Finland’s MICE Industry

In my term as a Member of the International Board of Directors of MPI I have visited several chapters and I have several visits scheduled. The goal is to talk to chapter leaders and to members in their own environment. Yesterday and today I visited MPI Finland and I must say that I am impressed.

After a great dinner with Board Members and MPI’s Chapter Operation Specialist Antti Lumiaanen yesterday evening, we had a deeper discussion on the new model MPI is rolling out in Europe and the implications and the consequences of that model. Self assessment brought the Board to a stage where they face a status quo and see that they must move, and thanks to the new model they know where to. That’s a good story. But their big question is now: HOW???

It is great if you can help and add some value by just asking questions. Questions and not answers, the answers come automatically and are never the same. Thsi process learns me that no group, company or association is the same. You can’t give them answers, they know the answers themselves. It is the question which potentially leads them to the answers.

In a very animated discussion I asked if MPI Finland would be for sale, would they buy it, and the answer was yes. If it was their company, what would they change tomorrow, was the next question. The answer was quite comprehensive. Spread events regionally and engage people in different regions, build the MPI brand in Finland and hire staff. Education was not part of the wish list, which means that this is a strong point. What is it you want staff to do once they are hired? Recruit new members, find partners/sponsors and build the brand. Easy as that 🙂

The future is bright. The solution is there. Now it comes down to how. No worries, they’ll manage to do that.

In the afternoon I attended the educational event where I presented 15 minutes on MPI. The main speaker was in Finnish, but seemed to have a good story, based on the feedback of the Finnish speaking audience. It was on event concepts. Around 50 people showed up 🙂

Again, two days which brought me energy. What a wonderful life I have got.

When ideas come to reality …

It must have been January when a close friend and MPI colleague Ruud Janssen and myself were talking about the association model MPI had in place and how we would craft it when it was in our hands. We talked over the phone over a day and crafted a new model for MPI in Europe. Exactly answering the needs of Europe and formulating ambition to grow.

MPI has been in Europe for 20 years and back then the association-chapter model was copied and pasted across the Atlantic. That worked well, but Europe is a different continent. Ruud and myself worked as a volunteer leader on chapter level and on international level in MPI and we felt that we could help this organization when redesigning the model

The model acknowledges that chapters are different, because markets are different, because their sizes are different, their potential developments are different. The model appeals to a certain aspiration of chapters to grow, to do remarkable business, to leave a legacy. The model provides different kinds of support to different chapters and clubs. Support adjusted to the need of the chapter. In order to make that scalable, a new models hs been designed for Europe by Europe. MPI has developed 4 phases.

It is great when something which is only existing in your mind, comes to live, is embraced by stakeholders and gets traction. Of course we need to refine and process feedback, and it will probably look different in some years from now. This weekend that all happened. And this is what makes me proud.

For the first time in its history MPI is deeply revisiting its way of structuring its chapters to accommodate the realities of different markets. This represents a tremendous opportunity for European Chapter Leadership to take ownership of the chapter future, making them more relevant, valuable and ultimately successful.


European Sustainable Events Conference, Copenhagen

The Conference is about to kick-off, the first European Sustainable Events Conference. I am proud to be part of this initiative.

I am also proud that Parthen is sponsoring this event and that is how it should be done. These initiative can only become their own legacy with the helpof many and the craziness of few 🙂

It seems to be a nice programme, I will have to hurry to get there in time. Keep u posted. More info? Here!

RISE Awards at MPI’s WEC12

New picture of #MPI Rise award acceptant Alise Long for #royaldsm available on Alise and her team together with MCI conducted the announcement of the new brand to all 23.000 employers worldwide within 48h. For the fact that DSM used events so effectively, they received the RISE Award. Proud of Dutch contribution #MPINL and proud of the company where both my grandfathers worked their whole life.

Jill Schroeder also RISE Award winner, inspired me Monday as she speeched when accepting #MPI Rise Award. She basically summarised it all in one sentence: “You are in control of your own life and choices”.

Our brand new paper & awesome digital platform

Proud of our new Paper, just released and mailed out to all our clients and propects. All products are also on YouTube and you can view all sides of the bags and badges. Parthen Paper Summer 2012.

Issuu is a digital platform on which you can publish all kinds of publications; papers, magazines, ebooks, etcetera. And it’s free. Really amazing what a treasure of information is available through this platform. Definitely worth visiting online.

and the year has started …

Yesterday was the first day of the fiscal year of MPI (Meeting Professionals International). I am proud to serve on their Board this year as a Vice-Chairman and I am looking forward to the year ahead. There is plenty going on in our industry and there is a lot of work to do to keep MPI ahead of the game. See the press release for the volunteer leaders which are serving for MPI on an international level. I am proud to be one of them.

Of course there are more great leaders working voluntarily in 72 of MPI’s Chapters and Clubs across the globe, delivering great content, network opportunities and member experiences every day to our membership. A great thank you to them all. And a lot of them have taken office yesterday as well! Congratulations and good luck!