All this month, The Edge will carry advance and onsite coverage of MPI’s 2010 World Education Congress, July 24-27, 2010 in Vancouver. Posts are linked to an online community produced for MPI by Fusion Productions in partnership with The Conference Publishers, Clever Zebra, and master of ceremonies Glenn Thayer. Join the discussion today!
At any hour of any day, at meeting facilities around the world, thousands of meeting professionals are bringing millions of participants together to change their world.
The job is filled with challenges, and regular readers of this blog can list many of the megatrends that are reshaping our industry. But in tough times, it’s that much more important to define the powerful, everyday value that meetings and meeting professionals deliver.
That’s the thinking behind MPI’s plan for this year’s World Education Congress (WEC). At the 2009 WEC, MPI introduced a theme—When We Meet, We Change the World—that captured the value of meetings in a world torn by war, economic downturn, and environmental crisis. The program highlighted face-to-face meetings that changed the world for thousands or millions of people.
This year’s WEC brings a very big, important message home to the meetings we manage and supply every day. Working on behalf of MPI, the production team behind the WEC general sessions is inviting live and virtual participants to share their stories of meetings that have made a difference.
Stories like the participant from Wales who attended an international lung cancer conference in San Francisco last year. “I’m interested in the sessions that focus on the patient experience,” he said.
But “the other thing that’s great is the opportunity to meet professional colleagues and exchange ideas. It’s usually from this kind of networking and exchange and meeting of the minds that the next clinical trial is born.”
Or there’s the impact of a meeting like Digital Now, the annual think tank that Fusion Productions and the Disney Institute organize for 250 association CEOs. “The result? Association leaders who are enabled to go back to their organizations ready to implement new tools, strategies, and relationships, creating some rather impressive (and quantifiable!) results.”
One Digital Now participant saves his organization US$70,000 to $80,000 per year with the knowledge he gains onsite. Another association learned about technology that enabled it to track more than 700 legislative measures of interest to its members.
Sometimes, a meeting’s impact is felt within the meetings industry itself. “When we met, we brought more than 30 cultures together to create ISO 20121, an international standard for event sustainability,” wrote Fiona Pelham, managing director of Sustainable Events Ltd. in Manchester, UK.
These stories, and dozens more, will animate the discussion around MPI’s World Education Congress, both onsite and online. Watch this space for stories and case studies as the onsite dates approach.