfaction or a sales seminar with an aim to increase sales of a certain product by 20 %. -It’s a widespread misconception that some events are simply held without purpose. Even a Christmas party serves a purpose and isn’t solely organised to please the employees. The objective might be to strengthen social interaction, which will lead to more employee satisfaction, which will in turn lead to happier customers, and this will generate more money for the company, explains Karin.  Impact measurement With a precise definition of your objective, it will become easier to prove the value or ROI (Return on Investment), since this enables assessment and impact measurement. You might for example do this by preparing questionnaires that will be handed out prior to and after the event – naturally with a time frame that allows implementation of what has been learned. Unfortunately there is a tendency to evaluate irrelevant matters. -Why spend the participants’ valuable time on evaluating catering? As a meeting planner, you know that these days most professional venues deliver a decent product, and if in doubt, you should choose somewhere else. Instead, use the evaluation to find out how committed the participant felt on a scale from 1 to 10, what they learned, and how much they contributed themselves. This might sound pretty self-evident, but in practice, it’s not, Karin insists. No matter what your level as a meeting planner is, the five Meetovation principles are excellent tools for creating valuable and profitable meetings by for example working with active participant involvement and the creation of inspiring physical environments, but also by including local elements. In particular, participant involvement is a decisive element of any event, and this is also one of Karin’s favourite topics: -It’s important to be able to engage your participants with the help of an interesting and relevant content. If your listeners are bored with long PowerPoint presentations, they will quickly check emails, update their social media accounts instead or even think about completely other things. That’s why it’s important to hold their attention, inspire them and give them as much benefit as possible from the event. Break through with power Apart from learning the meeting design concept, the Extended Meetovation Education focuses on selling it or persuaing people to using it. This is why participants have a personal DiSC behavioural profile drawn up. DiSC is one of the world’s most used and recognised tools for personal profiling. Participants learn to communicate in the best possible way with different types of personalities, and this enables them to communicate their message to both customers and colleagues with more impact. When learning this, you increase the likelihood of getting your ideas through to customers and management. And speaking of getting your ideas through – another important element of the education is to learn how to present with power and personal impact. An element of the training is to give each participant a case that last throughout the entire session and is based on the individual participant’s everyday working life – no matter whether you work at an agency, a venue, are a secretary at a company or just organise events every so often. -It’s important to learn how to turn theory into practice in a project. On the final days of training, all participants must present the case they’ve worked on. Of course I’ll implement some trip-ups along the way – we all know that’s what real life does, says Karin and smiles.   Read more about Extended Meetovation Education at www.karinkrogh.dk Remember The five Meetovation principles! 1. Return on investment, ROI 2. Local Inspiration 3. Responsible Thinking 4. Creative Setup 5. Active Involvement Next Meetovation training in English will start in March 2017 in Denmark. Written by Mette Damgaard Petersen - Kursulex   ...
29 Nov 2016 New #EMEC17 Pitch Prefect !
What to expect at our Monday General Session #EMEC17 ? Great Ideas Need A Voice - and a Great Pitch! As a business professional, you present yourself in short, sharp pitches again and again - to potential customers, investors and partners, at network events and to anyone that could help you reach your goal. Pitching is human work, and causes many individuals to freeze, get nervous or tell too much. It is a widely held belief that great pitchers, who are certain and speak compactly and to the point, are born with the gift of public speaking. Yet making a great pitch is not about being born with a certain skill: it’s about following a process. This inspirational talk by Startup Pitch coach David Beckett will give an introduction to what that process is, and how you too can get your message shortened and sharpened. His talk will be followed by several LIVE pitches where individuals just like you present themselves with their best pitch. You will be the judge on who delivers the winning pitch! Attention: Do you want to win a “wild card” and have the opportunity to pitch your service or product in front of the EMEC audience from main stage? Then make sure to make yourself known and we’ll send you all details. Wild card submissions can be sent until January 31st 2017 to mpispeakers@mpiweb.org  More info on David Beckett  And a Masterclass! You can’t think yourself into a good pitch. This session is all about getting some practical advice about what to say and how to say it – and testing it out. David delivers you the tools that have helped hundreds of Startups get their story heard, and for many of them to raise money. (On average, only 1 in 400 startups is funded – David’s average is 1 in 8). These practical approaches work for short pitches and longer presentations. David will lead you through the essential elements of the Open-3-Close© pitch methodology, and you’ll get to try out a part of your pitch with other participants. You’ll also get the three tools that help 90% of people overcome their public speaking nerves. At the end of the MasterClass, you’ll have the basis of how to create a short, sharp pitch focused on getting action form your audience. Looking forward to see you #EMEC17 in Granada! Register here for EMEC17 Interested in MPI Hosted Buyer Programme Sponsorship opportinities  ...
