The Meeting Professionals International Professional Education Conference-Europe went on as planned, beginning Sunday in Monte Carlo, Monaco, despite the death of the principality’s longtime monarch, Prince Rainier III. But the conference, which wraps up today toned down some of the hoopla out of respect for the deceased prince.
To strike the appropriate tone, the more festive aspects of the networking events were eliminated. For example, there was no DJ or dance music at the opening event, just a cocktail reception. And for the closing event, there will be just a dinner, no post-dinner party or band. Also, MPI signage was removed throughout the city.
Prince Rainier’s son, Prince Albert, cancelled his scheduled address for the opening night festivities but representatives from the Monaco government did briefly welcome the group.
One event was canceled, the MPI Foundation’s Europe Rendezvous fundraiser party. Instead, a 5,000 EUR donation will be made to the Princess Grace Foundation.
"As friends, we offer sympathy to the Monaco Host Committee; as colleagues, we are grateful for their work over the past 18 months, especially their extraordinary work during the past few tragic days, to showcase Monaco to our delegates. This is a true example of ‘the power of the partnership’ and the determination of ourleaders," said Colin Rorrie, MPI president and CEO in a statement. The Monaco Host Committee worked with the government to maintain the event at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo while respecting the national period of mourning.
As of press time, there were no widespread problems with flights or hotels, says Kelly Schulz, MPI spokeswoman. In fact, the show attracted 515 delegates, breaking the record of 502 set at last year’s PEC-E. Most of the delegates will depart the city before the Prince’s funeral on Friday.