Meeting Professionals International is making changes to its Professional Education Conference-Europe for 2008—including a new name. The London event, rechristened The European Meetings and Events Conference, marks the first time MPI has brought together a “host committee” to help “co-create” and design the direction of the event.
The committee—which consists of MPI members as well as global organizations such as IMEX, MCI, Reed Travel, and others—has joined with MPI to brainstorm ways to make the April 18-20 conference more relevant for participants and to attract a broader attendee base.
One change outlined for 2008 is that instead of grouping educational sessions by topic, MPI is creating a two-tier curriculum, one track for executive-level meeting professionals and the other for those in the early to middle stages of the profession. The executive-level track will feature MBA-level presenters focused on advanced business skills development, while those in the earlier stages of their careers can follow a Certified Meeting Professional structure, focusing on competencies such as legislation, marketing, and finance.
Other changes in the works include a more dynamic format for the opening general session and an increased focus on technology throughout the event. MPI is also reaching out to U.K. meetings-industry associations to involve them in the event.
The term “professional education” didn’t resonate with the European audience, says Kathryn Goldstein, MPI’s director of communications, about the decision to change the conference. “The name change now gives MPI the opportunity to collaborate with other European meeting and event organizations that are active in the industry and reach more attendees.”
MPI estimates that more than 600 meeting and event professionals will attend The European Meetings and Events Conference. It will conclude just before IMEX 2008 in Frankfurt, April 22-24. Registration will open in mid-October at www.mpiweb.org.