MPI WEC 2017 - Stop Planning Meetings and Start Designing Experiences

I recently attended Meeting Professional International’s World Education Congress (MPI WEC) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The theme of the conference, “Stop planning meetings. Start designing experiences,” resonated with me and sparked my interest in a new methodology for planning meetings and corporate events. The conference was packed with influential speakers and diverse content that I would happily recommend to any meeting planner looking to hone their craft.

Start Designing Experiences

The opening general session in the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo was buzzing with the excitement of 2500 meeting planners ready to kick off WEC. We as meeting planners learned we are tasked with the job of designing an experience that is appealing and informative for an audience. How do we accomplish this? We must understand who our audience is before we dive into planning the details of any program. We must understand their needs, behaviors, and motivations, and address them in an exceptional manner that is truly authentic.

The building where we learned to start designing experiences!

Another important aspect of designing an experience is focused conversation and the ability to listen to what your audience, attendee, or client is telling you. You may also have to read between the lines and hear what is not being said. If you can articulate their needs and wants, you can open the key to designing an unforgettable experience for your guests.

The opening general session ended with Deepak Chopra as he reviewed the six keys to healing:

  1. Adequate Sleep
  2. Movement & Fitness
  3. Meditation to Relieve Stress
  4. Healthy Nutrition
  5. Positive Emotions
  6. Walking Barefoot on the Bare Earth

These keys to healing are beneficial for meeting planners (and anyone else for that matter) in building successful habits for our careers and lives in general. I think it is crucial as planners to keep these healing factors in mind while planning programs, such as incentive trips, to provide a positive experience for our attendees.

After general session had concluded, we headed to the Park to enjoy an interactive welcome reception at an outdoor venue. The Haiku Guys were an original entertainment option I had not experienced before. There were a sharply dressed man and woman with typewriters, typing out personalized haikus to guests. Guests were instructed to tell the Haiku Guys something about themselves (a fun fact, emotion, or even a secret) and the Haiku Guys would type up the haiku on their typewriter. It was truly an authentic experience and left guests with a small memento from the event.

Throughout the conference, I attended sessions covering topics from budget cost savings, food & beverage trends to event technical directing, creating an event design framework, and creating experiences our brains won’t soon forget. I am truly grateful for the experience to attend MPI WEC and recommend it for meeting planners hoping to expand their knowledge of the industry and stay on top of industry trends.

For more information on Brightspot and how we can help you design experiences, check out our Meeting & Events page!

Nicole Chattin

Author Nicole Chattin

Sr. Program Manager | Expertise is seeing the big picture of an event, focusing on the detailed execution and of course, follow-up.

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Michael Butler says:

    *LIKE* your point up front about understanding audience as a critical success factor to effective design and execution of meetings and incentives. Nice post and hope to get to a WEC event soon!

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