MPI plans to debut an online community dedicated to LBGTQ+ industry professionals later this year.
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has announced that it plans to add a dedicated online community for LGBTQ+ meeting and event industry professionals this year to its MPI communities. The LGBTQ+ community will join MPI’s already established online communities for Black meeting professionals, administrative professionals, small business owners, association professionals, marketers and experience designers, meeting executives, medical meeting and healthcare professionals, women and those who work in finance and insurance.
The main goal of the community-to-be, as outlined in a recent MPI blog post Q&A with McVeigh Global Meetings and Events Vice President of Meeting Management Jonathan Foresythe, is “to create a safe and open forum for meeting professionals, where everyone feels accepted, loved and uplifted. We want members of MPI who identify as LGBTQ+ to be able to come to the community and feel comfortable talking about issues or give advice.” But with everyone so short-staffed and generally paddling frantically just to keep up the pace as in-person meetings and events come roaring back, Foresythe also said he appreciates that the time to join and contribute to the group may be tight right now, and hopes that things will settle out a bit by the time the group launches.
This isn’t the first effort MPI has made to embrace and support its LGBTQ+ members. MPI’s flagship event, the World Education Congress (WEC), has encouraged LGBTQ+ members to hold a social event while on site. Recently, it placed the event on its official agenda and opened attendance to all who wanted to participate, something Cory Fransway, CMM, Strategic Account Direct, Maritz Global Events called in a separate MPI blog post “an important moment of affirmation” that “reflected a pivotal alignment of the professional and deeply personal.” This new community is designed to be a year-round online place to continue creating, sustaining and celebrating those types of connections.
Though he also has a full plate, Foresythe said in the blog post that he is looking forward to helping launch and grow this new subset of MPI members. “I have been wanting to get involved with MPI and I just knew that this would be an excellent fit,” he told MPI. “I love working with the Community Advisory Board and partnering with the DEI Committee. I am excited to watch the community grow and see what all is in store down the road.”
He encourages those who are interested in learning more and potentially joining the new community when it launches on the MPI website to contact him via email.