“We consider each of our events a laboratory of risk and experiment” 
Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
In three weeks your Meeting Professionals International (MPI) 2015 European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) will start. Why should meeting planners of European associations attend?
Each year EMEC showcases the latest in innovative and creative approaches to successful meeting and event management. Planners and suppliers who attend EMEC will learn the latest industry best practices, establish new contacts and gain insights and ideas. They will enhance their own professional development through the 50+ education sessions offered, and be inspired by our line-up of renowned keynote speakers, including Mike Walsh, a global thought leader, author and CEO, and Dr. Alan Watkins, a physician, neuroscientist and international expert on leadership and human performance.
The agenda is packed with pre-conference workshops, deep dives and campfire sessions, as well as a variety of networking opportunities. To learn more, visit our website. If you need help submitting a proposal for attending EMEC to your boss, check out our justification kits.
Participants look for innovative and interactive meeting formats. What do you have on offer in Kraków?
At MPI, we consider each of our events a laboratory of risk and experiment with new formats, technologies, etc., so our attendees can explore these elements for their own meetings and events. At the same time we also want to ensure we deliver strong, industry-leading education, thereby providing attendees with a well-balanced experience. Following are examples of the innovative, interactive features we’ll have at EMEC 2015.
+ Live Audience Interaction – With the help of Sendsteps, we are not only giving general session attendees an opportunity to join in on the discussion by sending in their questions and participating in polls, but we give them their very own sidekick – a second emcee that is the voice of the audience and who will ensure the voice of the audience is being heard.
+ Meeting Lab – During this session, attendees are the test subject and researcher as they take part in experiments and together interpret outcomes on ways to influence the behaviour of meeting participants.
+ Unset Sessions – Attendees can continue learning after the official conference hours. For example, we have the Meeting Menu Matchup session where convention centre and hotel chefs will “compete” in a reality-style cooking match/education session to showcase solutions to dietary challenges.
What do you think will be the two topics concerning meeting planners 2015 most?
The meeting planning process is being complicated by limited guest room availability, shorter lead times and continually increasing airfares on flights with fewer open seats. According to our most recent Meetings Outlook report (Fall 2014 edition), meeting planners are most concerned with rising costs – specifically in the areas of room rates, F&B and air travel.
Your MPI EMEC went 2014 to Istanbul and will go 2015 to Kraków. How do you choose the destination for your conference?
MPI works closely with our European volunteer leaders and our DMO partners to select destinations that are accessible, exciting and offering world-class facilities. For all of our signature events, MPI follows a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process which considers factors such as location benefits, meeting venue facilities, pricing, hotel offerings, destination accessibility, unique options and local support.
For those delegates who cannot join you in Poland. Can they participate remotely?
Most of the education sessions at EMEC 2015 will be recorded and made available for on-demand viewing on our website after the conference.
What are the main three challenges for Meeting Professionals International (MPI) these days?
With today’s ubiquitous access to data and information and the historic number of generations currently in the workforce, associations are under pressure to rethink membership value propositions and the delivery of content. MPI is currently undertaking a major strategic initiative to redefine our value propositions and how we deliver value and professional development to a diverse membership through our extensive chapter network, live events and remote learning environments.
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest global meeting and event association with 18,500 members belonging to 70 chapters and clubs worldwide. MPI provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges and acts as a voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. Its annual European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) will be held from 1 to 3 February 2015 at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre. w w w. mpiweb. org, w w w. mpiweb. org/emec2015