MPI MeetDifferent – VAP Day 1

Day ONE of Coverage – Sunday, February 21

Yesterday was a big day for MPI’s MeetDifferent 2010 in Cancun, MX.  And I attended virtually via MPI’s Virtual Access Pass (VAP) that was available to its members for free; a great bonus for those who cannot attend in person. MPI’s VAP option has been received with mixed reviews from both members and non-members; the argument for free versus a charge for viewing.  I won’t spend time on that issue – I am a member and I was happy it was free.  It’s a perk of being a member. The only major thing I was disappointed about was that there were not enough video presentations available!

There were of course, bumps along the road.  Technology doesn’t come without some technical issues! The great thing I’ve found about MPI is their customer service.  As soon as any technical issues arose, the team was on it.

A few issues included:

  1. I use a MAC – but I couldn’t use Firefox to view the video/audio presentations.  Firefox is my preferred browser – and video/audio should have been made available to all browsers across all platforms.
  2. No power point presentation sync.  The virtual audience couldn’t see the power point presentations being displayed, and if they were in the background – the screen was so bright white it was impossible to see what was displayed.
  3. Speakers need a little more coaching to engage the Virtual Audience.
  4. No video coverage of the Iron Chef Lunch Competition.  Okay – so that’s not terrible.  But I would have loved to have seen it!

Overall, the best part of the VAP – was that I could really be involved.  I was “there”, just not in the room!  I had great interaction with both the live and virtual audiences through Twitter.  I connected with new professionals, like Michael McCurry (@michaelmccurry) who I had been following, but had not until yesterday “spoken” with him!

But how did MPI decide which sessions would be video or audio only? I have put that question to MPI already via @MPITheresa, MPI’s Manager of Strategic Communications. FYI – she’s great and I’m sure I will hear from her soon. I was disappointed that a favorite speaker, James Spellos, CMP – was not available in video.  His presentations are so interactive that audio only is impossible to follow. Was a there a survey? In my opinion, the more interactive the sessions, the more valuable those sessions would be as video. Audio is really hard to stay focused on.

The Twitterverse made its complaints known – and offered up that sponsorships could have “paid” for the live video coverage.  I cannot speak for MPI – I am not privy to what they did or didn’t do when it comes to video coverage.  There’s a budget to consider, manpower, time, etc.  But there is always rooms for improvement!

Favorite presentations

So I participated in Creating Personal Presence: Thinking on Your Feet in the C-Suite with speaker Dianna Booher of Booher Consultants, Inc.  She was great.  I was thoroughly impressed with her presentation style and advice.  I would love to receive her presence tips – but I couldn’t see the power point presentation with the email address…

Another favorite video presentation was Hybrid Meetings, with Midori Connolly, CEO of Pulse Staging & Events, Inc. (@GreenA_V).  She rocked this presentation.  And the virtual audience was able to be involved, just as much as the live audience.  With Tech Moderator, Glenn Thayer (The Voice of Meetings & Events) (@glennthayer) who filtered through the Twitter Feed (#hm10) and spoke on our behalf with questions.  It went a long way to show how beneficial speaker coaching and a tech moderator could be for live video and its virtual audience.

I’m really looking forward to today’s presentations, in particular Lead Different!  Want to participate?  Visit MPI’s website at to activate your Virtual Access Pass!  Thank you MPI for the option to attend virtually!


3 thoughts on “MPI MeetDifferent – VAP Day 1

    • Glenn –

      It gave me a whole new perspective to participate virtually – as we move forward, I’m sure MPI will be taking the lead when it comes to Hybrid Events! Thanks for being such a great Emcee and Tech Moderator for MeetDifferent this year.


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