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Shifting to Digital: the MPI World Education Conference

If your annual education conference attracts only 20% of your members what are you doing for the other 80%? How do you create and deliver education for them? How do you bring your community together?

Meeting Professionals International is making some bold moves in 2011 to tackle some of these challenges. Have a look at what they are doing at their annual world education conference and let me know what you think.

Rolling Out the Hive

The Hive is designed to be the hub of digital buzz for MPI’s 2011 WEC (see sketch above). It’s a physical space in the global village. The Hive combines the cyber cafe, info desk, interview studio, device recharge point, twitter wall, social media aggregator, lounge and a stage (for quick tech lessons) all in one place. The idea is to give attendees multiple ways to connect to the people, content and ideas at WEC. Digital Rookies can connect with Digital Allstars. Groups can hold tweetups. It will be so much more than a cool place to recharge your phone and hangout.

Transforming MPI Website into a Virtual Hub

In another bold move, the MPI website will become a funnel for all social media during the conference. It will aggregate the tweets, photos, videos, blog posts, etc into a single place. In addition, sessions will be streamed live to the MPI website. Some content will be free and others will be available to members only. The rest will be uploaded into MPI’s on demand program. This is a major shift from 2009’s $300 virtual access pass experiment and a good evolution.

Crossing the Pond

The UK chapter (a large european chapter) is working on an initiative to run a parallel event. They will get UK members together and have a viewing party. Some of the sessions from Orlando will be streamed live to the UK chapter’s viewing headquarters. If this comes together – it will be a first for MPI and could open the doors for other viewing pods in other regions with heavy membership around the world.

Bottom Line

If 80% of your members are not attending your annual conference, consider other ways to connect them with the people, ideas and content from your event. Meeting Professionals International is shifting to digital with a multi-pronged approach.

What are you doing?

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sam: Thanks for the kudos on the HIVE. Team MPI is very excited to see this rolling out. Of course who knows if it would have come to life without the initial spark of ideas from members like yourself, Miguel Neves, and all the #eventprofs contributors that keep challenging associations to get better at hybrid integration.

    May 16, 2011
  2. Veleisa Patton #

    MPI focuses on bringing the value to their members, and WEC 2011 is one way that the professional development, business opportunities and networking converge in one arena. I’m excited to see the energy that will be present!

    May 16, 2011
  3. A lovely blog on how to connect with the non-attending attendees. I have seen numerous events in which hardly anyone is present. if technology can be used effectively to connect with such people, then most of the issues can be resolved very easily.

    July 5, 2012

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