Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization 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 more than 17,000 engaged members and the Plan Your Meetings non-traditional meeting planner audience. It has more than 90 chapters and clubs in 24 countries. For additional information or to join, visit www.mpiweb.org.
About the MPI Foundation
The Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation fuels the growth and advancement of MPI members by providing professional development and career opportunities through grants and scholarships. The not-for-profit organization also propels the meeting and event industry forward by funding important and quality research initiatives. For more information, visit www.mpiweb.org/foundation.
MPI Key Facts
- Founded in 1972
- More than 17,000 engaged MPI Members representing 71 countries
- More than 90 chapters and clubs in 24 countries
- 45 Chapters in the United States
- 7 Chapters in Canada
- 2 Chapters in Latin America
- 13 Chapters in Europe
- 2 Chapters in Asia
- 23 Student Clubs in North America
- More than $26 billion in global buying power
- More than $26 billion in global buying power
- 48,000 planner members exclusive to MPI have about $11.5 billion in buying power
The History of MPI St. Louis Area Chapter
MPI St. Louis was chartered on May 11, 1979. It all started when a few planners and suppliers who belonged to MPI decided there were enough people in St. Louis to make up a chapter. To be a chapter at that time, 15 members, at least eight of whom were suppliers, was required. An application was sent to MPI offices in Middletown, Ohio. Anyone who joined in the first year would be considered a charter member, and by May, 1980 there were 34 members. The chapter was chartered as the Mississippi Valley Chapter, but in 1980 the name was changed to St. Louis Area Chapter in order to define our geographical boundaries, which are eastern Missouri and Illinois from Springfield south.
In June 1983 MPI’s international conference was held in St. Louis with an attendance of 900-a record at the time. Super Sports event was a traditional “intramural” chapter activity at the time, held at Washington University’s Francis Field (where the 1904 Olympics were held). The Super Sports and the “locker room” party that followed at the Sheraton St. Louis Hotel are still remembered by many.
The main focus of MPI St. Louis is education. Our monthly luncheon meetings always have a speaker with an informative and educational message. During Amy Corsi’s administrative year, an all day educational workshop was developed and aptly named SLAMPI University (SLAMPI U for short). This program is for members and non-members and provides a full day educational opportunity to hear nationally known speakers on issues pertinent to the hospitality industry. As this program has matured, we now affectionately call it EduCon.
MPI St. Louis gives back to its members. The Bob Green Scholarship fund, named for one of MPI and St. Louis Area Chapter MPI’s founding members, is awarded to a qualified individual who is interested in furthering their education within the hospitality industry.
Our Certified Meeting Professional Certification Study Group program is designed to facilitate the process for those wanting to become certified in meeting management. In 1989, at the ten-year anniversary MPI St. Louis had 7 CMP’s. Today we have 60!
MPI St. Louis also gives back to its community. Community involvement has been a part of the St. Louis Chapter’s program for many years. Our membership has participated in painting parties, kite festivals, trivia events and various other fundraising activities for charities such as Hope House and Forest Park Forever. Our Annual Auction helped such groups as the Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Miracle Network and Our Little Haven. In recent years, our focus has shifted to Trivia Nights and Crazy Bowling as fundraisers that benefit the MPI Foundation. For more information about the Foundation, click here. In addition, the Education committee selects a charity to be supported at each of our monthly meetings. Some of those worthy organizations are the Human Society of St. Louis, the Women’s Safe House and KidSmart.
MPI St. Louis has been actively involved on the national and international level from the beginning. Our chapter is nationally recognized for the quality of leadership in our membership.
In the year 2000, the St. Louis chapter embarked on an award winning decade. In 2003, 2004 and 2005, the St. Louis chapter was awarded Chapter of the Year by MPI, based on their membership growth and retention, chapter performance, community service, and overall satisfaction by the chapter. This was accomplished under the administrative years of Bill Tirone, Steve Schick, and Jennifer Knapp respectively.
In 2009, the chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Chase Park Plaza with a look back and a look ahead. A lot of the Founding Members were able to join us for an incredible night of reminiscing, networking and fun! For photos of this fantastic event, visit our Facebook page (or click here). In 2012, St. Louis welcomed MPI’s World Education Conference. In 2014 the chapter celebrated its 35th Anniversary at Ameristar Casino Resort Spa. Our special guests included Past Presidents John Kretschmann (1987-1988), Euclid Strayhorn (1996-1997), Jennifer Knapp (2004-2005), Susie St. Cyr (2009-2010), Eric Sutterer (2010-2011), Sarah Nungesser (2011-2012), Teresa Bryant (2012-2013), Beverly Kinkade (charter member and International MPI Past President), and Kitty Ratcliffe (International MPI Past President).
Currently, the St. Louis Area Chapter has over 265 members and we thank the visionary people who started our chapter 35 years ago.