22 Nov 2016 MPI Member voice: testimonial from MPI Finland, Director of Student Relations
Greetings from Macao! My name is Annina but please call me Anni. Since July 2016 I have had the pleasure to be part of the MPI Finland board as the Director of Student Relations. I study Tourism in Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and I’m specialising in Event Planning and Management. I am a third-year student and since mid-August I’ve been doing my exchange studies in Macao, China. I will return to Finland just before Christmas and hopefully graduate in December 2017. Why did I join MPI? A year ago our event management teacher in Haaga-Helia told us about MPI and the opportunities from the MPIF scholarship to attend the European Meetings and Events Conference in Copenhagen, EMEC is one of the two annual conferences organised by MPI. She told me how MPI is a great community and could help me on my path to become an event professional. I joined MPI in December 2015 and to my great joy I received the scholarship to attend EMEC along with three of my classmates.  EMEC and Future Leaders Forum EMEC 2016 was held in Copenhagen in the beginning of February. My expectations were high and I was extremely excited to attend my first event industry conference. At that time I had only been studying event management for one semester, since we start our specialisation studies during our second year of studies. I was very nervous because I knew that most people attending the conference were obviously industry professionals, whereas I was “just a student”, an expression I later learned not to use. I started by attending the Future Leaders Forum, which was a half-day event prior EMEC. FLF is jointly run by MPI, IMEX and MCI and is packed with educational sessions where the students are introduced to the world of meetings and events. In the forum inspiring industry professionals share their knowledge and the students get to network and make valuable connections with each other as well as the industry professionals. We got excellent advice about how to make the most out of the conference and a lot of tips on how to network. EMEC was a life-changing experience for me, and I’m not exaggerating. MPI together with the Danish Host Commitee truly did a good job with organising an amazing conference! I was amazed with the warm and welcoming atmosphere, I immediately felt at home with the attendees. I had never been surrounded by people who were so easy to approach, friendly, warm and easy to talk with. We Finns tend to be shy and reserved but I have never been the typical Finn. At EMEC I realised I have finally found my people! I truly made valuable connections and learned so much about the industry in just a few days. My problem was, how to choose which educational sessions to attend since as a student, everything was new to me. At EMEC I realised I was definitely on the right path with my career dreams and the world of meetings and events is the world where I belong. Mark your calendars for: EMEC 2017 in Granada, Spain 5 to 7 March. WEC16 experience! At EMEC I learned about the World Education Congress (WEC) and again I was introduced to the opportunity to apply for a MPI Foundation scholarship to attend the conference and got the scholarship! So in June I packed my bags and travelled to US for the first time in my life, accompanied by my classmate who had also received the scholarship. WEC was huge compared to EMEC. Again the atmosphere was extremely warm and I was happy to be reunited with an American friend I made at the FLF in Copenhagen. The content of the conference was more focused on the event industry in North America and it was very interesting to see how things differ between US and Europe. Again, I started my conference by attending the Future Leaders Forum. One of our speakers told us a lesson I will never forget. Never introduce yourself as “just a student” but rather call yourself “a professional in training”. She made us students realise we are the future professionals and we are the future of the event industry. WEC  2017 will be in Las Vegas from 19 to 22 June. MPI Finland Chapter After my amazing experiences at EMEC and WEC I wanted to get involved with MPI in Finland. I’ve been active in the student union of my university and the student association of my campus. MPI does important work in promoting the interests of the event industry and getting active in MPI felt like a natural step to me. I have been a MPI student member for almost a year and what a year it has been! MPI helped me realise I want to work in the event industry and got me truly excited about my future career. I have travelled to Copenhagen and US, made new friends, learned so much in the two conferences I attended, found a work placement and made connections that will help me with my future career. And first and foremost, I have found my people, my community. Written by Annina Taimio, Member MPI Finland Chapter...
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