“Meeting professionals are architects of human connections,” says Bruce MacMillan, president and chief executive officer at Meeting Professionals International. So, MPI’s 2012 World Education Conference, July 28–31 in St. Louis, will be all about providing opportunities for attendees to create the connections that will propel their organizations to success.

Two keynote speakers will deliver distinct perspectives on designing human connections. Opening the conference is Jonah Lehrer, a contributing editor to Wired magazine and author of the bestseller How We Decide. Lehrer will talk about making connections in the service of innovation—for example, designing meeting spaces and programs that facilitate interaction.

Physician and social scientist Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD, co-author of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, will deliver the closing keynote on how our networks affect our mental and physical well-being. He will discuss the importance of building small communities that support successful business relationships and lifestyles, specifically in the meetings industry.

“Our goal is always to challenge our members by offering research-based, compelling content that is presented in a way that is relevant to our industry,” says MacMillan. “We want to ensure that our attendees can connect that intelligence to their business opportunities by providing suppliers and planners an environment that facilitates business relationships.

Suppliers and planners will be able to connect one-on-one through MPI’s Hosted-Buyer Program. Also, MPI is bringing back the MarketSquare, an area just outside the session rooms where attendees and suppliers can network and do business between WEC events.