International industry association Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has announced that its 2021 European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) will be a virtual event that will immediately precede its main World Education Congress (WEC), a hybrid event that will take place 15-17 June at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas.
“Like most conferences during this pandemic, we’ve needed to stay nimble enough to adjust our plans to the circumstances,” said Annette Gregg, senior vice-president, experience for MPI.
There have been several versions of EMEC21: in person in Brighton (England), hybrid in Brighton, hybrid co-located during IMEX Frankfurt and now, fully digital. “We are fortunate to have a European community that understands the fluid nature of event planning,” Gregg added.
MPI has 12 European chapters and clubs and nearly 1,000 members in Europe.
“With countries at different stages of travel protocols, a digital experience will allow everyone to participate,” Gregg noted. “We’ve also lowered the cost because so many in our industry are still recovering. I look forward to the engagement and energy from a well-produced and fully accessible event for the region.”
Robbert Weddepohl, operational and commercial director for Van Der Valk international and chair of the MPI European Advisory Council (EAC), said EMEC, as the signature event for MPI in Europe, offered “a platform to connect, to get inspired, to gain knowledge of trends and developments and to keep up with your field—but also to be able to do international business and seek partnerships.”
Weddepohl said the EAC advised an emphasis on the ‘I’ of MPI and creating synergy between MPI Europe and MPI Global (including chapters) since the event is now linked with WEC.
Former MPI UK & Ireland Chapter president Paul Cook, writer, researcher, speaker and educator who specialises in virtual and hybrid events, will be producing EMEC 2021 and said he was looking forward to the challenge. “It’s a great responsibility and I am looking forward to bringing together a digital event that really helps MPI members succeed in their goals. There is a huge amount of change going on in the events sector and this event will help equip people with the skills they need. But at the same time it will also encourage them to think about what they want and what they can do for the sector. I am looking forward to working with the chapters, co-creating and collaborating as we go to deliver an outstanding EMEC Digital,” he said.