CELEBRATING A RECORD attendance of more than 2,700 at the Professional Education Conference in San Diego in January, Meeting Professionals International announced a position paper from its Global Corporate Circle of Excellence, telling members that they must partner with their procurement colleagues if they want to succeed, or even survive, in today's global meeting environment.

“Planners and suppliers — if you think what you have been doing all along to keep your job is enough, think again,” warns the GCCOE, a group of senior corporate meeting planners, in The Power of Partnership: Capitalizing on the Collaborative Efforts of Strategic Meeting Professionals and Procurement Departments.

A tool kit accompanying MPI's position paper includes samples of a cost-control policy and a preferred-supplier contract, a glossary of terms, advice on how to assess a vendor's financial health, an outline of the key components of a strategic management program, and other documents. The position paper and the tool kit are available at www.mpiweb.org. (FutureWatch 2005, an annual report conducted by MPI and American Express and also announced at the PEC, bears out the themes of the GCCOE report. Go to page 16 in this issue to learn more.)

Other news from MPI PEC: Hugh K. Lee, chairman of the board of MPI and president of Fusion Productions, updated attendees on MPI's Career Pathways, announced some 18 months ago. The program is geared to giving all MPI members personalized career goals as well as the proper tools to reach those goals.Lee said that MPI plans not only to work with the existing industry certifications and programs, but also “to work with colleges and universities to establish standardized curricula.” The beta version of Career Pathways will be unveiled at this year's World Education Conference in Miami in July.