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August 14, 2008

David Kliman:Opening General Session notes

The president of The Kliman Group and former MPI president reports direct from the MPI World Education Congress in Las Vegas, exclusively for MEETINGS:review.

Your Future is Showing
is the theme of MPI’s 2008 World Education Congress and here in Las Vegas that could not be more true.

While the Olympics are taking place in Beijing, 4,467 meeting industry professionals from 33 countries have gathered in the Nevada desert for education, networking and the chance to experience firsthand the latest and most interesting concepts, products, conversations and people in our business.

People, planet and profit are cornerstones of the United Nations Global Compact signed last year by MPI and those three words are defining this gathering.

MPI’s commitment to being a true global business community is evident in the Opening General Session. Speakers included Dr Geoff Dixon, the UK-based futurist who challenged the audience to inject emotion into meetings by producing and serving events with real passion.

He talked about redesigning meeting content by dispensing with old school bland passionless presentations and focus instead on issues that connect to peoples’ hearts and minds. Good advice indeed; and some events can really help change the world. Dixon spoke about a recent event in Mali during which 2.5 million anti-malaria bed nets were distributed in sub-Saharan Africa.

Hitting the beat: Drum Café entertains the MPI delegates

Speaking of Africa, the General Session closed with Drum Café, a group founded in Johannesburg in 1996, which infuses music and human connections. While the Olympics opened with the amazing spectacle of 2,008 synchronized drummers, MPI closed their Opening General Session with more than 4,000 attendees beating African drums (each placed under their chairs) lead by a group of musicians who rocked the massive ballroom at Mandalay Bay.

Your Vegas is Showing is this destination’s new tag line and it is indeed. Each MPI attendee brings their own history and story to this meeting. In a remarkable manner, Las Vegas creates a unique tribal experience, which transcends borders, cultures and languages.

In this Wikipedia world, those human connections are building the future of this business. Like the athletes of the world gathered in Beijing for the Olympic Games the 4,467 meeting industry professionals gathered in Las Vegas are designing and creating a very compelling future.

This is David Kliman from Day One at MPI WEC

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