As I write this, I’m sitting in the Indiana Convention Center for MPI’s 2018 World Education Congress. What an amazing experience. My hometown is definitely putting on a good show for everyone, complete with perfect weather and a warm, Hoosier hospitality welcome!

This year, WEC introduced a new design concept with four separate villages: social, innovation, leadership and experiential. Attendees can choose from a variety of education sessions that range in length. Huddles and assemblies are held within the villages, while the longer workshops are in separate meeting spaces. Throughout the villages are suppliers and activities, making for a completely dynamic experience. You can listen to a speaker, connect with colleagues, snuggle with puppies, participate in a little CSR activity and pick up information on meeting destinations all in one huge space. The education sessions are covering very timely subjects, and I’m loving the event app with polls and social-media capabilities, as well as the pep rallies that keep the energy in the crowd up.

At today’s news conference, preliminary numbers were released along with news on MPI’s plans moving forward in 2018 and beyond:

  • 2,200 attendees are in attendance
  • Attendees are about 50% planners and 50% suppliers
  • 250 chapter leaders are in attendance
  • Individuals are here from 35 countries
  • 1,000 individuals are attending the conference online through MPI’s virtual pass
  • MPI is partnering with NYU for a survey on inclusivity, with the goal of creating a new inclusivity certificate program
  • MPI has published an essential guide to safety and security, which includes 400 best practices; it’s free for MPI members and $49 for nonmembers

Are you attending, as well? What has your experience been like?

Over a period of 13 years, Colorado Meetings + Events has hosted two “Best of” award celebrations at the Denver Art Museum (DAM). So it was fun to get back to the museum in January 2019 to hear about and see DAM’s $150 revitalization project underway and experience an exhibition that I’ve been hearing so much about.

 

U.S. News & World Report recently released its “Best Hotels” list for 2019 and 22 of BENCHMARK’s hotels and resorts were named to the list.

Highlighted honors includ three silver badge winners that placed in the top 30 percent of all ranked luxury hotels within a destination. They include Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando, Benchmark’s newest hotel, La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, and Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort in Curacao.

 

Denver-based Stonebridge Companies has acquired the 280-room Embassy Suites by Hilton New Orleans Convention Center hotel. As the property owner and operator, the acquisition marks Stonebridge Companies’ entrance into the New Orleans market.