25 Apr 2016 To Be or not to Be in the E.U.? Brexit Impact on UK Events Industry.
On June 23rd, Prime Minister David Cameron will hold a referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU, or leave otherwise known as “Brexit”. Below is a high-level summary of some of the industry articles we found online about the potential impact on the UK Events Industry: According to a C&IT snap poll, more than 70% of event planners want to stay in the EU. Sam Robson, Group Events Director for The Appointment Group, thinks that “leaving would give the impression that we are no longer part of the same community and would not do any favours for the industry." Helen Seaman, MD of Rapiergroup, disagrees, arguing that an exit will put the UK in a better position to negotiate with Europe. Three potential areas of impact: Economic Impact: Some agents fear there would be an economic impact if Britain were to walk out on the EU. "One of my concerns is that leading companies will transfer their headquarters out of London to another European location," said Robson. If fewer companies are based in London, it will make it harder for event agencies to pitch for business. Talent Acquisition: Some event professionals feel talent acquisition will become more difficult if the UK leaves EU. "If quotas or limits were put on EU residents from entering the UK for work purposes, major cities such as London would have a smaller pool of staff to recruit from, meaning the likelihood of costs increasing and quality reducing is high." Instability:  Many planners say instability is likely to accompany a Brexit. The problem is that no one has any idea about the short and long term implications. While London is predicted to be the most affected, other regions are also in the dark about the future of the UK if the public votes to leave the EU.  The events sector is no different to other businesses in that they can, and many do, thrive outside the European Union. However, considering this is one of the biggest political decisions to be made in the last decade, it is too early to say what impact leaving could have on the events industry, not only on the businesses based there but also those companies that do business with the UK.   The MPI in Europe Team...
22 Apr 2016 The MPI Foundation is making a Big Impact on Your Industry!
The not-for-profit organization also propels the meeting and event industry forward by funding important and quality research initiatives. The MPI Foundation organise planty of events troughout the year to raise founds and give back to the Meetings and Events industry. In the next few months different initiatives signed MPI Foundation at IMEX Frankfurt, at WEC 2016 Atlantic City and at The Meeting Show UK. MPI Foundation at IMEX Frankfurt - 19/21 April 2016 The MPI Foundation will organize a Not-So-Silent Auction with more than 40 different items ranging from dreamy weekend getaway to original gifts. Anyone from The MPI Foundation and other sponsors will host a great night of networking: the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Official Satellite Tournament.With dealers, tables, chips, cards, broadcast production crew and staging to put on this BIG event.To play in the coveted WSOP tournament, you must be invited by a Table Sponsor. Only 240 registered WEC 2016 attendee players can win the ultimate prize: a seat valued at $10,000 and a chance to win millions at the 2017 Main Event in Las Vegas.Excitement Goes Beyond the WSOP:you can try your luck at fun play gaming tables, dance to top 40 hits, experience the Encore Lounge: a bonanza of games and fun activities, enter to win spectacular raffle prizes throughout the night and watch and cheer on your friends and colleagues as they compete in the WSOP.Close to 1,000 meeting and event professionals come to experience this prestigious networking event year-after-year. The experience will transform you and your business for months to come.Everyone will need a ticket to get in. Visit the register page for details on tickets. Rendez-vous - Monday, June 13 A chance to support the industry and gather with your peers for an unforgettable Rendezvous networking experience at WEC 2016. A night to connect with old friends, make new ones, dance away and create everlasting memories in Atlantic City all while giving back to the industry.This event is open to all meeting and event professionals. It is not necessary to attend WEC in order to purchase a ticket to this event.Rendezvous headlining: Train, American roots rock band from San Francisco. Visit the register page for details on tickets. Not-So-Silent Auction - Opening Monday, May 16 Also on the occasion of WEC16 the MPI Foundation offers an incredible online auction with the opportunity to bid on many different packages that include trips, dream destinations, weekend getaways and much more.Anyone can bid using a computer or smart device.The auction will be open from May 16 to June 14. The funds raised will enable future educational grants and scholarships for MPI members. MPI Foundation at The Meeting Show UK - 14 June 2016 The Meeting Professionals International Foundation and The Meetings Show have formed an exciting new partnership that will bring the foundation’s signature networking and fundraising event, Rendezvous, to London for the first time.The event will be a key part of The Meetings Shows networking calendar when it takes place on Tuesday, 14 June from 21:00 to 01:00 at Under the Bridge, the award-winning music venue located in West London. Proceeds from Rendezvous at The Meetings Show will directly benefit European projects within the meetings and events industry. To learn more or to purchase tickets, please visit: www.mpiweb.org/foundation/rendezvous-tms “We have been looking for strategic opportunities to globally expand the MPI Foundation’s Rendezvous brand. London is one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities, making it an ideal destination to start broadening the reach of our signature event,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “In addition, partnering with The Meetings Show provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Rendezvous with an established and well-respected industry event, benefitting the MPI community across Europe.”  The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 14-16 June, 2016 at Olympia, London. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals, it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.                                                                     The MPI in Europe Team...
