MPI announces new advanced-level education offerings and plans to develop more security and risk management programs

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has introduced several new education offerings from the MPI Academy as part of its new Executive Education Series, including the Women in Leadership Program and a designation program for the highly-regarded MPI Experiential Event Series. In addition, the association formally announced it is collaborating with the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at the University of Southern Mississippi to develop educational programming and resources, with the first course – Emergency Preparedness for Meetings and Events – debuting at MPI’s 2017 World Education Congress (WEC) in Las Vegas this week. This announcement was shared yesterday evening during the Opening General Session of WEC 2017.

MPI’s Executive Education Series is the association’s answer to providing more education for senior-level and executive meeting professionals. The programming is not only designed for individuals with executive-level experience in the industry, but also for mid-level professionals aspiring for leaderships positions.

“I cannot be more pleased with the progress we have made with MPI Academy since it launched two years ago. Our members tell us year after year that education is one of the most important benefits of their MPI membership so it is important we continue to strengthen our portfolio of offerings with fresh, relevant and timely courses,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “The average MPI member has between 10 to 20 years of experience and they have been seeking more immersive and insightful educational programs that are comparable to what they may experience in graduate school. We believe the MPI Executive Education Series will meet that need.”

Following are more details on the new MPI Academy offerings.

MPI Women in Leadership: Executive Leadership Skills Certificate Course

Developed in partnership with Marriott, this four-hour course examines why it is challenging for women to move into leadership positions and what they can do about it, and helps participants create a personal action plan to overcome some of the common career obstacles women face. It also helps participants identify additional resources available to women seeking leadership roles in the meeting and event industry and involves some pre-work and peer-to-peer mentoring. The course was soft-launched earlier this year and has five program dates scheduled for the remainder of the year in New York, Florida, Nevada and Texas.

MPI Experiential Event Series and the Experiential Event Professional Designation

These multi-day immersive educational experiences take meeting professionals behind the scenes of world-class events, such as the Venice Film Festival, SXSW and the Indianapolis 500. After completing 15-25 clock hours of experiential education, participants receive a certificate in one of four main areas of event design: Sports, Culinary, Entertainment or Mega-Event. Once they have earned a certificate in each of these four areas, they may apply to achieve the Experiential Event Professional (XEP) designation. Candidates have 12 months to develop a final business case and presentation demonstrating application of knowledge gained during the Experiential Event Series, and they have the option to present their final projects live at an MPI signature event or virtually, and receive live feedback from a panel of industry representatives and from their peers. After the review panel determines that all qualifications have been met, the candidate will receive the XEP designation.

Emergency Preparedness for Meetings and Events Certificate Course

This six-hour intensive certificate course takes a deep dive into incident management strategies as needed for the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from all-hazard emergency incidents. Learners will be introduced to techniques to prevent and respond to extraordinary crimes, violence, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and ordinary incidents such as fights, or drunkenness to ensure the safety and security of all attendees, limit damage and restore services in the event of emergencies. The course was developed in partnership with NCS4, which has a successful track record and proven methodology for creating safety and security best practices as well as strategic partnerships with security resources such as Interpol, the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. The MPI Academy will present the course in January 2018 during the SITE + MPI Global Forum in Rome. Additional program dates will be published online soon.

MPI also recently introduced a special instructor-led version of the Venue Sales Certificate Program, starting August 21 through October 2, 2017 (seven weeks), and will soon launch online versions of Meeting Essentials2 and Going Local, which is being created in partnership with developmental sponsor Mexico Tourism Board. The academy is also working in partnership with InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) to create e-learning modules of the Basics Bootcamp: Meeting Fundamentals certificate course launching in 2018. New webinars are available each week as well.

“The MPI Academy’s focus this year is on developing educational opportunities that will engage meeting professionals in meaningful ways, introduce them to innovative new ideas and help them advance in their careers,” said MPI Academy Director Kristi Casey Sanders, CMM, DES, HMCC. “Rather than spoon-feed participants what to think through lectures, each of these experiences include an element of peer-to-peer learning, time for reflection, group work and exercises to help participants apply what they’ve learned. It’s part of our strategy to provide advanced-level education that helps meeting professionals stay ahead of the curve.”

To learn more about the MPI Academy and these new education programs, visit

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