Special Events

Association Update

MPI World Education Conference

The World Education Congress, an annual networking and professional development conference hosted by Meeting Professionals International, celebrated its 30th anniversary in July by attracting the largest number of attendees in its history.

A total of 3,421 meeting planners and suppliers gathered at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas for a weekend of networking, workshops and entertainment. “We had 1,100 new members and first-time attendees, and the initial results from our evaluations are that we far exceeded our attendees' expectations — both planners and also suppliers,” MPI president and CEO Ed Griffin said.

Another highlight of the weekend was MeetingPlace 2001, MPI's trade show, which featured almost 600 booths. “There was a dramatic increase in the amount of business that was done on the trade show floor,” Griffin noted. “I think that if we are about anything, it's making sure that business networking takes place at MPI events, and that certainly occurred in Las Vegas.”

CONTACT: MPI, 4455 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1200, Dallas, TX 75244-5903; 972/702-3000; www.mpiweb.org.

NACE in Palm Springs

More than 700 catering and event professionals gathered in July at the Westin Mission Hills Resort in Palm Springs, Calif., for the 2001 NACE Educational Conference.

Celebrity restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, who served as opening speaker, inspired industry professionals with his personal success stories and video clips, which offered a behind-the-scenes look at the Academy and Emmy awards dinners. At the closing session, Dan Clark, contributing author to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, spoke about adhering to the commitments we make in life with a presentation entitled “Go Beyond the Map.”

Other highlights included a wide range of specialty-specific educational programs and social events, including the closing night awards gala. “We have placed education in the forefront of our efforts,” Jerry Edwards, NACE president, said. “We have many projects in the works that will raise the level of professionalism and the career opportunities of the catering and event planning industry.” He added that NACE members are looking forward to next year's event in Charleston, S.C.

CONTACT: NACE, 5565 Sterrett Place, Suite 328, Columbia, MD 21044; 410/997-9055; www.nace.net.

OF NOTE

The International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show has redesigned its Web site to improve navigation and expand online offerings. Exhibitors now have online access to the IH/M&RS set-up manual, marketing manual and directory listing form, as well as other forms for show services, equipment rentals and exhibitor badges, though they will also continue to receive forms and information through the mail. Christian Falkenberg, show manager, George Little Management, 10 Bank St., White Plains, NY 10606-1954; 914/421-3296; www.ihmrs.com.

The Association of Bridal Consultants has announced that its membership has reached 2,500. According to president Gerard J. Monaghan, ABC has grown 47 percent in the last year and a half. He attributes the growth to “increased awareness of the role of wedding consultants and to the professionalism of the association and its members.” ABC, 200 Chestnutland Road, New Milford, CT 06776-2521; 860/355-0464; www.bridalassn.com.

This year's Las Vegas International Hotel & Restaurant Show attracted a record 341 exhibitors and 3,019 buyers to the Las Vegas Convention Center, according to show management. Among the more than 200 new suppliers were Smith & Hawken, Hoshizaki Western and Winston Industries. For information on LVIH&RS, contact George Little Management, 10 Bank St., White Plains, NY 10606-1954; 914/421-3296; www.lvihrs.com.

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