11 Apr 2016 MPI education and activities at IMEX Frankfurt !
MPI Education at the MPI stand F770 At IMEX Frankfurt MPI will offer meeting industry stakeholders various concurrent sessions. MPI education at IMEX will be held by speaker Jessie States, Manager of Professional Development for Meeting Professionals International. Education topics will range from industry's business trends, strategic meetings management and signage best practices to technology and professional certifications.  For more detailed information about MPI educational sessions at IMEX F MPI Germany presentation and Reception at MPI booth F770! Discover what’s new and exciting with the MPI Germany Chapter at the presentation held by MPI Germany President Héctor Venegas followed by a "Beer & Bretzels Party" at the MPI booth F770.A great opportunity to network, meet new colleagues planners and suppliers and learn more about MPI education and events. Take advantage of the IMEXF16 special membership promotion: 100€ off for all new members!  IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum The Future Leaders Forum, jointly organised by IMEX, MPI and MCI, has been developed to encourage the most promising students to join the meetings and incentive travel industry.  Forums are designed to provide budding meeting industry professionals with a packed educational programme including inspirational sessions from industry experts on key topics, an insightful international and regional overview of the meetings industry, round table discussions for further questions and debates and a chance to network and make valuable contacts within the indusrty. Over 125 Forums have taken place and around 7,000 students have passed through the programme since its launch in 2003. 90% of students surveyed have said they are "likely to enter the industry as a result of attending" a Forum. The Forum at IMEX in Frankfurt is one of the largest to take place throughout the year: the two day educational programme will include sessions on personality typing, recruiting top talent, stand out against the crowd. During the Visionary Showcase expert speakers will cover five key areas of quick development in the meetings industry. Students will also take part in the popular round table sessions with industry professionals. The final of the IMEX-MPI-MCI International University Challenge will also take place to determine the winner of the MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award. MPI Foundation Not-So-Silent Auction The MPI Foundation mission is to fund grants, scholarships, and pan-industry research in support of the global meeting and event industry. The Not-So-Silent Auction is one of the occasions to support the MPI Foundation role within the industry.With more than 40 different items ranging from dreamy weekend getaway to original gifts, anyone from around the world can bid and participate to the auction with the click of a button. Bids are also available from mobile devices at ucan.bid. The last chance to participate and win a great prize is the day after the close of IMEX, the 22nd of April. Learn more about the MPI Foundation and how its grants and scholarships support the community. Lace Up Your Sneakers for the IMEXrun at IMEX in Frankfurt After two sold-out editions in 2015 in Frankfurt and Las Vegas, the IMEXrun is back to accelerate business and networking opportunities through a fun run along the river Main. The IMEXrun event is developed and organised by sports by tlc, a company driven by its strong belief in the unique ability that sport has to enhance corporate responsibility, personal development and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. The fun run is supported by Riotur, Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau and Embratur and will take place on April 20thstarting at 07:00 am. For more detailed info visit MPI website or IMEX website.  ...
