This section was written by Annette Gregg.
What is Meeting Professionals International?
Meeting Professionals International (MPI), headquartered in Dallas, Texas is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. Founded in 1972, MPI provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities, and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including 15,000 engaged members. It has nearly 70 chapters and clubs, with members in more than 70 countries worldwide. MPI is the voice of professionals around the world, advocating for the industry and its significant economic impact.
MPI’s mission is to connect the global meeting and event community to learn, innovate, collaborate, and advocate. Its vision is leading and empowering the meeting and event community to change the world. MPI is governed by an elected International Board of Directors that typically serve three-year terms.
MPI’s member categories include planner, supplier, faculty, and student. Upon joining, a member can choose which chapters to be assigned to. Chapter-level activity is where most member benefits can be realized, via chapter events and activities. Member demographics are approximately 70% women/30% men, with 21% who have worked in the meetings and event industry less than 10 years, 16% have been in the industry between 10-20 years, and 63% of MPI members have over 20 years of industry experience.
MPI encourages members to self-organize into communities based on professional and personal interests to enhance their careers, professional networks, and find personal support. Any MPI member can form and promote a new community using MPI Global’s online platform.
MPI communities with related volunteer opportunities:
- Global (MPI International Board of Directors, MPI Foundation Global Board of Trustees, and related committees and task forces)
- Regional (European Advisory Council, Canadian Advisory Council, Latin American Advisory Council, etc.)
- Local (MPI Chapters or Clubs, Community Advisory Boards)
Niche segments may be activated digitally or in-person on a global, regional, or local scale. MPI has identified its largest niches as core communities, which have dedicated volunteer leadership and developed community-specific resources and education. These core communities are:
- Administrative Professionals
- Association Professionals
- Financial & Insurance Professionals
- Independent & Small Business Owners
- Marketers & Experience Designers
- Meeting & Event Executives
- MPI-MD Medical & Healthcare Professionals
- MPI Women
Additional member-created niche communities include Students, Faculty, MPI Military Veterans, MPI Pride (LGTBQA+) and MPI J.E.D.I. (Justice. Equity. Diversity. Inclusion.).
Community leaders can convene community groups:
- In-person at MPI signature global, regional, chapter, or niche events
- Through digital event platforms
- Through online conversations & activities, on MPI Global’s community platform
The MPI Foundation is a helping hand that advances business causes and society by funding individual education scholarships, chapter grants, and industry research. It is governed by an elected Global Board of Trustees and led by an Executive Director.
Benefits of Joining
Joining a professional association is a way to connect to the larger community of practitioners in a specific industry. A meeting professional can find community through a regional chapter, a vertical community, the online forum, at an MPI event, or via volunteering. MPI, and other associations like it, form the thought leadership and advocacy that drive our industry forward.
Professional associations like MPI become a career community, providing growth opportunities through education, networking, volunteering, and business connections throughout the various stages of a career. Education provided through associations earns hours and credit toward industry certifications like the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), administered by the Events Industry Council or Certified Meeting Manager (CMM), administered by MPI . MPI and similar associations also offer job banks for professional opportunities, often for members-only.
Members have often described their MPI membership as their professional family. Chapter leaders and volunteers keep their membership twice as long as those that don’t get involved locally.
Some testimonials from chapter leaders and members:
"Being involved with MPI has opened the door to a wealth of knowledge and ideas by connecting me to industry visionaries."
"MPI helped me to grow as a professional and get recognized. It gave me and my business much more than I could have ever expected."
"I have really gotten a solid education through MPI. Through chapter events and MPI webinar content, we’re able to regularly network with other planners and suppliers to share and learn."
MPI is an association of about 50 full-time staff, headquartered in Dallas, TX. Departments within the association include events, education, chapters, marketing, sales, and membership. Besides actually working for MPI, someone could deepen their involvement as a member through chapter involvement, and volunteer for a Global task force or committee.