Follow-up Presentation at UIA Roundtable “Where to find help and how much does it cost?”


On 13 November 13 2015 MPI Belgium was present at the Union of International Associations (UIA) Round Table Europe. During the panel “Where to find help”, she talked about how the meetings industry community can help associations.

This slidedeck brings you a better understanding of the resources MPI has to offer (free and paying) and provides you with links to other helpful websites to have bookmarked.

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2015 Summer Edition of Meetings Outlook


As live and virtual meeting attendance are predicted to grow, meeting professionals are showing a renewed focus on attendee engagement.


The latest installment of the quarterly special report indicates continued intelligent growth in the industry with meeting professionals showing a renewed focus on attendee “wants” – big-name speakers, entertainment and shoulder days – and going beyond “needs” as they strive to do much more with just a little more.

Key findings include the following:

  • 72 percent of meeting professionals expect overall business conditions to improve in the near future—up from the 65 percent reported one year ago.
  • Only 17 percent of respondents are doing nothing to plan for the communication styles of the numerous generations of attendees; 40 percent comprehensively tailor planning for every event with this challenge in mind.
  • Live and virtual attendance are predicted to grow, according to 62 percent and 57 percent of respondents, respectively.

To view the full report, visit A printed copy is included in the August 2015 issue of MPI’s award-winning magazine, The Meeting Professional as well.

Meetings Outlook presents future industry trends and predictions from MPI members, including meeting professionals on MPI’s Business Research Panel. Every quarter, research firm Association Insights surveys the panel, asking a short series of quantitative questions related to the economy and a qualitative question regarding the individual’s professional outlook. Phone interviews are also conducted with randomly selected MPI members. The report provides a quarterly tracking of current business conditions and future outlooks.

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New from MPI HQ: Academy, Certificate Programs & Experiential Event Series


Meeting Professionals International Headquarters has formally introduced the new MPI Academy, an entity meant to encompass and connect all of the education and learning experiences MPI delivers within the meeting and event industry. In addition, the association has unveiled enhancements to its professional development offerings, including a variety of new certificate programs and experiential events. This announcement was shared during the opening general session of MPI’s 2015 World Education Congress (WEC) in San Francisco.


MPI Academy Coming Soon

The MPI Academy aligns with the Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards (MBECS) and is designed to provide multi-faceted learning opportunities for meeting professionals at all levels. Its portfolio is comprised of training courses, certificate programs, streaming sessions from MPI events, webinars and tools such as the new MPI Professional Development Roadmap, which helps individuals map out their career, pursue continuing education, and supplement their professional development.

“Our objective with the new MPI Academy is to centralize all of our educational programs and bring focus to the diverse career tracks available,” Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI, said in a statement. “As we refine the way we deliver both our proprietary and partner offerings, we believe the academy will soon become the most reputable and valued source for growing one’s knowledge base and advancing one’s career.”

New and Expanded Programming

Earlier this year, MPI began launching new education programs and has more planned in the coming months – most of which are eligible for clock hours and are designed for both planners and suppliers. Recently launched programs include the following and the latter two were offered as pre-conference sessions prior to WEC 2015.

Meeting Essentials – Designed for novice and mid-level professionals, this program will help participants enhance their skills and competencies. The courses cover fundamental knowledge needed to execute and deliver high-quality, relevant meetings, and are recommended in preparation for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) exam.

Sustainable Meeting Professional Certificate (SMPC) – This intensive certificate course provides education, tools and applicable instruction to immediately begin practicing sustainable meeting planning. It is built around learning and using the Sustainable Meeting Planning Program® (SMPP®), which is the only sustainable meeting planning tool independently certified by iCompli Sustainability, a division of BPA Worldwide, the premier sustainable meeting planning audit firm in the U.S. for ISO 20121 and APEX/ASTM compliance. MPI delivers the program in partnership with Avila Government Services, Inc.

Meetings and Events at Sea Certificate – Presented in partnership with the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), the certificate course explores the advantages of hosting events on cruise ships compared to traditional venues. This interactive session highlights which types of meetings or events should be conducted onboard as well as provides valuable cost comparisons.

New programs slated for release later this year include the following:

Experiential Event Series – MPI is partnering with high-profile events in key areas such as sports, entertainment, culinary and mega-events to provide unique, intimate education experiences, including behind the scenes tours and discussions. These programs will include certificates in areas like event production and sports event management. The first two events include the production of the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City this September and the Epcot Food & Wine Festival in Orlando in November.

Sustainable Practitioner Certificate (SPC) – The SPC Program is an interactive training session designed for individuals wishing to focus on sustainability within the meeting and event industry and covers the basics of sustainability, how to create a sustainability policy, measurement, reporting and more. MPI is partnering with Positive Impact, a UK-based not-for-profit corporation, to deliver the courses. Class dates will be published online soon.

Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) Refresher – Launching in October, this webinar has been developed to keep MPI’s HMCC recipients abreast of constantly changing healthcare meeting compliance regulations, cross-border compliance, and other healthcare trends. It is endorsed by Saint Louis University and is required every two years to maintain the HMCC and related seal of endorsement.