28 Mar 2016 ComInTech by MPI France-Suisse: The #1 Innovation & Technology conference for meetings & events pros
Organized by MPI France Switzerland Chapter, ComInTech is the French conference dedicated to innovation and technology for events that aims to inspire the French and International meetings and events professionals. The second edition of ComInTech is based on a simple concept that can be summarized in three words: Communication: communicate with your potential customers, to showcase your products and to develop business opportunities Innovations: get inspired, discover new ideas, innovative concepts and new initiatives Technologies: discover innovative and traditional technologies in order to apply them to your events and respond to new customer needs   What’s new at ComInTech 2016? The events at the heart of digital communication strategies The use of social networks for internal events Digitalization of events and the Participant Experience Trade Shows and congress sales thanks to digital Community engagement as a new ROI indicator for events "Digital Eventialisation": numerous brands have invested in digital communities they want to engage. Events are becoming the more engaging tool to leverage both human to human relationship and create digital assets. Engage your communities! ComInTech 2016 program will be dedicated to commitment! Today, communities gathering around events are not fleeting anymore but can truly last in time. That is what an event organizer dreams of: create an everlasting community after the event. The digital community engagement is an essential indicator to mesure the success of the event. ComInTech will occur on  two days: more time for more content and more exchanges. For most professionals, it is already very difficult to leave the office for one day, so MPI France Switzerland choose to dwell the event on a Saturday allowing for a balance between a working day and invest on education. Indeed professional development is one of the promises of MPI and MPI France Switzerland in particular. Attending ComInTech 2016… Who: MPI members, non-members, event agencies, service providers, destinations, media, students, technology suppliers should participate.  Why: To get trained and keep up to date, to meet your buyers and suppliers, to exchange ideas, to live a new experience and discover emerging and established technology solutions in a fun practical way and to know more about MPI. From technology illiterate to experts, ComInTech is the place to be! When: 8 and 9 April Where: At Salons de l'Aveyron - Paris BercyWhat to expect: New innovative and interactive formats, keynote speakers and industry experts, tech innovations showcase, a startups competition and case studies. Meet the speakers Frédéric Bedin - Président Hopscotch Global PR GroupJean-Michel Billaut - Chairman of the advisory Board, MediaWen International Anthony Babkine - Social Media Director TBWA\Corporate, Labcom conferences co-founder and planner, Director MBA ESG / IICP Stratégie et communication digitale.  Full speakers list and biographies      See the full program hereFor more information visit MPI France Switzerland Chapter websiteBecome a sponsor  ...
21 Mar 2016 MPI European Chapters support the First Global Meetings Industry Day on April 14 !
GMID marks the evolution of North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID), held in the United States, Canada, Mexico and parts of Latin America. NAMID included 88 events across America as well as robust conversations online and 3.2 million social media impressions. Simultaneous events all over the world will showcase the real impact that meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions have on people, business and communities.  #GMID16 - The event has now spread to Europe and MPI European Chapters are playing a major role: The MPI Spain Chapter will celebrate on April 12, in conjunction with “Dia Del Orgullo MICE”, an event for which the Spanish meeting industry has come together since 2014.“It was launched two years ago to try to create noise about what our industry is and what we are trying to achieve,” says Phil Cross, the chapter’s vice president of membership and president-elect, as well as head of corporate events at the conference destination CCIB.   In Italy, MPI will celebrate the event on April 15. Participants will gather at a business “speed dating” event for planners, corporate meeting professionals and representatives from government embassies. “They will have two minutes to present to each other and exchange business cards,” says Elisabetta Caminiti, vice president of education for the MPI Italia Chapter and managing director of MINE (Meeting Incentive New Events).   The MPI France-Switzerland Chapter will be preparing for the giant ComInTech event the week before GMID, so it is getting resourceful about piggybacking on it, says Julien Carlier, chapter president and CEO/founder of Social Dynamite, a cloud platform for collective influence. The chapter is organizing a collective Big Tweet on Twitter the day of GMID and expects about 300 participants.“All together, we will tweet and retweet automatically one sentence advocating for meetings”, Carlier says. “The key message to the world is -look at the number of people supporting it!-”. The message will also be shared on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well.   