by Sarah J.F. Braley | February 01, 2012

 About 340 people from about 30 countries converged on Budapest Jan. 29-31 for Meeting Professionals International's European Meetings and Events Conference. About 45 percent of participants were planners, and 55 percent suppliers and staff. The organization applied creative meeting design elements to the gathering, using a variety of seating options in the general sessions (round tables and couches) and offering some foods designed to stimulate thought and energy. "We chose speakers you probably haven’t seen before, and that was a conscious choice," said Bruce M. MacMillan, president and chief executive officer of MPI. "That seems to have been very well received. In fact, I hadn’t heard any of the speakers in Flashpoint session before yesterday." The organization also rolled out a new version of its website ( over the weekend, streamlining the look and attempting to further engage members as a community.