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?

The Independent Lodging Congress (ILC) has announced the finalists for the 2018 INDIE Awards and voting for award winners has now opened to the public. 

 

Under the management of Spire Hospitality, Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle-North/Lynwood introduced a completely renovated property. The 240-suite Embassy Suites reveals two-room suites modernized with a sophisticated design, new facilities for guests to experience, and a redesigned meeting area for events. “This renovation has been a rewarding journey,” says Rachel Blake, general manager, Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle-North/ Lynwood.

 

Food trucks may be mobile, but they aren’t going anywhere, since their popularity only seems to grow with each season. A New Jersey hotel is getting in on the fun! Along with over 18,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, Embassy Suites by Hilton in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, offers the Grain & Cane “Gastro Truck” as a fun option for a mid-meeting break or post-event dining option.