Rather than take the road less traveled (apologies to Robert Frost), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Dallas, has forged a road of its own: "Pathways to Excellence."

The program is a multiyear strategic plan, according to MPI, to "prepare the industry for change." Through the plan, the association will formulate meeting planner "career pathing," target senior-level business decision makers, and build opportunities for member suppliers. It’s a value-add for the industry as a whole, MPI tells The Meetings Group.

For planners, the pathways approach will try to open doors for traditional meeting managers (those who mainly handle logistics), allowing them to become or be seen as business executives and decision makers. It will do so by way of MPI’s Business Skills for Life program, which teaches fundamental and advanced business skills, such as strategic thinking and financial skills. It will be implemented on the local chapter level and in national conference programming.

MPI produces a strategic plan every three to four years, which looks toward the future and decides the role the association should play in the business lives of its members. "Pathways to Excellence" is an approach that considers global, economic and industry trends, and data MPI has gathered from its members about what they would like to garner from the association.

For more information, visit www.mpiweb.org