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Getting to know MPItv host Tamra Gaines

By Blair Potter | Jun 23, 2024

This month, MPI debuted its reimagined MPItv video series, which explores the dynamic world of meetings and events through monthly themes (starting with skills).

MPItv, presented by Foster & Fathom and Grit Productions & Expositions, is hosted by Tamra Gaines, a 30-year meeting industry veteran. We caught up with her to discuss her background with the industry and MPI, why she’s excited about some of the important MPItv topics we’re featuring this year and what the industry needs most to be successful.

Tell us a little bit about your background with the meeting industry and MPI.

My hospitality career began three decades ago when Buster Corley hired me for the special events department at Dave & Buster’s in Houston. This opportunity allowed me, a small-town Texas girl, to expand my horizons while living and working in three different states. Returning to Texas, I continued my journey by selling space at the Texas Rangers’ ballpark, which rounded out my supplier experience. Transitioning to an independent planner, I ventured into corporate and association planning within the HR, financial and direct selling industries.

How does your industry and MPI experience play into your new role as MPItv host?

I’m incredibly proud of my 28-year membership with MPI. After moving back to Dallas in the late 1990s, I joined a committee, and over the years, I served on various committees and the chapter board, including a term as president. I’m a big believer in “buy MPI” and have created lifelong friendships and mentors through this association. As MPItv host, I aim to leverage my experience and dedication to our industry to represent our membership in a relatable and authentic way.

What do you hope viewers take away from watching the reimagined MPItv?

Our industry is rich with subject matter experts, and the experiences we create for others hold immense value. MPItv provides a platform to showcase these knowledge contributors, offering valuable insights and inspiration. My hope is that viewers find the content enriching and that it fosters professional growth and development.

Can you tell us about a particular theme we’re covering in 2024/2025 that you find especially important?

It’s challenging to choose just one theme from the fantastic lineup we have for 2024/2025, as each topic plays a crucial role in our growth and development. However, two themes I find particularly beneficial are safety and wellness. Through brief videos, featured articles in The Meeting Professional and highlights on the MPI podcast, members can gain valuable insights to better equip themselves in their roles.

What does the meeting industry need most right now in order to breed success?

Throughout my career, I’ve observed the industry’s pendulum swing between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. The unique challenges brought about by COVID-19 created a silo mentality, with planners and suppliers working independently to recover. To foster success, we need to focus on collaboration and open, candid conversations to understand each other’s challenges better. The spirit of our industry is resilient and with intentional effort, we can work together to produce effective solutions.



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Blair Potter

Blair Potter is director of media operations for MPI. He likes toys and collects cats (or is it the other way around?).