THE first Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) Gulf Meetings and Events Conference held in Dubai early in April attracted 177 international delegates from over 19 different countries.
Held at the Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City participants came from the USA, Canada, Argentina, UK, France, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and India, while regional attendees from Middle Eastern countries also took part in this inaugural educational conference dedicated to this.
Students from the Emirates Academy also attended the conference thanks to the support of the MPI Foundation, whose Board of Trustees met prior to the conference and announced additional scholarships for students to attend the MPI World Education Congress in Las Vegas, USA from August 9 to 12.
Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO for MPI said, “Coming to the Gulf region was critical to further our vision to build a rich, global community for the meetings and events industry. We are pleased to have offered our members the opportunity to experience the abundance of offerings that exist in the Gulf region, as well as meet and interact with their peers from the local community.”
The opening general session created an open dialogue with questions from the floor to representatives from the Dubai Convention Bureau, Emirates and Jumeirah on hot issues for the industry in the Gulf including human capital recruitment, talent development and CSR responsibilities. Breakout sessions provided further insight to key topics for meeting planners with sessions covering future trends, legal issues and bidding for international events.
At the end of the conference, international delegates – mostly senior meeting planners coming from Europe and North America to discover the possibilities offered by Dubai and the Gulf region – commented very favourably on the accessibility of the region, the quality of the existing infrastructure and the many new developments planned for the future.
MPI’s global vision is a reflection of the changes taking place in the meetings and incentives world. As part of its strategy to build a rich global meetings industry community, MPI is strongly committed to the Gulf region. The organisation will soon announce details of next year's conference, to take place in conjunction with GIBTM 2009, pursuing the successful development of a week dedicated to providing a focus for the meetings industry by delivering an educational, business and networking opportunity for the Gulf region.
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