It will be the first opportunity for many industry professionals to see New Orleans post-Katrina as 2,500 are expected to attend Meeting Professionals International’s 2007 Professional Education Conference-North America, January 20 to 23 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Two of the hotels in the block--the Marriott New Orleans at the Convention Center and W New Orleans French Quarter--are sold out.

Wayne M. Sotile, PhD, a clinical psychologist who has counseled more than 7,000 high performers and consulted with 400 leading corporations and healthcare organizations, will keynote Sunday’s opening general session, starting earlier than usual to make room for the PEC Expo, which will now be held on Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

Elliott Masie, futurist on technology, learning, and people, The MASIE Center, will be the featured speaker at the chapter awards luncheon on Monday.

Closing out the general session on Tuesday afternoon, facilitator Lisa Heft, will present a guide to creating a successful OpenSpace meeting. OpenSpace is a concept “that is revolutionizing communication, innovative thinking, and collaboration centered on the ability of people to self-organize around mutual needs and reach new and profound solutions,” according to the program.

For more, visit www.mpiweb.org.