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NEXT '19 Covers Hot Industry Topics

By: Heather Warthen, H1 Marketing & Events | Mar 19, 2019


Attendees of MPI-CAC’s annual NEXT ‘19 conference spent March 6 networking with fellow industry professionals as well as attending education sessions highlighting emotional intelligence, diversity and inclusion, safety and security as well as building business relationships and sales management. This year’s conference was held at Loyola University Chicago’s Lake Shore Campus.

Prior to the morning’s general session on Discover Your Memory Power led by Tom Weber of ITA Group, attendees were treated to two motivational messages from the venue’s staff – Loyola University Chicago women’s basketball head coach Kate Achter and Sister Jean Schmidt.

Sporting her famous maroon-and-gold striped scarf, Sister Jean, the lovable nun who made headlines during Loyola University’s NCAA March Madness tournament run in 2018, spoke to attendees and encouraged them to enjoy the day of education.
“This is going to be such an enriching experience for you first of all, because, you’re leaders,” she said. “Secondly, there’s so much talent in this room that it’s probably bursting at the seams right now. 

“ ... Take back whatever you can and adjust it to your own institution.”

Breakout sessions included an in-depth panel featuring Alex Hernandez, director of security at the United Center, and Kareem Harris, director of security and operational risk at The Peninsula Chicago. The panel was moderated by Barb Harris, CSEP, DMCP, vice president of event services for CTC Destination Management.

Hernandez said in the security world, they are working with event planners very closely and noted there has been a change in incorporating crisis management into events.
“Some of the conversations have definitely changed over the years,” he said. “Before, meeting with event planners it was aesthetics, BEOs, things like that.  Now we’re discussing ... Where’s the evacuation routes? How is transportation? What’s the security like? What’s the screening process for your guests? What are we checking for? What are we not? Where do I meet with the meeting planner? When are we going to discuss and who’s going to handle what task? 

“I think having that all prepared beforehand ... even if its a synopsis or a one-sheeter that goes out to everybody, creating those are very helpful.”

In the afternoon, speaker Dan Markin, of The Dan Markin Company, presented “Strategic Meeting Alignment: The Art and Science of Designing and Executing High-Impact Business Meetings.” He spoke about having a “mission critical” statement, or what defines success, in one sentence or less and the importance of having everyone on that same page.

“Everyone has to know what is mission critical - from the person at the top all the way to the person that’s carrying out the catering - what is it that we are trying to do?” he said during his presentation. 

The day closed out with Weber presenting “Using Your Memory in the Real World – Learn the habits and routines that will help you achieve peak performance.”
Edward Fox Photography also provided free corporate headshots throughout the day.
Additionally, Tourism Vancouver, who is MPI-CAC’s Charitable Giving Annual Partner, organized a collection for attendees to bring items to donate to The Birthday Party Project.

The next educational event through MPI-CAC is Industry Xchange, which takes place on Thursday, April 4. For more information, visit www.mpiweb.org/chapters/chicago-area.

About the Author: Warthen is Chief Events Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for 22nd Century Media, an award- winning media company specializing in hyperlocal content in Chicagoland. Hired as its first employee in 2005, she is a former award-winning journalist and photographer who now manages the planning, logistics, marketing and executing of more than a dozen community events and expos. She is co-chair for the MPI-CAC Marketing & Communications Committee.




Heather Warthen, H1 Marketing & Events
H1 Marketing & Events

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