I spent last week in Las Vegas attending the MPI World Education Congress for the first time. It was a very solid experience. I have attended IAEE (which is heavily focused on tradeshow and exhibition professionals), PCMA (which is a hybrid of meeting planner and exhibition professionals), but MPI, being exclusively meeting and event professionals was a new audience and experience for me. Between IAEE and PCMA, I get to see an established group of industry people that I already know, so it was great to meet and network with new professionals.
The highlight of the conference for me was when MPI experienced a serious issue with one of their speakers. Magic Johnson was slated to be their luncheon speaker, and the day before his appearance, he cancelled. The team at MPI announced the change the evening before, and during the luncheon the next day, we were all eager to see what they had come up with.
Impressively, after a series of activities with chapter leaders, the MPI Team announced that we would get an up close and personal performance by the Jabbawockeez! I remember watching them on America’s Best Dance Crew, and they were awesome! Their performance was upbeat, fun, and incorporated a lot of technical elements. Such a fun, unexpected moment!
After the Jabbawockeez performance, they had a demonstration by the MGM Pastry chefs who showed the creation of a spectacular chocolate creation! As a Food Network junkie, getting to see this live was really cool. We collectively agreed that the luncheon presentations in lieu of Magic Johnson was very entertaining and some argued potentially better. It was a lot of fun!
The most impressive part of this luncheon was that we were invited to attend an educational “after-panel” where the team who handled the changes gave a full discussion of how they handled the crisis and worked through all of the possible solutions. It was an ingenious way of demonstrating how they worked through an issue that many event professionals would be overwhelmed by, and they turned it into an educational panel that was of great interest to their audience!
Great job MPI!