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MPI-WEC & Globalization

Posted on August 13, 2007

By Eli Gorin, CMP

Well this week I have been given the opportunity once again to wow the world with my knowledge on Latin America as a destination for meetings.  However this week I want to change things up a little and vary the topics a little more.  Not just talk about the benefits of Latin America (which I will do at some point of course) but the issues which are affecting the Latin American region’s abilities to see growth with other markets and what we as planners can do to help.

As you can tell from the title of this first post, it’s important to start thinking big and then narrowing the thoughts down.  I haven’t gotten a chance to write on any of the email lists in regards to my experiences at MPI-WEC just yet because I returned late last night, no thanks in part to “weather delays” from a week’s vacation (yes, I said v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n) in Cancun with my whole family… and that’s a whole other story for another day.

This was my third time attending MPI-WEC and the show was very good for me.  I heard some mixed reviews from people on their experiences with the sessions and/or other small details, but overall I found what I needed and did what I needed to do.  Part of that was presenting the first ever session on Meeting Management in Latin America.  Other planners have presented on the topic of international meetings (including Judith Miller who I finally got to meet and adore), but this was the first time Latin America was given its own session and I thank MPI for letting me do this.  I had a decent turnout… about 40 people or so… I think mostly due in part to Rohit Talwar having to turn away about 200 people from his Future Trends session (thanks Rohit!).  While it wasn’t a packed house it was a start.  Little by little you have to work your way up… which is why I commend MPI on their globalization efforts.  I had the opportunity to meet Bruce MacMillan at WEC, along with Angie Pfieffer, and had a moment to discuss the global expansion and how wonderful it is.  However…

Has anyone else noticed that the global expansion just goes further and further east?  What about our neighbors to the south?  We have excellent options in countries which are not far from major hubs in the United States (which you would have learned about had you attended my session at WEC), and offer amazingly affordable options (like $3/pp all day coffee service in a fantastic hotel in Panama… again, something you would have learned had you attended my session). 

I am making it part of my mission to slowly and surely teach people about the wonders of the region.  I am going to do my best to educate the members and leadership of these great meetings organizations on the vast options that are being ignored.  The major issue Latin America faces is one of perception.  I want to hear from you… the planners… who have these “negative” perceptions of Latin America about what I can do to ease your fears and open your minds.  Hopefully if enough of you learn the enormous opportunities that await you in Latin America the big dogs will listen… and possibly even act to make Latin America the next major destination for meetings and events


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