MPI Belgium’s annual BE Conference will be held on April 14th, in conjunction with GMID. The volunteer leaders have planned an exciting full day event: high-quality content, inspirators and meetovation are to guarantee a successful day. The MPI Belgium Chapter will be hosting a morning and afternoon session: the third Meetings Go Green workshop on "Smart purchasing & communication decisions for events" in the morning, followed by the meetovation-inspired GMID Belgium in the afternoon.   MPI Sweden will partecipate with "The Golden Binocular", the annual competition to award the best future trends in the meeting industry. It's the final event of an extensive competition where everyone involved in the industry could post their favourite future trends: the final 4 nominees will compete for the winner during GMID in Stockholm.         On the occasion of GMID the MPI UK & Ireland Chapter organised MPI Connects, an event designed to bring together industry employers to talented industry jobseekers. It will combine insightful education with speed-dating style meetings, enabling event jobseekers to understand more about potential positions or internships, and for industry employers to give guidance on interviewing skills as well as how to clinch that all-important first job.   The MPI Finland Chapter, with the financial support of MPI Foundation, will have on April 14 a first-class educational on Strategic Meeting Managment at Kongressi, the biggest trade fair in Finland. The one-hour course handles how to add participant value in a meeting and it is presented by the Federico Toja (MPI Director Chapter Business Europe) and Anne Forsstrom (Laurea Events).     Also CMPA - Croatian Meeting Professionals Association will held an event during the GMID entitled "The impact of meeting industry on the community" which will consist of an open discussion to share insights and  thoughts on how the meeting industry affects the community.   See more GMID events in Europe and in the rest of the world More about GMID on MPI website Send an e-mail for further information or questions...
14 Mar 2016 Chapter President's Voice: Giovanna Lucherini from MPI Italia Chapter !
Could you give us a brief overview of your background and how did you start your career in the Meeting Industry? After my graduation, I worked at Walt Disney World in Florida as a Cultural Representative and I realized that the park was open also thanks to my daily job. I loved so much to work for thousands of guests to make them happy that I thought I had to learn more about the “organization” of special events. I therefore started to work for the most important PCO’s in Florence (Italy) as a hostess and later as the Deputy Secretary and Conference Manager for the European Association of General Practitioners. After a break in the Fashion business, I came back to the Meeting Industry and in 2001 I had the chance to buy my own Agency (Studio Guidi / Your Italian Planners, PCO in Florence) becoming CEO. The best decision of my life! How has your active MPI membership and your role as MPI VP Education and MPI President affected your professional career? I knew MPI was the only and the best International Association to join as some colleagues were in, so I applied in 2002 and immediately volunteered in some Committees, becoming V.P. Education in 2008, 2014 and 2015. Working in team with colleagues for the creation of the yearly seminars and events was great, as well as the networking opportunities. Today, as President, I still work with the same enthusiasm and love: I have improved my skills, enlarged my personal and professional community and above all, successfully got a new position as the Director of the Convention Bureau Napoli. MPI Italia Chapter 2015-2016 board at the 2015 convention in Padova. Tell us about your role as MPI Italia Chapter President. What are the challenges of your mandate? What are the goals that the Italian Chapter would like to achieve? As the leader of this Association I daily work with my team of colleagues, who are all passionate about MPI as I am. In January 2016, MPI Italia has launched the Multilevel certifications programme which is a 3 levels professional development certificate in Italian: (CME "Certified Meeting Executive”, CMS “Certified Meeting Specialist”, CMT "Certified Meeting Technician”). The first session of the exams will be held at Radisson Blu Hotel in Rome on the 16th of April.In addition, the 1st of July, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Association with the support of the new Convention Bureau Napoli: MPI Italia Chapter is proudly the 1st chapter born in Europe in 1991!The next goal, besides the intense educational calendar and a special annual convention, is to improve the membership: new professionals will also bring new ideas and actions to lead the future of this industry. Tell us more about your job position as director of the new Napoli Convention Bureau. This new role as Director of Convention Bureau Napoli is very challenging for my professional career. I am running a real start-up with many local stakeholders of the MICE Industry in a town which has a vibrant energy. What advice would you give to young professionals beginning their careers in the Meeting and Event Industry?  I suggest to work in all the fields of the MICE industry, also abroad, compare different markets and standards, to become an updated professional. Interview with Giovanna Lucherini.    ...
