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April 30, 2008
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MPI European conference proves major success




The first ever European Meetings & Events Conference, the largest pan-European educational conference for meetings and events professionals, which took place recently at ExCeL in London, attracted record numbers, with just under 600 attendees, representing 34 countries.

The conference was the first event in the UK to implement and reach the BS8901 Sustainable Standard with both phase 1 and 2 completed. Phase 1, the planning stage, included developing sustainability objectives and educating suppliers. The implementation stage, phase 2, included a sustainable team on site monitoring and measuring usage of water, electricity and food waste. What’s more, over 24 hours of volunteering was given to the local community through a volunteer project at Newham Farm.

Together with Belgium-based company CLIMACT, MPI was also committed to reducing the climate impact of the London conference with the offsetting of delegate travel miles. CLIMACT calculated that the event would generate around 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and will offset for a quarter of that impact.

“At this re-imagined conference, co-created by MPI, we have identified what meeting professionals need to be successful today and tomorrow to form the basis for the design and delivery of the conference,” said Bruce MacMillan, MPI president and chief executive, commented. “We were delighted with the numbers of international attendees and their enthusiasm to develop their skills relating to topics as diverse as creativity, strategy, change, innovation, vision, leadership, return on investment and risk assessment.

“London, the host city, is amazing and seems to be able to reinvent itself endlessly. Delegates were able to discover the full potential of the East part of London, including the host venue ExCeL which did an outstanding job providing us with modern facilities, excellent food and extremely professional staff, and allowed us to achieve our sustainability objectives. Evening networking opportunities showed the modern aspect of the city, with Rendezvous Europe taking place at indigo2 at The O2, while the closing night Gala Event took place in the stunning historical setting of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College.”

Commenting on the successful event, David Hornby, commercial director of Visit London, said: “What a fantastic weekend for London to showcase its potential to this extremely important audience. From the use of Oyster for transport all around the city to venues like the O2 and the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, this has been an overwhelming success. Our partners and sponsors have worked extremely hard to deliver a true experience in the capital that will not be forgotten. A highlight for me was Marc Almond with Jools Holland and his Orchestra giving us an intimate rendition of the 1980’s classic Tainted Love. We are already getting requests for events from delegates as we say goodbye.”

Meanwhile, talking from a venue perspective, Vanessa Cotton, managing director, Conference and Events Division, for ExCeL, added: "It was a real privilege to be showcasing London's eastside and ExCeL to such a prestigious delegate list. We've already had some really positive feedback from many of the delegates in terms of the venue, event production and social itinerary; as well as the work we did towards the sustainability of the event. We're looking forward to welcoming many of them back as friends when they next bring their events to London."

In 2009, MPI will bring its European Meetings and Events Conference to Italy, in the northern city of Torino. The event will take place in the famous Lingotto Conference Centre, one of the most striking conference centers in Italy, both futuristic and stylish. It is a great modern structure designed especially for conventions and has 12 conference rooms ranging in size from 50 to 2,090 seats.

For more information, visit www.mpiweb.org


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