Coming together to build back better

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Coming together to build back better

By Paul Van Deventer | Jul 8, 2021

The people in this industry continue to astound me. Their strategic mindset combined with their resilience, zest for fostering face-to-face, human experiences. Their drive to innovate and overcome incredible challenges creatively. Their love of travel and appreciation that we’re all in this together. Their genuine care and heart.

And I’m so happy to say that I witnessed all of these attributes in person last month in Las Vegas, where over 1,800 professionals came together in-person and online for MPI’s World Education Congress (WEC) Vegas—the first major face-to-face meeting industry event this year.

WEC Vegas was an important step in the recovery of our industry. But as people get more comfortable with the changed business landscape and the pace of recovery, we all face a busy road ahead. Yet, this is an important path and mission. Our industry has the opportunity to not only build back our businesses better than before the pandemic, but we also have a platform from which we can affect positive change beyond meeting venue walls.

WEC San Francisco Lock in the lowest rate today.

Together, we will make a difference—not because we can, but because we must. By going beyond designing memorable and impactful events, we move to designing a better society.

Beyond the pandemic, of course, there are other important social and economic shifts taking place, from genuine inclusivity becoming more commonplace to new workplace and employment priorities for both companies and staff.

The modern workplace has been shaken, with so many people working remotely (many with no plans to return to a traditional centralized office). The hospitality workforce has been especially shaken—following massive layoffs and furloughs, re-hiring is ramping up but will require creative efforts and innovative thinking to attract workers in this never-before-seen employment landscape. As we rebuild and redesign our workforce, I challenge you to make space at the table for those who may look or think differently, by expanding who you recruit, hire and mentor.

We have all endured so much during this pandemic, but most importantly we survived while demonstrating our resiliency, creativity and courage as an industry and as a community. We also learned what it is like to live without face-to-face interactions and that our world did not like it! And now, as we relaunch the meeting and event industry, we all have the opportunity to step up and make a difference as we build our own future.

I’m proud of what you’re all doing to better the industry as well as society at large—and I’m excited to see how we all progress post-pandemic! Because when we meet, we change the world.

Paul Van Deventer
MPI President and CEO
Follow me on Twitter @MPICEOPaul



Paul Van Deventer
Paul Van Deventer
President & Chief Executive Officer at Meeting Professionals International

Paul Van Deventer joined the MPI Global Team in April 2013 as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, he leads the strategic direction of both MPI’s global association and the MPI Foundation, with responsibility for managing its global staff, operating budget, membership programs and community services.