MPI SEC 2015 (August 26-28th in Tampa, Florida) was a great opportunity to spend with the industry partners that I consistently work with, fun to catch up with those partners I have not seen in a while, and a wonderful chance to make new connections.
Wednesday evening’s opening session with Daymond John (CEO & Founder of FUBU, star of ABC’s business reality show Shark Tank, and world-renowned marketer) was a great insight to his success. As we all love a good acronym in the Hospitality & Event Industry- Daymond does too: SHARK– Set Goals (When goals are set and recorded, they are easier to obtain), Homework (Do your homework on what the tasks will take to accomplish, and how best to get there), Adore (Love what you are doing), Remember (Remember You are the Brand-This is a reflection of you) , Keep Swimming (Keep moving towards success- don’t give up). His presentation was preceded by, and concluded with, a reception showcasing the Tampa Convention Center.
Thursday was a day of great industry knowledge. It began with a General Session featuring David Adler, CEO of Biz Bash who discussed new event trends and how our vocabulary is changing Example: What was an ‘RSVP’ is now ‘Data’. I went to breakout sessions on Advanced Social Media, Conference Applications, and Gamification as it applies to meetings/events. At the luncheon, Ryan Shortill, CEO and Founder of Positive Adventures, LLC spoke on ‘The Power of Giving Back’ and how important and simple it is to tie CSR into any event. My favorite event of the conference happened this day, ‘An Evening Aboard Yacht Starship’. Eventions of Florida sponsored the décor and entertainment, so while I was in meetings all day, my team was working hard to put together an amazing event! There was great food, entertainment, varying themed décor in each area of the ship, and a fun vibe from all attendees!
Friday was the last day of the conference. We started our day with Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line. She spoke about Connecting, Collaborating and Learning to Achieve Success in All That You Do. Christine spoke about her journey, and how her dream was to be a PAN AM flight attendant. She did not meet the height requirements so she wasn’t able to make that dream come true. She started as an assistant at a travel agency, and her career and success began to grow from there. A main focus of hers was that your journey in life is always changing, and you can never predict where you will end up. I was then able to assist with one of the breakout sessions- Are You Ready? Disaster Prep for Meeting Planners and Suppliers. This session was presented by Dr. George Fenich & Marlene Bass, CMP. This session discussed Force Majeure, and had participants involved in 2 scenarios. Each scenario had participants assigned to the supplier and planner perspective (this was based on the table they sat at, not their true profession). This gave everyone the opportunity to look at both sides of the situation, and learn that there are many factors that go into making decisions based on Force Majeure. This session was amazing to participate in, not only for the content, and being able to assist with the setup, but because Dr. Fenich was Ali Brown’s HRT Professor at UNO! The conference concluded Friday evening with a reception at the host hotel, the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina.