Meeting Professionals International (MPI) sought to build back better at World Education Congress (WEC) Vegas
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MPI's signature annual event this past June included a hybrid format and was the first major meeting and event industry event in 2021.
Dallas, TX, July 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meeting Professionals International, the world's largest industry association for meeting and event professionals, convened nearly 2,000 meeting and event professionals through an in-person and digital World Education Congress – the first major face-to-face industry event this year, with nearly 1,300 professionals in attendance in-person.
Picking up where MPI left off in November 2020 with WEC Grapevine, WEC Vegas was a hybrid experience featuring a 100% live program for all participants. Every facet of the WEC experience focused on the way in which industry professionals can build back better than before the pandemic - both personally and professionally.
“WEC Vegas was a significant step in the recovery of our industry,” said Paul Van Deventer, MPI President and CEO. “I’m proud of what we’re doing to advance our industry as well as society at large—and I’m excited to see what we will achieve as we continue to make our future together.”
WEC took place at the brand-new CAESARS FORUM June 15-17, 2021. Nearly 1,300 in-person attendees and some 600 digital attendees participated. Many of Las Vegas' newest venues were utilized throughout the event, providing for unique first-time experiences for in-person attendees:
- First large-scale event at CAESARS FORUM
- First large-scale industry event held at Allegiant Stadium (Opening Ceremony)
- First large-scale event held at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (President’s Dinner honoring Terri Breining)
- First large-scale event held at the Venetian Pool Deck (Rendezvous Closing Celebration benefiting the MPI Foundation)
“WEC Vegas has been an opportunity to show the world the power of face-to-face meetings,” said Stephen Revetria, President of Giants Enterprises and Chair of the MPI International Board of Directors. “I am thankful and inspired by everyone involved in this event, showing that we are hopeful and resilient; acting now for our industry’s future.”
The programming featured General Sessions with a future-focused theme and dynamic speakers including:
- Usher: A conversation with the worldwide entertainment icon on his perspectives about the post-pandemic world of live entertainment and events
- Rich Bracken: Leveraging emotional intelligence for daily success and happiness
- Michael C. Bush: A great place to work for all – better for business, better for people, better for the world
General Sessions also included panels with industry luminaries speaking to some of the most relevant topics for the industry:
- Critical next steps from influential industry leaders
- Champions for Change: Lasting social impact that matters
- The Superwomen of Vegas: Rising up and empowering others
WEC Vegas focused again on ensuring live engagement between in-person and digital attendees through technologies such as a live “fan cam” and, for the first time at an industry event of this scale, digital and in-person participants were able to engage 1:1 via live chat.
With a focus on maintaining a high priority on attendee safety, MPI surveyed its attendees after both the CDC and Clark County Commission offered updated guidelines and adjusted its Duty of Care accordingly. There were two self-reported positive COVID-19 tests (both among fully vaccinated individuals) within the two-week post-event period during which attendees were asked to monitor their health. The event received a 97% overall satisfaction rate with Duty of Care protocol.
This year’s event was well received among attendees, boasting 97% satisfaction with networking, 83% education satisfaction, 1,520 best match appointments in the Hosted Buyer program and 94% overall satisfaction. The Digital Experience saw 82% overall satisfaction hosting attendees from 19 countries with a total of 63,620 interactions
across the platform.
“With WEC Grapevine and WEC Vegas specifically, we chose to take risks intelligently in an effort to create the latest blueprint of what meetings and events look like during this time of so much change,” said Annette Gregg, Senior VP of Experience for MPI. "The results prove not only that this new blueprint is effective in delivering an event, but also demonstrate how to meet the evolving expectations of conference participants.”
Throughout the duration of WEC, the MPI Foundation raised more than $125,000 from both virtual and in-person attendees. Silent Auction experiences including meet & greet packages with Grammy award-winning artist USHER, resort stays, luggage and dining plus the MPI Foundation Rendezvous party hosted during WEC's closing celebration at the Venetian Resort's new pool deck contributed to ongoing support towards MPI members, chapter grants and industry research.
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including 13,000 engaged members and its Plan Your Meetings audience. It has nearly 70 chapters and clubs with members in 75 countries. "When we meet, we change the world." www.mpi.org
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