In an effort to bring more meeting planners into its online community, Meeting Professionals International has announced that it will offer free access to many of the services that, until now, were reserved for members only.

The new program, MPIWeb Connect, gives meeting planners who register and who are approved access to

  • the MPI community directory,
  • online discussion groups,
  • a portion of the online articles unavailable to the general public,
  • webinar discounts,
  • career postings (with a 15-day delay),
  • MPI research (delayed release), and
  • the new MPI mobile apps.

For their $325 membership fee, MPI’s paid members will continue to get a number of benefits that those using the MPIWeb Connect do not, including member pricing for events, free webinars, immediate access to career posting, and unlimited access to all research and other educational content and tools.

“Response from members thus far has been very positive,” said MPI’s Theresa Davis, director of strategic communications, at a briefing. “They see the benefits of building their network, coupled with the ability to invite partners and colleagues to join the community through the MPIWeb Connect. The end result is more community participants, more collaboration, more content, and more connections.”

MPI also announced the release of two smartphone tools: a mobile Web site (http://m.mpiweb.org) and an iPhone application. Both offer articles and news from mpiweb.org, a calendar of industry and MPI events, and, for members and MPIWeb Connect users, access to the MPI directory and other restricted content. The iPhone app also includes links to social media sites and useful travel industry tools. Versions of the mobile app for Android and BlackBerry devices are in development.