International association Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has released the following statistics its main annual event – World Education Congress (WEC), which concluded 5 June in Indianapolis:
- Approximately 2,200 registered attendees, which is 13.6% fewer than WEC 2017 in Las Vegas, yet 10% more than WEC 2016 in Atlantic City and WEC 2014 in Minneapolis.
- Planner to supplier ratio was split about 50:50 with 49.6% planners and 50.4 percent suppliers.
- About 77% were MPI members; 240 attendees signed up to become new members prior to the event and nine members signed up on site.
- 39% of registrants were WEC first time attendees.
- There were 249 chapter leaders in attendance, thanks in part to the 2018 MPI Chapter Business Summit, which was held in conjunction with WEC this year.
- The mix of attendees represented 35 countries – with the majority being from the US (89%), followed by Canada (5%).
- The MPI Hosted Buyer Programme had 203 planners and 138 suppliers, who conducted 1,800 business appointments in two days.
- 158 suppliers exhibited throughout the WEC Villages.
- Eighty education sessions were delivered, allowing attendees to earn up to 11 clock hours.
- The MPI Foundation raised more than US$450,000, including contributions raised from Rendezvous, which had nearly 1,200 participants, and through the Text To Give Programme; funds will be invested towards scholarships and grants. In comparison, $340,000+ was raised during WEC 2017.
- MPI raised more than $250,000 from the President’s Dinner, which had 500 attendees and honoured chapter leaders, board members and the 2018 MPI Industry Leader Award recipient – Roger Dow, president and CEO of the US Travel Association; the funds will support the MPI Academy in developing fresh and innovative educational programs. At WEC 2017, $218,000+ was raised.
- 1,000 unique users registered for the WEC18 Virtual Pass Programme, which features select sessions from each day of the conference; 84% were planners and 59% were MPI members.
News announcements made at WEC included news of MPI partnering with Indiana University to enhance the CMM programme and of the association’s intention to publish a meeting planning safety and security guide this month. It will preview best practice examples.
MPI also honoured the 2018 RISE Awards recipients.
The MPI Chair Award was presented to Erin Scholes of the MPI San Diego Chapter.