IACC, the only association to certify conference and meetings focused venues on a global basis, and Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the leading global association for meeting professionals, have announced a five-year global partnership for the mutual benefit of their members. The two associations will share event and learning platforms, including education delivered at annual conferences, regional events, and online as well as research initiatives.
In the last year IACC has delivered education at European and US MPI events, including more recently at the Southern California Chapter Conference and MPI Philadelphia Area Chapter Education Institute, and the two associations are exploring opportunities for additional MPI chapter events. In addition, MPI presented two workshops at the IACC-Americas Connect conference this week in Los Angeles.
IACC’s CEO Mark Cooper commented, “The leadership teams at MPI and IACC have been collaborating on several successful initiatives over the last two years and now seems the perfect time to bring all this great work together under one strategy to allow us to seize more opportunities and provide more for our respective members. Just as MPI is passionate about designing great meeting experiences, IACC is passionate about venues delivering an exceptional meetings experience. It’s the perfect marriage”.
One new project slated to roll out in 2017 will entail MPI conferences streamed live to IACC venues, where MPI members can come together, learn and experience valuable networking. The venues will all be IACC certified and capable of delivering a quality event with live streaming of content, supported by IACC member staff. MPI’s 2017 World Education Congress (WEC), which takes place June 19-22 in Las Vegas, will be the first conference featured.
“One of our top priorities at MPI is to continuously enrich our portfolio of professional development offerings and this collaboration with IACC will certainly help us deliver more value to our membership community,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “We are especially excited about the opportunity to live stream WEC to members that are unable to make it to the conference this year and in an environment that encompasses peer-to-peer engagement and networking.”
MPI will also take part in the next phase of the IACC Meeting Room of the Future™ research project, which aims to transform the meeting experience through a global collaboration of leaders in conference and meeting space design, technology, hospitality, delegate collaboration, experience and conference management. The first phase surveyed meeting planners including MPI planner members and was published in 2016, and the second phase will focus on the venue buyer community and look to draw parallels with the initial research.
The results will be unveiled at MPI’s WEC 2017 this June, with IACC conducting a Research Showcase at the conference. A full copy of the initial report and infographic can be downloaded from the IACC website here.
Alex Cabañas, IACC president and CEO of BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, comments, “This is the perfect project to use as an example of the power of the alliance, as it combines venue innovation and entrepreneurialism with the expertise of meeting industry professionals.
Education, education and more education
With IACC leading the field in representing the top one percent of small to mid-size meetings focused venues in 25 countries over four continents and MPI representing the largest community of meeting professionals worldwide, this alliance is a natural one and comes following many years of working together.
This is an era where the industry sees a significant increase in the number of part-time meeting planners, who with busy jobs look at professional development a little differently. IACC certified venues, which host smaller conferences and meetings, have a large number of part-time planners booking space and one objective of this alliance is to provide relevant education to this important group.
Additionally, IACC venues consist of many individual and small specialist conference group venues, which MPI and IACC will make more accessible via simple venue search tools on their respective websites.