Supporting one another

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Supporting one another

By Paul Van Deventer | Sep 13, 2021

Our greatest value is realized when we work together. And while that has always been true in the very-human meeting and event industry, it’s more apt now than ever before and has been critical in guiding our industry through this crisis. That natural give-and-take collaborative planner/supplier dynamic is woven into the natural fabric of our industry, and the importance of working together to achieve daily and long-term goals must be underscored right now—this extends to all stakeholders within your business and events. Working together with one another, I encourage you to proceed with grace and patience; help each other out, especially for the duration of the pandemic. That open approach is essential for building upon existing relationships and creating new ones now and, as recovery continues, it’s also simply the right thing to do.

As noted last month by an important partner and ally, the U.S. Travel Association, our industry cannot afford to backslide because of the lasting effects of the pandemic. Although many industries are doing better now than during the turmoil of 2020, full recovery for meetings and events is lagging. Sometimes it may even feel as if the world is moving beyond our industry. Our industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and, unfortunately, it’s now apparent that we’ll also be one of the last to completely return. While there is no doubt that the next 12-18 months will continue to be difficult, as we face the hard, capital-t “Truth” that we have a long way to go, there are many positives on which to build.

“Our industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and, unfortunately, it’s now apparent that we’ll also be one of the last to completely return.”

Perhaps the most significant is that the world realized (or has been reminded of) the absolute need for face-to-face. Additionally, the efficacy of vaccines has been demonstrably impactful, while access and availability dramatically grow. We’re also seeing many business segments and market economies reawaken. And we continue to coalesce as an industry and professionals to support each other and lead our industry forward.

How can you embrace and support our industry and your colleagues right now? Get vaccinated and encourage your colleagues, friends, families and attendees to get vaccinated (84% of respondents to our latest Meetings Outlook survey identified as fully vaccinated—so you’ll be in good company). Reach out to your peers and get active on MPI Communities—our online forum that is all about people coming together, not just for best practices and creative ideas, but, as has been seen most recently, for human support. And in the near future, when and where safely permissible, attend in-person industry gatherings such as IMEX America.

This November, our valued partner the IMEX Group is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Las Vegas-based show. At that event, your association will also officially kick of its own 50th anniversary celebration. That’s right: Founded in 1972, MPI is about to enter its sixth decade of industry-leading education, advocacy and bringing together meeting and event professionals worldwide! I look forward to seeing many of you there in person to kick-off our celebration. Until then, please stay safe and get vaccinated, 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.