Do you dream of a tech tool that would make meetings easier to plan? Less expensive? More fun? How about a simple, affordable way to match suppliers with hosted buyers? Maybe an app dedicated to tracking a VIP’s location throughout an event? Or how about an instant-message bulletin board that talks directly to your conference services team?
These are among the ideas that have been suggested so far for HackMPI, a 48-hour meetings industry “hackathon” coming up February 15–17 in conjunction with MPITechCon on February 19, the third annual meetings industry technology conference hosted by the Meeting Professionals International Chicago Area Chapter.
A hackathon brings together computer programmers and other software development experts to collaborate intensively on building new solutions, and for HackMPI, the creative energy will be focused on building tools for the meetings industry. MPITechCon Co-Chair Kyle Hillman, CMP, is working with veteran hackathon planner Veronica Ludwid to help enlist the developers and expects between 60 and 90 participants (approximately 10 teams) for the weekend event.
On its Web site, MPITechCon is gathering project suggestions for developers to consider (you don’t have to be a member to chime in) and has scheduled meeting professionals to be on hand if the developer teams want input or advice. Among those advisers will be Sean Lynch, executive vice president, NHS,and president of the MPI Chicago Area Chapter; and Kevin Hinton, executive vice president,Associated Luxury Hotels International, chairman of MPI’s International Board.
The creations from the weekend will be judged by a panel of software and meetings industry experts, and the best will be recognized at MPITechCon, taking place at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Hillman says that winning developers “will be awarded with everything from industry swag to event tickets and hotel stays for major technology conferences.”
In addition to the HackMPI results, MPITechCon offers a full day of technology education for meeting professionals. The registration fee is $145 for members, $175 for nonmembers (until January 31), with virtual-only registration set at $75.