You must be crazy! Or maybe not… It's Volunteer Week!

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You must be crazy! Or maybe not… It's Volunteer Week!

By Robbert Weddepohl | Apr 18, 2022

You must be crazy to spend so much free time in an association as a volunteer. What does it bring you and why not use your free time to relax and do things you enjoy? Work is just work?

Is that your approach? Do you really think that mindset will get you further or do you think it's okay? I call that being extrinsically motivated.

No, all kidding aside. That doesn't apply to you. As a true Meeting and Event Professional you know where the bear can find the honey. You know the trends and developments and you know what is going on in the market, with your clients, your peers and even your competitors.

How cool is it, from an intrinsic motivation, to hang out with like-minded people and to be inspired about the things that happen that have to do with our profession. To gain knowledge and inspiration from industry peers and if you don't know, ask anyone in the world who might know the answer.

My biggest challenge has always been to keep up, to be part of the business, not from the outside but from the inside. The biggest challenge is to raise the bar for yourself as well. Sometimes you can jump over that bar and sometimes you have to crawl under the bar. But what is that bar? Is that bar determined by your own framework of thinking or by a broader perspective?

My motivation to join MPI had to do with an intrinsic desire to be part of the industry I work in and to be able to set the bar at the highest possible position. Connecting with like-minded colleagues, but also with (potential) clients. In addition, knowing what is going on, being aware of trends and developments. That's how it started, but later I noticed that I wanted to contribute to the developments and position in society of the meeting and event industry. Contribute to the opportunity to enthuse people and starters on the labor market for the profession, to be a thought leader and to be able to do business based on knowledge and inspiration. This responsibility goes beyond your day-to-day duties as a manager or director.

At a time when we are dealing with an ever-changing trend when it comes to meetings and events, it is important to make clear together as an industry how important it is to come together. When we, as Meeting- Eventprofs hang out together we can make the significance of our industry clear. As MPI we do that, in the countries/states from the chapters but also on a global level we make a difference. MPI is the industry voice and creates positive impact and offers tools to develop and emphasize the relevance of getting together.

This year MPI celebrates its 50th anniversary and the relevance of MPI is still growing. From the academy to the online forums and connection with all members worldwide, the association offers you the tools to continuously develop. The events from the country/state chapters, but certainly also the international events, are excellent moments to bring your network to life and to build connections and gain inspiration that you can apply directly in your work and day to day life. The European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) and the World Education Congress (WEC) are signature events that are rock solid after 50 years.

Are you hesitant to join MPI or do you want to voluntarily contribute to the success of MPI and thereby increase your own relevance in the industry? I advise you to consider what you want to achieve. What does it bring you? Would you like to develop your experience, gain knowledge and inspiration, but above all contribute to the growth of meetings and events? Then I advise you to become an active member and to be involved as a volunteer. It can help you in your personal growth, but you also make a difference and show that your involvement goes beyond your day to day job. And that gives you a competitive advantage, but above all it gives you energy!

A personal advice from me to you as it helped me a lot: Think big; for everything you achieve in thinking big will always be greater than if you had thought small. However, do start walking and only run if you can walk.

I am proud to work for Stage Entertainment as Group Venue Director; the  leading theatre production company and owner and operator of 16 world class theatres in major show/entertainment cities of Europe. From Hamburg to Paris and from Milan to Madrid. We are the largest provider of live entertainment in Europe. Our theaters offer the opportunity to offer an immersive experience to your and our guest. My experience and network at MPI helps me develop the business and link meetings and events to an experience.

Oh yeah and… at Stage Entertainment we say Touching Hearts, Creating Memories. Feel free to contact me if you want to organize a cool event in Europe… Because Business Exchange is also one of the pillars at MPI!



Robbert Weddepohl
Robbert Weddepohl

Robbert Weddepohl is Group Venue Director, Stage Entertainment B.V. and past president of MPI Netherlands 2017-2019. As a current member of the MPI International Board of Directors, he serves as board liaison for MPI's European Advisory Council.