Using its recent Professional Education Conference–Europe as it resource laboratory, Meeting Professionals International has released a white paper that, it says, reaffirms the impact effective “learning” meetings have on ROI for both the meeting planner and the attendee.

The paper was drawn from the education sessions held March 18 to 20 in Copenhagen. “The Copenhagen conference brought together an amazing mix of smart, solid content on the trends confronting meeting professionals’ clients and the role of a true ‘learning meeting’ in building solutions,” said report author Mitchell Beer, CMM, president of The Conference Publishers Inc. and a member of the MPI Ottawa Chapter, in a release issued by MPI. “I’m proud that my professional association is placing so much emphasis on onsite knowledge and learning, and it was a privilege to be asked to document the discussion.”

According to the white paper, much of the “breakthrough knowledge” at the conference focused on the “learning meeting” and specifically what meetings professionals can do to maximize the learning experience at events in which they are involved, whether as a planner or participant.

For example, Ib Ravn, PhD, in his session introduced a series of 17 participant-involvement techniques to maximize on-site learning. He also said that a true learning meeting should be designed with five principles in mind: Concise presentations; active “digestion” of plenary content, added emphasis on participant self-expression, opportunities for sharing knowledge; and effective facilitations.

The paper also discusses the concept of corporate social responsibility as an emerging trend in the corporate world, as well as within the meetings industry.

During two sessions at the PEC–Europe, futurist Rohit Talwar, MBA, CEO of Global Futures and Foresight and a member of MPI’s U.K. chapter, said that there is a growing consensus among business leaders on the need for action on sustainability issues and global warming.

Talwar went on to say that travel is one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas producers, and that while no similar analysis has been done for meetings, “this is a huge industry with a huge impact.

“We as an industry have a choice,” he said. “We can either comply with regulations, just enough to keep our customers happy, or we can move to a position where we’re giving our customers something back.”

Download the white paper at MPI’s home page.