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 Duniway Portland is launching Vinyl Record Suites to celebrate Record Store Day, an annual celebration of independently owned record stores, on April 13.

These rooms will feature U-turn audio record players with classic records, including The Duniway's Top Five Collections Cases featuring playlists from Ted Wheeler, mayor of Portland, The Duniway General Manager Ryan Kunzer, Jackrabbit's head chef Chris Cosentino and many more.

 

Seattle and King Country recently released results for Visit Seattle’s 2019 Annual Meeting. 2018 saw record visitor volume, expenditures, tax contributions and travel-related employment for Seattle and King County for the ninth year in a row.

 

BENCHMARK, a global hospitality company, will be expanding its presence in the Pacific Northwest to operate the newly-announced Avenue Bellevue InterContinental Hotel.