As I write this, I’m sitting in the Indiana Convention Center for MPI’s 2018 World Education Congress. What an amazing experience. My hometown is definitely putting on a good show for everyone, complete with perfect weather and a warm, Hoosier hospitality welcome!

This year, WEC introduced a new design concept with four separate villages: social, innovation, leadership and experiential. Attendees can choose from a variety of education sessions that range in length. Huddles and assemblies are held within the villages, while the longer workshops are in separate meeting spaces. Throughout the villages are suppliers and activities, making for a completely dynamic experience. You can listen to a speaker, connect with colleagues, snuggle with puppies, participate in a little CSR activity and pick up information on meeting destinations all in one huge space. The education sessions are covering very timely subjects, and I’m loving the event app with polls and social-media capabilities, as well as the pep rallies that keep the energy in the crowd up.

At today’s news conference, preliminary numbers were released along with news on MPI’s plans moving forward in 2018 and beyond:

  • 2,200 attendees are in attendance
  • Attendees are about 50% planners and 50% suppliers
  • 250 chapter leaders are in attendance
  • Individuals are here from 35 countries
  • 1,000 individuals are attending the conference online through MPI’s virtual pass
  • MPI is partnering with NYU for a survey on inclusivity, with the goal of creating a new inclusivity certificate program
  • MPI has published an essential guide to safety and security, which includes 400 best practices; it’s free for MPI members and $49 for nonmembers

Are you attending, as well? What has your experience been like?

Have you let your favorite vendor, event planner or venue know how much you appreciate them by voting for them in Northwest Meetings + Events Best of 2018 readers’ choice awards? No? Well, what are you waiting for? Show them some well-deserved love!

 

One of my first official duties as editor of Northwest Meetings + Events waaaaaaaaay back when was serving as a judge for the Emerald City Applause Awards. I remember being incredibly impressed by all of the talent in our region. I still am. Come celebrate that ingenuity at the (nearly sold out) 2018 Emerald City Applause Awards (ECAAs). Guests are encouraged to dress in accordance with the event’s theme: Seas the Night.

 

You’ll soon have another venue option when you’re looking to get away for a business retreat in Washington. Choice Hotels International, Inc. has signed an agreement with Sound West Group to develop a Cambria hotel in Bremerton, Washington. The five-story, 121-room hotel will be part of a mixed-use waterfront development on Marina Square, adjacent to the Bremerton Marina and the Kitsap Conference Center.