Meeting Professionals International recently introduced MPI Academy, an institute providing learning opportunities for business professionals at all levels. These include training courses, webinars, certificate programs and tools for career development such as the MPI Professional Development Roadmap, which allows individuals to map out their success in order to plan their future career.

“Regardless of where you are in the events industry, MPI has something for you,” says Stephanie Arehart, senior director of professional development for MPI Academy, which caters to individuals at all levels, from students to experienced professionals.

MPI has several programs specifically tailored towards a variety of professional goals. From Meeting Essentials, which prepares individuals for the Certified Meeting Professionals Exam, to The Meetings and Events at Sea Certificate, which partners with the Cruise Line Association and focuses on cruise ship meetings.

MPI Academy also announced several additional programs, including The Experiential Event Series, in which MPI partnered with high-profile events in entertainment and sports including the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. MPI also just created The Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate Refresher webinar, designed to keep event planners aware of changing healthcare protocol, healthcare across borders and other healthcare patterns.

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  


WeConnect, MPI Minnesota Chapter’s one-day annual education conference, was held at Graduate Minneapolis on Feb. 13. Attendees experienced innova- tion across all aspects of the meeting industry, including food and beverage, space and technology. Stephanie Hansen, Kat Perkins, Lee Papa and Justin Cox were a few of the speakers.


Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers.