SPIN Changes Name, Now Accepts Supplier Members

The Senior Planners Industry Network has changed its name to the Senior Professionals Industry Network.

The organization -- which will continue to be called by the same acronym, SPIN -- was established in 2008 to provide education and networking for senior-level meeting planners. Supplier partners previously were not allowed to be members. Under the new model, however, both planners and suppliers can join SPIN. To join, the suppliers must have at least 10 years of industry experience, and the organization said it will cap supplier numbers at 33 percent of the overall membership -- the lowest ratio in the industry, it says.

"We've had a 33 percent supplier ratio at our annual conference, SPINCon, since its inception, and it's been a great environment for both sides," said SPIN founder Shawna Suckow (above). "We're looking forward to our membership reflecting the great environment -- and participant ratio -- we've built at SPINCon over the years."

SPIN started as a LinkedIn group and now has nearly 3,000 planner members across North America.

"Our strict planner focus has resulted in some really one-sided conversations and education," said Carolyn Browning, the group's vice president of communications. "It's time for us to evolve and bridge the gap, to be the place where the industry's most experienced professionals meet, connect and change the industry for the better."

Although the group will now admit suppliers, SPIN maintains that its online community will be a strict "no-selling" environment.

"We want to keep the focus on connections and conversations that build relationships, not just transactions," concluded Tracey Smith, contract meeting manager for American Express Meetings & Events and a member of the SPIN Advisory Board. "Any of our supplier partners who've been to SPINCon know that the vibe within SPIN is really special, and we all want to protect that. SPIN is the place to foster real relationships."