Industry Articles

@MPISTL March 2018 – Visit Indy for WEC 2018!

Visit Indy for WEC 2018!

As the concept designing experiences takes center stage in the events industry, MPI is embracing the transition for its 17,000 members.

Designing experiences will be the focus of MPI’s WEC in Indianapolis June 2-5. A completely reimagined event design and education program will inspire new ideas and connect you with people you need to meet.

Indy was a city designed as an event destination, strategically laid out to connect people during an event. It’s the perfect host city for MPI to launch their new event design.

Decades ago, Indy leaders set into motion a plan to design a downtown that would serve as a model convention and event district. The plan worked, winning Indy more than 600 conventions a year and drawing more than 28 million visitors annually.

The city boasts more hotels (12) and hotel rooms (4,700) connected to the convention center by enclosed skywalks than any other city in the country. Seven of the eight WEC host hotels are connected and the other is only two blocks away.

The design led to USA Today naming Indy the “#1 Convention City in the U.S.” and Carlson Wagonlit Travel positioning Indy 5th on their “Top 10 Destinations for Meetings & Events in North America” list.

The city’s event expertise will be showcased next June 2-5 during WEC 2018. Join us!

@MPISTL – October 2017 – St. Louis Hospitality Professionals…

St. Louis Hospitality Professionals Come Together to Inspire

Universities across the St. Louis metro area are feeding the pipeline to the next generation of meeting and event professionals. They plan an integral part to our industry’s hopefuls who are looking for an internship, a chance to land their first role out of school and to eventually lead our industry into the next decade and beyond. That’s why our MPI St. Louis Area Chapter, International Live Events Association St. Louis Chapter (ILEA) and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Missouri Chapter (HSMAI) have teamed up to get the word out about our great organizations and what each offers its student members.

In a first-of-its-kind effort in recent history, the three leading St. Louis hospitality associations join forces to begin a traveling road show to universities in Missouri and Illinois. With newly created banners and association collateral in-hand, our first stop was the Missouri State University, College of Business Career Fair in Springfield. With nearly 2,000 in attendance, the day included a steady stream of students looking for internships and job opportunities. Local MPI Recruitment Chair Bob Nelson joined ILEA President Holly Jurgensen and HSMAI Vice President of Membership Kurt Furlong for the day, which not only included the chance to interact with students at the Career Fair, but also allowed for an hour-long panel discussion on current topics in our industry.

More than 60 students, primarily from the College of Business Entertainment Management program and those in the university’s hospitality program filled a lecture hall to listen to the panel’s personal career experiences, words of advice for breaking into the industry and how getting involved now can make the difference in their career in upcoming years. “Lessons in the classroom come to life when our members share their personal stories through opportunities like this,” said Nelson. “It was the speakers and the extracurricular activities I remember the most about my college experience – it’s where I really got my passion for the industry.” Student member benefits were highlighted by all three.

The road show continues to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale on October 5th, Missouri State University’s Hospitality Career Fair on October 25th, and the University of Missouri-Columbia on March 7, 2018.

If you are interest in learning more about these efforts and how you can participate in the fairs, please reach out to Bob Nelson at

@MPISTL – August 2015 – Q&A with RISE Award Winner David Peckinpaugh

Q&A with RISE Award Winner David Peckinpaugh

Aug.davidAs President of Maritz Travel Company and Experient, David Peckinpaugh leads one of the largest meeting and incentive travel management companies in the world, whose vision is to transform business and people through business events.  David is a proud recipient of this year’s RISE (Recognizing Industry Success and Excellence) Award for Meeting Industry Leadership.  As a MPI-STL member, we wanted to congratulate David and also share a Q&A session with the industry leader.

MPISTL: David, first of all congratulations on your honor!  What drives your passion in the meetings industry?

DP:  My passion is focused on the people and impact we have in everyone’s lives that we touch… whether that is our internal teams, our clients and their guests, our supplier partners or the communities in which we live across the US. This is a relationship business first and foremost so our ability to transform lives through amazing event experiences is unique in the business world.

MPISTL: Maritz has championed that relationship business with partnerships that have global impact.  Can you talk some about that?

DP:  Over the past several years we have added to our already existing global capabilities so that we can better serve the needs of our clients no matter where in the world they want to go. We have taken a different approach by not focusing on building bricks & mortar operations that would tend to have a North American slant to their approach. Instead, we decided not to recreate the wheel and to partner with the best-in-class providers around the globe. These members of the Maritz Global Meetings Network already have the local knowledge, expertise and resources to serve our clients’ needs and also share a similar set of values and business practices to our core business. And the key to this models success resides, in my opinion, with the three incredible global General Managers that we added to the team – Ben Goedegebuure who overseas our EMEA region, Ping He who oversees our APAC region and Eduardo Chaillo who overseas our LATAM region.

MPISTL:  In addition to the business aspect, what are some social causes that you personally champion and donate your time to?

DP:  Outside of the numerous areas that we focus on in our business like the fight against Human Trafficking, I am involved with the local SLU Professional Studies program that is adding future resources and leaders to our industry; Compassion International a cause my wife and I have supported for over 30 years; SLOCA which is the St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Association as well as the Gateway to Hope.

MPISTL:  Will you talk some about your past leadership roles and how that has led you to this honor today?

DP:  My career has not been a normal one. I started in the hotel industry where I spent over 15 years, then I moved into the 3rd party world with Conferon/Experient, then I had the honor of leading the San Diego CVB before heading back into the 3rd party space where I am today with Maritz Travel/Experient. Each of these unique experiences has added to my career in many unique ways and each has been a stepping stone to the next. While my name is attached to this recognition, it is truly a recognition of everyone involved in the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, our team that is engaged in the fight against Human Trafficking, our Maritz Travel global team and many, many others.

MPISTL:  How do you see Maritz partnering with MPI in the future to heighten awareness for the National Meetings Industry Day?

DP: NAMID is now going to be known as GMID or the Global Meetings Industry Day expanding beyond North America and truly around the globe. The date is April 14, 2016. As the leading international industry organization, MPI (under the leadership of Paul Vent Détente) will be instrumental in building this global initiative along with MMBC, PCMA, CIC, ASAE, SITE, IAEE and many more.

David currently serves on the board and executive committee for the US Travel Association and is an advisory board member for Tourism Vancouver, Delta Airlines, Taj Hotels, Social Tables, St. Louis University’s Hospitality Program, and the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).  We congratulate David once again for recognition of his tireless efforts!

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