CMP-Healthcare Certification (CMP-HC) Boot Camp – This MPI training is intended for meeting professionals working within the life sciences sector and will commence in Fall 2015. It serves as a comprehensive, study preparation course for the CMP Healthcare Certification exam and will utilize an instructional design program that includes an implementation guide, instructor notes, participant workbook and an app.

For more information about the MPI Academy and its suite of educational offerings including the new MPI Professional Development Roadmap, visit



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MPI Launches Destination Finder for US & Canada Destinations


Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has partnered with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) in an effort to help MPI members and non-members with sourcing locations for meetings and events. MPI recently incorporated the Destination Finder tool, powered by DMAI’s, into its website. Through the web portal, meeting professionals can quickly research and compare destinations as well as get connected to contacts at destination marketing organizations – also known as convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) – representing destinations, hotels and convention facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“MPI strives to help our members be more successful in their careers and to enhance the value that they provide to their customers,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “Destination Finder, powered by, is a great example of the type of value-added resource that MPI members have access to.”’s Destination Finder offers extensive information on destinations and CVBs, including details on meeting facilities, CVB services, news, promotions and maps of hotels and venues. Meeting planners can also use the tool to submit questions directly to CVB sales professionals serving a particular market, and send specific meeting requests and RFPs to one or multiple destinations – all for free.

“The robust database enables me to specify properties to receive my request for proposal and I receive timely responses from both the CVBs associated with the program and hotels contacted on my behalf,” said Terrie Rickard, co-founder of Voices of Advocacy. “I have found that I can rely on this tool for reaching new, as well as familiar destinations for all my program needs. saves me time, saves me from making several phone calls, and produces great results.”’s latest features include professionally curated news feeds from each destination incorporated directly into their profile page. The feeds keep meeting planners informed about recent renovations, new hotel or facilities development and other offerings specifically relevant to meeting planning.

“Destination sales professionals have had a long history of working with planners to find the right fit for any size meeting. The sales professionals’ unique position as a free resource with unparalleled local expertise, is a tremendous asset for any planner,” said Michael Gehrisch, President and CEO of DMAI. “The newly launched Destination Finder on MPI’s website is just one way of making that expertise widely available and integral to the success of meeting professionals worldwide.”

For more information and to use Destination Finder, visit


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MPI Names Michael Woody as its New COO


Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has announced the selection of industry veteran Michael Woody as its new chief operations officer (COO). In this role, Woody will lead the daily operations and marketing efforts of the association, ensuring the delivery of community-wide member value and brand consistency. He will officially begin the role on March 23, 2015, reporting to MPI president and CEO Paul Van Deventer.

Woody has more than 27 years of experience in the meeting and event, hospitality and tourism industries and is a current, active member of MPI. As COO, he will be responsible for the development and implementation of tactical business plans as well as management of MPI’s events, professional development, chapter business, marketing, communications, and European operations teams. In his current role, Woody serves as the assistant executive director for the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), the fourth largest budgeted bureau in the State of Texas with an annual operating budget of $24 million. He leads daily operations and oversees a team of more than 150 employees, providing direction, supervision and consultation for all CVB departments including comprehensive sales, marketing, sponsorships, public relations, advertising, festivals and events, convention center operations, and historic planning and preservation initiatives.

“We are very excited to have Michael join the MPI leadership team. He brings a unique blend of passion for MPI and our community, with broad experience across the hospitality and meeting and event industries, including hotels, F &B, publishing and DMOs,” said Van Deventer. “We believe Michael’s strategic planning experience with repositioning American Airlines’ publications and hands-on approach to promoting and differentiating the Grapevine CVB will be instrumental as we continue to grow our association.”

Over the course of his career, Woody has worked in sales, restaurant management, operations, marketing, communications and publishing. In addition to his role at the Grapevine CVB where he served from 1997-2005 and 2012-2015, he held senior leadership positions at American Airlines from 2005 to 2012 including director of art and editorial for the custom publishing and in-flight portfolios and ultimately as publisher of the in-flight portfolio of magazines which included American Way, Celebrated Living and American Airlines Nexos.

“It is indeed an honor to be joining Meeting Professionals International as the new COO. I have had the opportunity to gain tremendous insight over the recent months from many business unit leaders in the organization, the executive team and the board of directors as to where the opportunities are and how this position can help move the needle on so many fronts,” explains Woody. “My focus will be on the core strength of education and connecting planners and suppliers in unique and engaging ways that will increase membership, marketplace relevancy and the value proposition for all MPI members. The team is very passionate about their responsibilities, the organization and the future of MPI. This is an exciting opportunity and I am very anxious to get started!”

Woody is based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and is an active alumnus of The University of North Texas (UNT). He has served as a member of the UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality Management & Tourism Board of Governors since 2006 and is currently the board’s chairman. In addition, Woody has served as a guest lecturer for the university’s Hospitality Management & Tourism Department for the past 20 years. He also serves on the board of directors for both the Tarrant County Hotel Association and the Society of American Travel Writers, Central States Chapter.

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