Meeting Professionals International's Smart Monday Opens IMEX America

October 14, 2012

Meeting Professionals International helped kick things off at last week’s IMEX America in Las Vegas with “Smart Monday”.

Ray Bloom, chairman of the IMEX Group, said that attendees “would not lack for inspiration or a sense of value” during the day-long program.

Nearly 1,000 participants took part in an 8-hour line up of free education sessions, brainstorms and deep dives intended to expand their personal and professional development and effectiveness, according to IMEX officials.

Smart Monday began with a keynote featuring Debra Benton, author of eight books and an acclaimed executive consultant.

Benton challenged attendees to think, act and relate in fresh ways that project not only their own sense of confidence and contribution, but also build a positive feeling in others.

Following the keynote, Smart Monday Host Cindy D’Aoust, COO and interim CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and her team offered attendees a  program of learning and networking including three rounds of hour-long concurrent knowledge sessions.

These sessions were on topics ranging from technology tools, Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMP) and social media to the impact of CSR on delegates, the future of meetings and participant driven incentive travel delivered by Site Global.

Included in this was a telling case study session introduced by Kevin Iwamoto of StarCite and featuring Paul Wakelin of IBM. They shared the technology giant’s road to a global, consistent and centralized events framework that allows them to best leverage their meetings and events spend.

Another session, led by Mariela McIlwraith of Meeting Change, Katherine Manfredi of Conference Partners Inc. and John Chen, of Geoteaming, encouraged attendees to get into play-mode by exploring event gamification.

Through this technique, they demonstrated how games encourage risk -taking by meeting delegates and quickly build community and collaboration, as well as boost the education and networking value.

In addition, attendees were free to choose between three, 3-hour Personal Development Deep Dives majoring on assertiveness, leadership skills or tech tools or get involved in a daylong CEM Professional Designation Learning Program provided by IAEE.

During the day, a group of participants also chose to go off site for a few hours and roll up their sleeves with a real-time CSR activity hosted by Clean the World at their Las Vegas Recycling Operations Center.

This unique event allowed participants to learn what happens to discarded hotel soap and bottled amenities and to help with sorting bottles for recycling and creating hygiene kits.

All the amenities will be donated to two local community projects in Las Vegas – The Shade Tree and Opportunity Village as part of IMEX America’s sustainability program.


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