MEETING PROFESSIONALS International's World Education Congress, held in Denver in late July, attracted some 3,151 meeting planners and suppliers, the second-highest attendance ever at an MPI event, surpassed only by the July 2001 record of 3,461 attendees at the WEC in Las Vegas.
Part of the reason was “TheSummit: Applying the Power of Meetings,” a day-and-a-half ROI education track — a sort of conference within a conference — that drew nearly 200 professionals, many of them senior corporate meeting planners “responsible for demonstrating the value of meetings within their organizations,” according to Colin Rorrie Jr., PhD, CAE, president and CEO of MPI.
Announced eight weeks before the WEC, the ROI Summit was designed to help planners face the downsizing andchallenges of the corporate meeting world, as well as deal with procurement departments that many pharmaceutical companies now employ to control their meeting spend. It was also the culmination of eight years of championing the ROI message in corporate America by Hugh Lee, president of Fusion Productions, Webster, N.Y., and current chairman of the MPI board. “By establishing measurable meeting objectives, meetings do contribute to an organization's bottom line,” says Lee.
Highlights included a panel of corporate procurement professionals who gave attendees an insider's look at how strategic procurement has changed over the years, including the strategies behind the process of consolidating the meeting expenditures of Novartis, the giant pharmaceutical company.
In addition, Jack Phillips, PhD, chairman of the ROI Institute, Chelsea, Ala., spent hours teaching planners how to use established tools and applications for ROI methodology. With MPI, the ROI Institute has customized a certification workshop for the meeting and convention industry that will be held at sites around the world through 2005. For more information, visit www.mpiweb.org.