by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2015
PI's Paul Van Deventer
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At Meeting Professionals International's World Education Congress, held in San Francisco Aug. 1-4, a number of new initiatives were unveiled aimed at furthering the careers of the organization's 18,500 members.

Now up and running, the MPI Academy is an umbrella organization for all of the organization's educational opportunities. The content, for all levels, aligns with the Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards, which measure the professional level a planner has reached in her or his career. Members also now have access to the new MPI Professional Development Roadmap to help them steer their paths.

The organization's new Experiential Series is for senior meeting professionals who want to explore new areas of the planning process. It provides behind-the-scenes opportunities to dive into categories like food and wine, sports, entertainment and large events. The first event to host participants will be the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City this month (learn more here).

For high-level planners who work on large or experiential events, MPI is launching the Corporate Summit, to share practices on current issues such as businesses in the sharing economy. One objective of this effort is to reach a new type of member. "These are not planners, these are marketers," said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of Dallas-based MPI.

Coming next year: more help for chapter leaders and a new membership structure.  "Currently, you pay one price for membership, and you get all you want," said Van Deventer. "We're looking at the model and will be coming out with something next year."