Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has announced the future locations and dates for its annual conference, the World Education Congress (WEC). WEC will be held in Las Vegas in 2017, followed by Indianapolis in 2018 and Toronto in 2019. MPI’s President and CEO Paul Van Deventer first publicly announced the association’s plans yesterday during the opening general session of WEC 2015 in San Francisco.
WEC is MPI’s signature event through which it delivers premier education, business and networking opportunities in North America, attracting more than 2,000 attendees including corporate, third party, and association planners, suppliers, students, industry faculty and more. MPI follows a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process for all of its signature events and considers factors such as location benefits, meeting venue facilities, pricing, hotel offerings, destination accessibility, unique options and local support.
“We are excited about each of these destinations and believe WEC attendees will enjoy them as well,” said Van Deventer. “Each year, MPI strives to enhance the education and programming we deliver at WEC, so we look forward to working with our host city partners to enrich the attendee experience in the coming years.”
Starting in 2016, MPI will hold WEC during the June to early July timeframe. This strategic decision was made based on membership feedback regarding scheduling conflicts with summer vacation plans, school breaks, Canada’s Civic Holiday, and other industry events. As previously announced, WEC 2016 will take place June 11 – 14, at the Harrah’s Atlantic City Waterfront Conference Center in Atlantic City, N.J.
WEC 2017 will be held in Las Vegas from July 9 – 12 at the MGM Grand, marking the fourth time Las Vegas has hosted the annual conference. Known for its global tourism, luxury resorts, fine dining and unmatched entertainment and nightlife, Las Vegas welcomed a record 41 million visitors including five million convention delegates last year. The association previously held conferences in Las Vegas in 2013, 2008 and 2001. For MPI members who attended in 2013, when they come back in 2017, they will see nearly $7 billion in new development including new resorts, attractions and entertainment venues.
“We are honored to host WEC 2017 and excited to showcase the energy and excitement only Las Vegas can deliver,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/CEO, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “There’s a reason Las Vegas hosts more than 22,000 meetings a year. We offer an exceptional experience for delegates allowing them to conduct serious business and networking while also enjoying world class dining and entertainment found nowhere else.”
In 2018, MPI will head to the U.S. Midwest, where WEC 2018 will be held June 2 – 5 at the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. Named the #1 convention city in America by the readers of USA Today, Indy offers a convention package unmatched in walkability and the number of hotels and hotel rooms connected by enclosed skywalks. Indiana’s capital city features more than 300 restaurants, shops, and attractions within walking distance of downtown hotels and the convention center, and is home to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. WEC 2018 will be the first time MPI has hosted a conference in Indy.
“Indy has a well-earned reputation as a great event city, having hosted Super Bowl XLVI, numerous NCAA Men’s Final Fours and, of course, the Indy 500, but it’s also one of the fastest-growing convention and meeting destinations in the world,” said Leonard Hoops, president and CEO, Visit Indy. “As a first-time host of WEC, we’re looking forward to welcoming many old friends and also introducing new ones to Indy.”
WEC 2019 is scheduled for June 11 – 14 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre located in downtown Toronto. MPI previously held its annual conference in the city in 2002. Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America and proudly one of the most diverse and globally connected cities in the world. Last year, Toronto welcomed 14.3 million overnight visitors as well as 25.5 million same-day visitors.
“Our community looks forward to welcoming back MPI and its partners for another exceptional international meeting,” said Andrew Weir, executive vice president, Tourism Toronto. “When World Education Congress brings the leaders of our industry together in Toronto, attendees will find inspiration both in the content of the meeting and the surrounding city experience.”