Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) annual World Education Congress (WEC) 2018 ended with a closing celebration at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on June 5.
The Indianapolis event provided education and inspiration for meeting planners looking to discuss the latest trends, tips and issues that the meetings industry faces today. Here are three takeaways that seemed to create the most buzz at the event:
Engagement Is Crucial
A complete redesign of the event included all-new WEC “Villages” that brought education sessions to life in a more interactive environment for attendees. Using different themes such as “Experiential” “Leadership,” “Innovation” and “Social” planners could move between the different areas to participate in everything from trends in design to emergency-preparedness training to networking activities. Even Day 1 of the event started with a new approach to engagement in the form of the WEC welcome lounge situated at the Indianapolis airport. Upon arrival, attendees could stop by the lounge for refreshments and convenient event check-in.
Don’t Forget Diversity
Speakers from inside and outside the meetings industry brought a variety of topics to encourage planners think outside the box. A keynote on diversity by Farah Mohamed of the Malala Fund and G(irls)20 addressed one thing that’s top of mind for planners: inclusion. This year’s #MeToo movement brought up issues of sexual harassment in the industry as well as how meeting planners can cater to a more diverse meeting attendee audience.
Prep for Security & Human Trafficking
The meetings industry can play a huge role in ending human trafficking, and Michelle Guelbart, director of private sector engagement for ECPAT-USA, spoke on ways to help do just that in her presentation at the event. Other safety and security topics were important, with MPI announcing plans to publish “The Essential Guide to Safety and Security: Best Practices for Meeting and Event Planning 2018” at the end of this month. The guide will feature 400 best practices to help planners mitigate risk and develop sufficient safety and security plans.