WEC – World Education Congress 2015
MPI – Meeting Professionals International is one of the most prestigious organizations in our industry and is committed to provide professional development opportunities and fostering networks, helding the annual WEC – World Education Congress — 4 days of educational sessions, bringing the best tools, vendors, latest trends, networking and business opportunities for it’s participantes.
This year, it was held in San Francisco between August, the1st and the 4th. A Brazilian delegation of MPI’s Brazil Chapter was there, and Juliane Farinazzo, a brazilian woman living in Canada planning events in the agribusiness segment, was part of the delegation. Today, she will share a report on her experiences as part of the Hosted buyer program.
I had the opportunity to attend WEC – World Education Congress 2015 as a Hosted Buyer and I am glad to be able to share some learning experience.The Hosted Buyer Program is a great networking tool for us planner to spend face to face time with vendors. I had to attend 17 meetings with vendors – which sounds a lot of meetings but they were totally worth.
The highlight of the meeting was learning further about Meetovation. Meetovation is a Danish meetings design concept developed by VisitDenmark in cooperation with Wonderful Copenhagen CVB the Danish meetings industry and local experts that focuses on optimizing the outcome of meetings by using selected meeting design elements.
The five Meetovation elements are:
- Focus on creative set-ups – use facilities in ways that supported theoverall aim for your meeting
- Get your attendees actively involved – engage, excite and encourage
- Get inspired by the local environment at your destination – embrace its uniqueness in your meeting
- Be responsible – make sustainable thinking a natural part of yourmeeting
- Benefit from the time and money invested in your meeting and increase your ROI
That session made me think in different ways to set up a breakout room to keep the audience active engaged.
The flash point session with Chip Conley – head of global hospitality and strategy for Airbnb was very good. He discussed how the evolving sharing economy is increasingly intersecting with the meeting and event industry.
I was suprised when he mentioned that around 20% of the 600,000 international travellers that came to Brazil for the World Cup used Airbnb.
The overall content of the sessions was aligned with the conference theme and i bring some takeaways from 31 Predictions for the Meeting and Event Industry:
- Networks at hotels and events will be a target for hackers.
- Event spaces will be more commoditized than ever.
- Food and beverage will be replaced by more efficient supplements and synthetic alternatives.
- Live events will be an important source of revenue for most companies.
- Face to Face interactions will be even more coveted.
- Create meeting space with inspiring furniture to encourage people to engage with each other.
- Incorporate the local enviroment to give your attendees an unique experience they’ll remember.
- Everything will be available on demand.
- There will be a subscription model for events. – Content will be crowdsourced.
- Collaboration is the new competition.
I liked the experiential activities that they added in the MarketSquare Area such as:
- CSR Mail Room – Area that you could assemble and decorate care packages for young patients at UCSF.
- Not-So-Silent Auction – MPI offers an incredible online auction, and we could bid using MPI’s Global Event App!
- Cuddle with a Puppy – Cuddling some cute dogs was great.
- Professional headshot
The Big Deal Event was an unique experience of high-rolling fun,entertainment and high stakes networking.
The decor of the party was stunning and very well done. There were candy stations including Godiva station.
I liked the idea that Freeman one of the main sponsors did with some guests: they invited a few planners ( I was one of them) to watch the second day of the general session on the backstage using headseats where we could listen everything that happen in the AV side to ensure the screen, telemprompter and music are all aligned. For sure a great experience to see what happens backstage of a big event production.
I highly recommend attend WEC if you are a planner or supplier. It is a great event to learn what is trend in the meeting industry, networking, collaboration and shared experience.