7 Mar 2016 Awareness and communication are key in preventing organic food waste !
Raising awareness It is clear that no-shows are still a major issue in our industry and the first step to undertake is to raise awareness. In 2009, MPI Belgium was one of three initiators of the "Don't Spoil the Party" initiative together with ACC Belgium and EMA Society. The initiative created a video which highlights the issue of no-shows and food waste, and encourages organizers to use the ''Spoilman''-logo on their invitation.   Communication is key Even when pre-registration is required, the number of no-show is still between 10-30% (roughly estimated % of no-shows, based on numbers shared at the workshop). Time to optimise our attendee registration and communication! In your registration form, let people indicate which food functions they will be attending (Welcome coffee, Lunch, Drinks reception) and don't forget to ask about dietary restrictions.  Before your event, send attendees a personalized reminder about the food functions they signed up for and ask them to inform you if they are no longer able to attend one of the activities. If you're dealing with a smaller group, why not send out an SMS or What's App Broadcast campaign. Make sure your registration system allows attendees to edit their registration information close to the event, and keep reminding attendees about "Don't spoil the party" throughout your event communications. During your event, use an online check-in system so you can track how many people are in the venue. Give the latest update to the caterer and don’t forget to mention those with dietary requirements. To keep raising awareness, take and share photos of the organic waste at your event during and after the event.  After the event, analyse who didn't show up and communicate with them directly. Send them a follow-up message and add them on your (private) "flagged list" so you can get in touch with them next time they register.  Analysing the demographics of your no-shows will give you an idea of who is more likely not to attend; and by looking at historical patterns of how different demographics actually consume at food functions, you can adjust the amount of food being served.   Penalty It is clear from the numbers that no-shows increase when an event is free to attend, even when pre-registration is required. MPI Belgium struggled with this, and has implemented a “no-show fine” for free events. By combining a penalty fee and reminding attendees of regularly, numbers of no-shows have dropped exponentially. Don’t spoil In our sector it is most likely to always have food waste at the end of the day. So start to think about implementing initiatives such as a ‘doggy bag’ for attendees, and look for your local FSE network and local donation opportunities. To reduce the non-organic waste from your catering, look for initiatives such as edible serving cups. The MPI Belgium Chapter is currently talking with food surplus entrepreneurs and zero waste initiatives to continue reducing the negative environmental impact of their Chapter events. Join the Global Meetings Industry Day Belgium on 14/04 in Brussels to learn more. Find out more about Meetings Go Green, and contact VP Education Mieke Barbé with your best practices, favorite initiatives and suppliers. Follow her Pinterest boards on Event Catering and Event Zero-waste & Sustainability for inspiration.   Mieke Barbé - VP Education, MPI Belgium...
