A Little WEC11 Love

I’m leaving on a jet plane for #WEC11 (World Education Congress) in less than four weeks! Where has the time gone?  When #WEC10 was over, I thought woefully that I have to wait a WHOLE year before the next one.  Somehow the whole year flew by, and now I have to start planning how to fill my precious few days in Orlando.  With only two days left for early registration, I wanted to share eight reasons (in no particular order) why I love attending WEC!

Education & Professional Development
That’s the biggest draw for me, the education that MPI provides during WEC is probably some of the best education and professional development opportunities around, in my humble opinion that is!  This year MPI seems to be stepping it up another notch, with the rallying cry “Get Smarter“; a more hands on, less talk focus.  Attendees will have access to over 100 educational sessions – my mind spins, as I know I won’t have time for them all.

Events & Networking
To name a few… The Big Deal, Rendezvous, Open and Closing Receptions, Offsite Insights, Puppy Cuddling, Chapter Receptions, Golf Tournament, Rise Awards…and the list seems to go on. Sleep is overrated during this conference!

Location
This year WEC will be held in sunny Orlando, FL, probably one of the easiest places for those on the east coast to access and with the prices on plane tickets going up every day – it’s much more cost effective!

Technology
I LOVE Technology. I love checking out all the new shiny toys, tablets, smart phones, applications, tools, etc.  This year MPI has created the HIVE! The HIVE is the new gathering spot, located in the Global Village, for showcasing the latest in event technology. It’s the ultimate show-and-tell stage in which a tech-savvy concierge staff of digital and social media experts shares the latest tech tools and wizardry.

Leadership
Attending WEC gives you that edge; the edge you can take home with you, use as a Chapter Leader on the MPI Board and use within your own company.  It gives you that boost within your career, takes you up a notch as a professional.  I feel more empowered, a stronger leader, a more prepared professional.  I come away with new resources to make my job easier, ideas to help inspire others and feel more confident!

Inspiration
Every time I attend WEC, I leave feeling inspired and rejuvenated. I have new ideas and my creative juices are flowing.  Attending WEC pumps new energy into the meeting professional world!

No More Tradeshow (Now MarketSquare and Blitz!)
I do appreciate the tradeshow, but I don’t love tradeshows, especially not two days worth of wandering somewhat aimlessly around the tradeshow floor.  Nevertheless, there will be time for supplier to market themselves on the MarketSquare and with Blitz!  MarketSquare is a permanent fixture throughout the entire conference, where suppliers can meet with clients, have a representative talk to attendees or simply gain brand exposure. On top of Market Square, there will also be Blitz! This new addition to WEC is set to provide an additional way to give companies the visibility at WEC, with a designated spot for the evening in the progressive reception; no longer a search-and-find adventure for buyers.

Friends
I would be remiss not to mention all the friends you make while attending this conference.  It just amazes me the number of people you meet from all over world, who I now consider not just colleagues, but my friends.  Connections are made and kept; I always look forward to attending so we can meet up again!

Now, why do YOU want to attend #WEC11?

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H1N1 Webinars – Important Info for Meeting Professionals

This information isn’t from me personally, but I thought it was rather important and should be posted as much as possible within the event professional community.  Please read below:

Free MPI Webinar Series on H1N1 for MPI Members

Responding to the needs of our member community, MPI has launched a 3-part webinar series on H1N1 pandemic. This is FREE for all members; non-members can attend for $40 USD.

This comprehensive program provides vital information on the H1N1 pandemic specifically in the context of the meeting and events industry. It begins this Friday, November 6, 2009. Please see the schedule below. We encourage you to attend as many of the webinars as you can.  You can sign up by visiting MPI’s website at: http://www.mpiweb.org/Education/WebinarSeries/Home.aspx

Friday, November 6, 2009
11:00 a.m. CST
The H1N1 Flu Pandemic: What Meeting Professionals Need to Know
Dr. Jonathan Spero

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
11:00 a.m. CST
Be Prepared, Not Panicked (Or Complacent): A Swine Flu Update
Dennis Petroskey

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
11:00 a.m. CST
Getting your H1N1 Preparedness Plan to the C-level
Julia Silvers

More information about – MPI Knowledge Exchange – Webinars

Whether you’re ready to move up the career ladder, trying to better position your business, or simply looking for strategies to get your ideas heard, MPI Knowledge Exchange – Webinars empower meeting and business event professionals to take action on their big ideas.

Expert speakers, weekly programs, and affordable pricing make MPI Knowledge Exchange Webinars a cost effective, time-saving alternative for those with hectic schedules and restricted budgets. Create your own curriculum and take advantage of flexible purchasing options that include all sessions in one track, the whole series of sessions and even FREE sessions.

The MPI Knowledge Exchange Webinars will be one hour long and held on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. CST beginning November 4, 2009 and concluding in June 2010.

Member Rates

  • Single session webinars: $25.00
  • Special H1N1 series: FREE
  • Purchase four (4) webinars: $75.00
  • Purchase eight (8) webinars: $150.00
  • Purchase twelve (12) webinars: $225.00
  • Purchase sixteen (16) webinars: $300.00
(Non-Members are welcome to participate, see website for additional costs)

Immediately after you register for the selected webinar(s), you will receive a confirmation payment receipt from MPI. Before the day of your webinar(s), you will receive detailed instructions from our third-party provider on how to log onto the webinar.

Review the schedule online and make reservations early to attend the MPI Knowledge Exchange Webinars for 2009 – 2010.

http://www.mpiweb.org/Education/WebinarSeries/Home.aspx

Leave the Suit at Home – Solidifying Relationships on the Greens

What’s the value of a golf tournament these days?

Over the summer and into the fall there seemed to be a lot of chatter about the value of holding a golf tournament.  Is the investment on a so called “perk” worth the cost?  Will your attendees be provided valuable networking opportunities?

This year, as for the past nine years, I handled all the logistics for my association’s annual golf tournament, which raises money for my organization’s political purposes.

Overall, we’ve only had a couple of low years (mostly due to rain), but for the most part turnout and return on investment has been worthwhile.  Interestingly, even with all the economy woes and company cut-backs, our 9th annual tournament in September had the highest turnout to date.  Our members and their peers still wanted to play – they needed to network!

I look at it this way, the economy might be bad – and there may be cut-backs, but professionals in any industry still need to network with their peers to find those contacts that will either boost their current situation or help launch them into a new career path.  As an association, we cannot deprive them of this opportunity.  Golf, although considered a “perk”, gives the members of my association an excuse to leave the suit at home for a day and connect with new industry colleagues and solidify existing relationships. (see M&C Mag for more)

Let’s not forget though, that golf tournament is not a cheap venture.  If your company or association wants to delve into this type of venture, they should carefully consider the costs.  Many golf tournaments are used for fundraising purposes; therefore, you must weigh the costs to hold the tournament and the amount to charge your attendees.  Some locations can charge up to $145 (or more) per person – and that’s just for a round of golf. Don’t forget you need to feed your golfers!  Our tournament starts with lunch, then a round of golf, and ends with a cocktail reception and dinner!  It adds up!

Keep an eye on your expenses and work closely with the golf club’s meeting planner – and you can have a successful tournament that keeps your attendees coming back year after year.

Where do I hold my tournament? Saratoga National Golf Club, Saratoga Springs, NY.  Beautiful location and great people to work with.  If you are from the area, you should definitely check them out.  They are willing to work within your budget and will find a way to make it happen!