After working together successfully to develop a variety of meetings industry joint ventures since 2003, IMEX and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) have entered into a global partnership for the first time. The new agreement expands the remit of both organizations to work together on key professional education projects, especially the highly-successful joint Future Leaders Forum, and complements a European Partnership agreement already in place.
At the same time, IMEX has announced that it will fund a series of new MPI Foundation Scholarships. IMEX became MPI’s first ever European Foundation donor in 2004, initially funding research linked to the Women’s Initiative and then the roll-out of the online cross-cultural training tool, CultureActive©, to all MPI members. IMEX has committed an additional €100,000 to the Foundation, which will fund a series of member scholarships over the next five years. These will include entrance to a series of MPI educational events across Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East; all linked to MPI’s new Global Knowledge Plan.
IMEX chairman, Ray Bloom, explained: “IMEX and MPI are a natural fit, with both organizations active in supporting and promoting knowledge and talent development within the meetings industry globally. With our new scholarship scheme, we wanted to increase our contribution to the industry and give meeting professionals around the world outstanding opportunities to develop their knowledge and careers. This is a natural extension to the IMEX-MPI Future Leaders Forum, which concentrates on motivating and encouraging the best and brightest students to enter the industry. Now we can show them how the meetings industry will support them in continuing their education once they are working. By funding these scholarships, we hope to link to MPI’s Global Knowledge Plan with different scholarships being awarded to professionals of any age in different regions around the world.”
Commenting on the new initiative and the global partnership with IMEX, Katie Callahan-Giobbi, executive vice president, MPI Foundation and chief business architect of Meeting Professionals International, said: “The MPI Foundation is honored to partner with IMEX on the new scholarship series. This initiative not only furthers our commitment to our members, but also our investment in the future of the industry.”
The IMEX MPI partnership has already resulted in a new initiative for 2009 – the Future Leaders University Challenge. Universities from around the world are being invited to compete against each other in an international challenge climaxing at the Future Leaders Forum at IMEX in May in Frankfurt. Students will be judged on presentations given at the forums, and finalists will attend the IMEX gala dinner where the winner will receive the MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award. The award includes an invitation to attend an MPI conference in Singapore, North America, Europe, or the Middle East, with flights, accommodation, and registration paid for by the MPI Foundation.