3 Mar 2016 The 10 Biggest Technology Trends for 2016 & MPI Technology Showcase at WEC 2016 !
1 - Invisible analytics As consumers become increasingly connected, they leave a trail of their interactions with businesses and more organizations are utilizing the large data sets they collect in always more sophisticated ways. The resulting complex analysis of customer data is essential to understanding consumers and to developing and optimizing products and services for them.  2 - Artificial intelligence The ultimate artificial intelligence recreates the human thought process and has human intellectual abilities such as learning, reasoning, using language and formulating original ideas. Although there is little evidence of the full execution of artificial intelligence coming anytime soon, early forms based on machine learning are increasingly infiltrating our lives. Amazon uses it to suggest products, Netflix to recommend movies, Facebook and Twitter to choose what posts to show. 3 - Virtual reality It is believed that the trialling of virtual reality in gaming will generate more awareness and that it will penetrate other industries such as travel, retail, business and education. Marriott, Thomas Cook and Qantas Airways have already created promotional experiences using virtual reality: the technology gives would-be travellers a taste of their possible destinations, as well as hotel facilities and rooms. 4 - Video consumption Video is growing faster than anyone anticipated and online is becoming the go-to channel on which to enjoy it. Current predictions suggest that 80% of all consumer internet traffic will be video by 2019. Video consumption is increasingly migrating to smartphones, particularly among millennials and pre-teens and brands are maximizing the opportunity to use this platforms to engage with them in a highly personal and targeted way. 5 - Wearables Wearables will increasingly be able to migrate from the wrist to clothing, footwear and even jewellery in the near future. Although high-profile launches such as Google Glass and Apple Watch have captured the consumer’s imagination, few have adopted these high-end devices. In comparison, the popularity of health and fitness trackers provides insights into the elements needed to turn the wearables market “mass”. 6 - Mobile payments The mobile payments market is only really evolving now. In some markets there is still a need to raise awareness, while in others it’s all about increasing accessibility. It is crucial for brands, manufacturers and retailers to understand the global picture now and how it might evolve to ensure they meet the needs of connected consumers who increasingly want to pay by mobile. 7 - Smart home All sorts of organizations look to maximize their involvement in tomorrow’s home demonstrating to consumers how smart home technology fits with and enhances their lives. This is the time when collaboration and education are needed to accelerate demand and to propel smart home innovation from a manufacturer-led evolution into a consumer-led revolution. 8 - Connected cars The idea of the connected car isn’t new, but it’s only in the last five years, with the explosion of the smartphone, that connectivity in vehicles has taken off. Almost every original equipment manufacturer in Europe now offers connected features in their vehicles in some shape or form. 9 - Drones Despite the media attention, drones are not new. But with improvements in technology and falling costs, there is a real opportunity for these unmanned aerial vehicles to evolve from a hobbyist market into a mainstream technology. The extensive capabilities of drone technology are only now being realized and exploited by many businesses.  10 - 3D printing 3D printing is becoming cheaper and increasingly accessible to both customers and businesses. Speculation about 3D printing being already dead is premature. This market has huge potential, and appetite from the connected consumer will be key in growing this technology. Are event professionals ready for this?  WEC 2016 MPI Technology Showcase ! Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is pleased to announce a special call for speakers and subject matter experts for a brand new program element: The MPI Technology Showcase for its 2016 World Education Congress (WEC), taking place June 11-14, 2016 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.MPI is seeking new technologies that support the Meeting Professional to be showcased at the 2016 WEC in Atlantic City. If you have a technology-based product that is new to the market, please let us know and submit a proposal! The submissions will be accepted through March 25, 2016. Only sessions submitted via MPI's online proposal form will be considered for the World Education Congress. Multiple proposals for multiple product showcases may be submitted. Please reach out with any questions you have! Download Tech Trends 2016 full report by GfK MPI Europe Team...
