Photo Credit: MPI

In all, more than 1,800 meeting professionals attended WEC, counting both in-person attendees and those who participated digitally in the 25th edition of MPI’s signature education event as business meetings and events are gearing up for a much-needed restart.

The ability to gather in-person in Las Vegas, accelerated by the state and Clark County allowing businesses to operate at full capacity and with no COVID-19 restrictions, fueled a frenzy of activity, energy and enthusiasm, witnessed by many attendees confident enough to not wear masks and not social distance. Hugs and handshakes were seen throughout the conference as well as respect for those who preferred space or who chose to wear a mask.

“The world learned what it is like to live without face-to-face interactions. And the world did not like it.”

“This has been a fantastic week full of great content and experiences,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “It has been a greatly anticipated time to reconnect, shake hands, hug and celebrate the reopening of our world. And while in many ways it has been an emotional week and I will leave Vegas totally exhausted, I will also walk away exhilarated, inspired and optimistic.”

“Last year, the world was given an invaluable lesson about our industry. Granted, it was a painful and costly lesson, but the world learned what it is like to live without face-to-face interactions. And the world did not like it. The value of face-to-face meetings has never been clearer. And the desire to gather in person has never been stronger.”

paul_van_deventer

WEC would not only mark a social milestone, but the conference also offered high-octane education and networking aligning with the theme, “Make Your Future.” A powerful lineup of keynotes included Rich Bracken on emotional intelligence; Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work, on trends in the workplace; an appearance from the comedy and magic team Penn & Teller; and a highly anticipated appearance from entertainer Usher.

The music legend and eight-time Grammy Award winner who has taken up residence at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace did not disappoint. While he did not perform, his insightful comments on the value of relationships, the importance of passion and purpose and the power of the human connection resonated with attendees.

mpi_wec_vegas
Photo Credit: MPI

Off the main stage, education centered around four learning pathways—technology, business strategy, meeting design and professional development—along with topical issues such as human trafficking and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Many of the education sessions provided clock hours applicable toward CMP or CMP recertification. All sessions were reviewed by the Events Industry Council and WEC was approved for 13 eligible clock hours for in-person attendees, with access to up to 50 hours of approved education on demand after the conference.

For those who could not attend WEC in person, the Digital Experience was filled with unique education, a daily broadcast and a Digital Business Exchange (Hosted Buyer) program. Nearly 600 meeting professionals registered for the digital experience.

MPI’s Hosted Buyer Program, in its 12th edition, was redesigned to offer participants more than traditional appointments by experiencing WEC Vegas like a true VIP with engaging and interactive networking activities to deepen business relationships. The program brought together 255 participants, resulting in more than 1,500 appointments. WEC’s networking opportunities were equally impressive, with an opening celebration at the new Allegiant Stadium, the President’s Dinner honouring outgoing volunteer chapter leaders and industry icon Terri Breining at the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and a closing night celebration and MPI Foundation Rendezvous party at the new pool deck at the Venetian Resort.

WEC was the first major event inside CAESARS FORUM, the 550,000-square-foot conference center that was supposed to have a grand opening in March 2020. The event offered the opportunity to finally showcase the conference center, which features 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and the two largest pillarless ballrooms in the world (each more than 110,000 square feet).

mpi_wec_vegas
Photo Credit: MPI

MPI WEC 2022

The 2022 World Education Congress, June 21-23, will be held in San Francisco, which last hosted the event in 2015. “San Francisco is thrilled and honoured to host MPI WEC,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel. “Next year will mark a historic milestone, MPI’s 50th anniversary, and we are truly excited to showcase the City by the Bay to you all once again.”

Find out more about MPI’s WEC here