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?

Walla Walla’s iconic Abeja Winery and Inn will be accepting wedding and event bookings for the first time in 2019. The venue offers five distinct indoor and outdoor venues and can accommodate groups of up to 250 guests.

 

The Hoxton, Portland officially opened its doors on November 12. The much anticipated opening was the second U.S location for the Hoxton brand. The Hoxton, based in London is planning two additional openings in the United States later in 2019—The Hoxton Chicago and The Hoxton Downtown L.A. The Hoxton Portland, located in historic Old Town Chinatown in a building dating back to 1906, features 119 rooms and three restaurants including a cocktail bar.

 

The Rose Hotel Chicago O’Hare, Tapestry Collection by Hilton officially opened this holiday season on November 15 while honoring veteran Elizabeth O’Byrne in conjunction with Veterans Day. O’Byrne and her family received the first guest special experience at the hotel’s grand opening event.