The ROI of My Experience at EMEC

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The ROI of My Experience at EMEC

By Mariska Kesteloo | Jan 6, 2020

Last year I attended the EMEC in The Hague, it was for me the best conference I ever attended. A moment I will never forget! Not only on a personal level, just returned from the US and moved back after 15 years to my home country, the Netherlands, also on a professional level, it was a turning point in my career.

What is EMEC?

EMEC is the yearly conference organised by MPI, Meeting Professionals International. MPI is the international association for everyone who is involved in meetings & events, if you are an event planner, meeting planner but also for suppliers, hotels destinations, press, students and many more. EMEC stands for European Meetings & Events Conference. This conference rotates every year in Europe and this past year, 2019, it was in my home country, the Netherlands.

Why Was this Conference So Special?

This was not a normal conference, the set-up, the structure, the timing (Sunday morning off!) a candy bar on your chair in the coach in case you were a bit hungry after a long day returning to your hotel. Every detail, every step, was extremely well thought and executed by MPI Netherlands, the organising committee. Do you know that EMEC was nominated for several international awards?

What Did I Get Out of the Conference?

I understand more than anyone that joining a conference is a huge investment, especially as a small start-up owner. You turn every penny around. Therefore you are very carefully in every step you make, especially about huge investments like attending a conference. And of course I doubted to attend.

As I just returned from the US I found EMEC an excellent occasion to reconnect and meet new people in Europe.
As I just returned from the US I found EMEC an excellent occasion to reconnect and meet new people in Europe. I can honestly say, it was the best decision ever. And I’m not saying this because I'm a fan of MPI, and I have been a board member for several years. Not every EMEC conference was as fantastic as the last one, I have to be honest :-).

One of the focus points was networking and therefore they used every time another venue or location. Therefore you came in touch with so many different people, which was fantastic and inspiring. As a lady chatting in the toilets, playing an escape room together with 400 people, visiting the zoo and learning about ape management, it was so diverse. In total they used more than 20 (!!) venues and locations, isn’t that stunning?

But now, what did I get out of the conference? Due to the fact that I met Director of a Dutch association, I will organise a workshop for their members in March 2020 (confirmed). I met the sales manager of an international hotel chain, where I’m still in touch to start with a campaign late 2020. But the most important person I met was David Thompson, at that time the new Event Director of IBTM in Barcelona. 

We met each other in front of a food truck on the first day in the Louwman museum and we started talking. He was very curious about my company, my start-up and he just kept asking questions, he even apologized as a real polite Englishman, but I like to talk about my passion so it didn’t matter. We talked for almost an hour and we kept in touch and continued the conversation after the conference, started the collaboration and signed the agreement with Reed Exhibitions.

Now I realize that that specific moment in front of that food truck was so important for me and my business. We are now more than a month after IBTM and we created a fantastic collaboration which will be extended. The exposure before, during and after the show was amazing and not only for me but also for the entire community of international influencers (content-creators). It gave us and the community more trust, confidence, exposure, awareness and last but not least business. I have received more leads, international speaking opportunities and workshops.  And now I see the turning point in my company, isn’t that fantastic?

So if they ask me, will you attend EMEC in Sevilla? Yes, of course I will be there!



Mariska Kesteloo
Mariska Kesteloo

Mariska Kesteloo is the founder of Word of MICE, a public speaker and a past president of the MPI Belgium Chapter. Her company connects the MICE industry with the right social media influencer to tell the story of the suppliers in an authentic, creative and fun way within the right target audience.