RISE: MPI New Jersey Chapter, Innovative Educational Programming

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RISE: MPI New Jersey Chapter, Innovative Educational Programming

By Michael Pinchera | Jun 13, 2023

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The MPI New Jersey Chapter has committed the past five years to rebuilding and re-establishing itself as the premier place for industry professionals to receive top-notch education in the region. Their education committee’s efforts toward this goal culminated in the launch of the MPI New Jersey Meetings, Events, Education, Travel and Sales (MEETS) Conference.

In planning the MEETS conference, the chapter encountered many of the same issues facing the entire meeting and event industry. To overcome these challenges, the committee employed innovative tactics, starting with a robust marketing effort and a brand-new co-op partnership. This partnership attracted attendance and support from other member organizations, including local chapters representing PCMA, ILEA and more.

The MPI New Jersey Chapter also created an innovative sponsorship program, marketing guide and public relations plan to attract attention and raise awareness. The 2022 MEETS Conference ultimately exceeded its goals and will likely become a signature event for the chapter.

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Can you share some of the ingredients for the “secret sauce” that helps a chapter succeed? 

Corrine Statia-Thomas, chapter president: Not being afraid to do something that has not been done before and taking measured risks. Having a board that is intentionally working well together toward the theme and goals of the chapter. Working with other local chapters and external associations around promoting each other’s events and programs to build a true community within the industry in our region.

Were there any “ah ha” moments or lessons learned in the past year that you’d like to share regarding your chapter’s approach to chapter events and/or education?

As a board, we committed to being intentional about going for it by making an investment in our MEETS conference as we were coming out of the pandemic. We planned the 2022 MEETS conference with the hope of breaking even, but we found that sponsors and attendees were eager for a local conference with great networking and education which resulted in an uber-successful, profitable event. We learned that making the investment to offer our members something great, can end up setting the chapter up for success in the future as well.

How do you sustain success knowing good leaders will leave following their terms?

By putting in place policies and procedures that really relay “This is how we do it,” which is helpful for the next set of leaders. We focus on succession planning in a way that allows us to not panic when one term ends.

What tips would you give to other MPI chapters?

Don’t be afraid to just go for it and try something new that might take your members by surprise and end up being a win for the chapter. Work to develop relationships with other chapters and associations. This will help expand your reach, attract new attendees and members and strengthen the local industry.



Michael Pinchera

Michael Pinchera, MPI's managing editor, is an award-winning writer and editor as well as a speaker, technologist and contributor to business, academic and pop culture publications since 1997.