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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Facebook, Twitter and the Meeting Professional

You mean to say I can use these social media tools for business?  They aren’t just random status updates?  Wait!  There are customizable privacy settings?  It’s true!  As a meeting professional, I have begun to use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for very professional reasons.  There really are benefits to using social media platforms in the working world, it doesn’t just have to be for friends and family anymore.  Read more about privacy settings for Facebook here on April Broussard’s blog “Speakin’ Up.  April is a great speaker on social media!

My most recent social media push has been encouraging my local Meeting Professional International (MPI) Chapter Northeastern New York (NENY) to use Twitter and Facebook (even LinkedIn).  Unfortunately, it’s still difficult to turn their “status update only” perspective of social media into a viable marketing tool perspective.

Heeding advice from a Social Media session at the June 2009 Chapter Leadership Conference (#clc09) in Fort Worth, Texas, I decided to run with it and appointed myself the official Twitter and Facebook Admin for the Chapter.  (This is also the session that encouraged me to open my own Twitter account.)

So what is all the fuss about? What is MPI NENY gaining from my decision?  It is my ultimate goal to reach members and non-members alike involved in the meetings industry who may ignore the million emails they receive each day and see that this particular Chapter is viable and current!

Facebook – MPI NENY’s fan page allows me to post the entire event with a link to register, separate from the emailed invite. It’s becoming quite evident that messages are being lost in the email shuffle or just blocked as spam.  This is one more way we can reach our current membership and potential leads and drive people to our new website! (http://www.mpineny.org)  You can become a fan by searching for our chapter: MPI Northeastern New York when you login to Facebook.

Twitter – (@vlaclair / @mpineny) Benefits of this social media tool are member promotion, event dates, site locations, press announcements, changes to membership/board, leads, etc. in 140 words or less.  Quick and concise! Need I say more?

MPI NENY can and will get noticed by using the social media tools available today, reaching a new audience of suppliers and planners alike, who use social media to search for and participate in upcoming events.

What are YOU doing to get noticed?