29 Feb 2016 Chapter President's Voice: Elif Balci Fisunoglu, MPI Turkey Chapter President Elect !
Could you give us a brief overview of your background and how did you start your career in the Meeting Industry? I studied communication and advertising at the university and I am currently writing my doctorate thesis on destination promotion and strategic use of public relations. My professional career started in the media industry and I was introduced to hospitality business in 1997 and worked as the PR and Corporate Communication Manager of the largest national hotel chain of Turkey and in 2001 I joined the Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau team as sales manager. I was promoted to General Manager of the Istanbul CVB in 2011 and worked at the bureau until 2014. During this period I actively joined industry organizations: ICCA Mediterranean Chapter Chairperson, ECM- European Cities Marketing Board Member and PCMA Global Task Force Member. Now I am the President Elect of MPI Turkey Chapter and Board Member of Skal Int. Istanbul Club. On the professional side, I am the General Coordinator of Kalyon Tourism Group with 50 years of experience in the Turkish tourism and hospitality industry. I am so happy to be involved in so many different ways in the meeting and hospitality industry. How has your active MPI membership affected your professional career? I motivate myself with education and networking and it is very important for me to take responsibilities for the present and the future of the industry that I am involved with. I am an MPI member since 2011 and MPI gives me the chance to give back to my industry and do something for my sector and my personal career development. I meet with my industry peers from all around the world and keep myself aware and up to date of the meeting industry. MPI membership gives a great opportunity for leadership at a national and international level. You attended The European Chapter Business Summit in Copenhagen. In your opinion, what are the main takeaways of that experience? First I very much enjoyed playing with the Legos! Indeed the Lego serious play was a very good edutainment activity with personal and professional takeaways. MPI education programs gives me the opportunity to question and analyze myself and also learn something new to adapt to my clients, events and meetings. From the chapter point of view, ECBS is always a great place to hear about other chapters experiences and discuss about the challenges we all have and the opportunities as well. What is the value for you to be a chapter leader volunteering for board position? First of all I really love to be a volunteer. Such positions are very important for personal development and improving your leadership skills. It gives a great chance for networking and build a reputation. But they are also difficult as they require lots of time and responsibilities. Especially being the President is a hard task and we should all work to raise the MPI Turkey Chapter and MPI brand in Turkey. I would like to add something very personal: starting from my childhood until the early times of professional career, I was always interested in politics and had plans to become a politician. After some years I decided that the political environment nowadays is not for me and I changed my direction to the social and civil society and volunteering for a leadership positions has given me more personal satisfaction then becoming a boring politician. The MPI Turkey Club has now become a Chapter. What are the chapter’s main goals for 2016? Our region is facing some difficult times at the moment and our industry is the first one being negatively affected. We all have serious duties about keeping our businesses in good position but MPI Turkey Chapter and its members can take an active role during such challenging times. Membership is the first thing for all organizations and we will be actively working as Board on membership programs. We need to create more networking for our members and also create joint activities with other sector organizations including corporate clients networks and universities. The meeting industry is fast growing in our region and even despite the crisis we are having difficulty in finding young leaders and professionals for our companies. We are all event people and we believe in the power of events. We are planning to create an annual event for MPI Turkey Chapter in 2016 or early 2017. We need more platforms to introduce MPI Turkey Chapter to Turkish meeting and hospitality professionals. Tell us more about activities and events organized by the MPI Turkey Chapter. In March we will have an important event: Ace of Mice - Congress, Meeting and Event Industry Exhibition. For 3 years Ace of Mice Exhibition has been held in Istanbul and in such a short time it became an important exhibition and networking platform for the event and meeting industry in Turkey. Ace of Mice gathers corporate and association planners from the region and all around the world. Turkey is not only an important player in the meeting industry as a destination but it is also an important player as a growing buyer market for the international destinations. Turkish corporations and associations are organizing important events all around the world and Ace of Mice is the only platform in Turkey that brings all the industry stakeholders together. It is a great opportunity for European destinations to meet the Turkish buying market. Thanks to the hosted buyers program international planners will be hosted in Istanbul between 16-18 March. In cooperation with MPI International and MPI Turkey Chapter an MPI educational session will be held at the Speakers Corner of Ace of Mice: Bernard Gracia (Dean & Director at the EIPM) will speak on “Event Purchasing”. MPI Turkey Chapter will also have a booth at the Ace of Mice exhibition and we look forward to welcoming our European colleagues at the show and our stand.   Interview with Elif Balci Fisunoglu....
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