MPI Searching for New Chief
Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International, has resigned after a six-year stint. A search committee has been formed to find a successor. Cindy D’Aoust, MPI’s COO, will lead the association’s Dallas-based headquarters as interim chief of staff.
Kind words were offered by all parties. “Bruce has been a visionary catalyst guiding the organization through a time of intense economic challenges – all while helping to bring to life MPI’s strategic plans for robust growth and innovative, rich content and program,” said Sebastien Tondeur, MPI International Chairman.
“No industry organization anywhere harvests its members’ passion like MPI does,” MacMillan said. “And that’s because MPI is not just about one partner, or one group of chapters or even its volunteer committees. MPI is about all of these, but most importantly it’s about the collective commitment to the success of the individual member.”
“It’s fine for keynote speeches to be long. People just don’t want sucky keynotes. It’s not about the length; it’s about the speaker. You can’t go by the title or influence of the speaker. It’s the quality.” – Rohit Bhargava, author of Likeonomics
PCMA Study: What Do Millennials Want?
The PCMA Education Foundation released a report that delves into the meetings perspective of the Millennial generation for the purpose of identifying key motivations and challenges in engaging this emerging audience. What the Milliennial Generation Prefers in Their Meetings, Conventions and Events is based on the findings of the largest survey of its kind (more than 2,000 respondents aged 18-30). Some takeaways:
• 86% of respondents indicated that career networking is one of the primary drivers for participating in meetings, events and conventions.
• 93% of respondents want education with entertainment.
• 86% of respondents want structured meetings and conferences.
• More than 50% of respondents do not prefer LinkedIn, Twitter or blogs for communication.
• Less than 50% of respondents like lectures.
BVOM Toolkit Ready
MPI and the MPI Foundation, along with its partner AIBTM, the exhibition company, have released the Business Value of Meetings Toolkit. The toolkit arms planners with a range of resources for measuring, understanding and communicating the effectiveness of meetings including articles, how-to guides, webinars, workbooks, tutorials and videos.
"Research reveals a staggering need to determine the business value of meetings," said Bill Voegeli, president of Association Insights, who conducted MPI's research. "Fewer than 1% of meetings currently measure value. That means the rationale for meetings can more frequently be called into question. The BVOM Toolkit provides planners with the resources needed to understand how meetings and events are providing value for organizations."
Banquet Meals Like Restaurant Meals…
Four Seasons Hotel Seattle has created Next Level Dining, which offers a restaurant atmosphere in its meeting rooms. The hotel makes that happen through menu choice, décor and ambiance that mirror its actual restaurants. Next Level Dining features restaurant-style ordering and seating. Attendees choose from a la carte menus and orders are taken tableside. Table décor creates the feeling of dining in a restaurant and not a banquet room. Four Seasons is hoping groups will stay in the hotel and not head off to nearby restaurants. “Instead of gathering the group to go to another location, they can have dinner at Four Seasons, saving time and money,” said Kerry Sear, executive chef,
…And Meetings Like Buffets Meals
“Most of the time we see promotion rather than marketing of an event. Planners just throw something out and hope it works. We try to be all things to all people – like a buffet. Sometimes that waters down the quality of the experience. If I had a choice between an all-you-can-eat buffet or a 4 or 5 star restaurant, I am going to the restaurant. When I go to the restaurant, they are targeting a specific market. The buffet is targeting anybody who will come. You have to know who you want to come.” – Jeff Hurt, EVP, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
Challenges For Gaylord
Buzz continues about Marriott’s acquisition of the Gaylord brand and management contracts for the four Gaylord properties – and not all of it is rosy. An article in The Tennessean in Nashville, Gaylord’s home base, pointed out that the company’s plan to convert to a real estate investment trust (REIT) and acquire meetings-oriented properties might not be easy. Gaylord’s leaders have said their REIT would seek hotels of 400-700 rooms with 75,000 to 125,000 square feet of meeting space – far smaller than existing Gaylord properties. Experts quoted in the article said such properties are in short supply and Gaylord will find stiff competition in acquiring them.