APR 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ A P R I L 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 6 headlines, trends & ideas Meeting Professionals International (MPI) recently announced it is setting aside the traditional plan for its signature event, the World Education Congress (WEC). Accord- ing to MPI, WEC18, which will be held June 2 – 5 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, will feature high-energy pep rallies to kick off and wrap up each day; an open-floor, fluid layout with four connected WEC Villages; more innovative technology; and WEC Experience Coaches to help attendees plan their experience prior to the event and to assist with exploration on site. Each WEC Village will have a different theme and will offer customizable network- ing and business exchange opportunities, including supplier showcases, and food and beverage relevant to each theme. More than 80 concurrent education sessions will also be delivered throughout the villages to stimulate more intense live learning experiences rather than sessions in meeting rooms located in separate areas. "We are very proud of how successful WEC has been the past few years," said Darren Temple, chief operations officer of MPI. "This year, we decided to take a page out of our own playbook and take a big risk by changing the overall look, feel and experience of WEC18. The Indiana Conven- tion Center is the perfect venue for us to try our new concept of villages and open-space learning. We are very excited about WEC18, which promises to be unlike any other event experience, and extend special thanks to our host partner, Visit Indy, for their support and collaboration." MPI will also continue leveraging the theme from WEC 2017, "Stop planning meetings, start designing experiences," and bring back some program elements that have been popular among past WEC attendees, including MPI's Hosted Buyer Program, the MPI Foundation Rendezvous networking and fundraising event, headshot stations, Paws for a Break (previously known as puppy cuddling) and corporate social respon- sibility activities benefitting several local Indianapolis area charities. To learn more, visit n Program Changes For MPI World Education Congress 2018 New PA System Unveiled AmpliVox Sound Systems, a Northbrook, Ill.-based manufacturer of portable sound systems, lecterns and multimedia work- stations, recently unveiled its new AirVox Mobile PA, a completely wireless system that delivers highly intelligible sound for large venues. The compact, battery- operated AirVox combines a master PA unit and two companion speakers. According to Don Roth, AmpliVox CEO, the AirVox includes a 50-watt amp powerful enough to reach audiences of 3,000 people from up to half a mile away. Its horizontally aligned wide dispersion speakers broadcast crisp, clear sound with consistent tonal balance and less volume drop-off over long distances. Additionally, the AirVox can be used for playing music via its integrated Bluetooth module and the system offers options for multiple wireless microphones and accessory bundles that allow users to customize their system. Beyond its use in meeting facilities, Air- Vox PA provides communication support in emergencies, making clear announcements even during power outages. "We are excited to offer this innovative and versatile new PA system," Roth said. "The AirVox delivers tremendous power and sound clarity in a unit that transports easily and sets up in moments. The wireless connectivity between amp, speakers and microphones allows for flexible arrange- ments to fit any venue." For more information, visit www.ampli. com. n Beginning this month, a new online Certificate Program in Meetings, Events and Incentive Travel (MEI) will be available to professionals who have an associate degree or higher and two or more years of experience in the meetings and events industry. The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) is partnering with the University of South Carolina's College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management to offer the program, which provides continuing education in the areas of meeting, events and incentive travel; marketing and communication; financial management; and current issues of these industries. The six-month online program includes five MEI-focused subjects: MEI Fundamentals; MEI Marketing and Communication; MEI Financial Management; Current Issues in MEI; and MEI Practicum. Each class will have 40 contact hours, offering four continuing- education university (CEU) credits. After completing all five subjects, students will be invited to the University of South Carolina campus for a certificate presentation ceremony, which will also include a one- to one-and-a-half day retreat featuring guest speakers, panel discussions and practicum presentations. n New Certificate Program in Meetings, Events & Incentive Travel

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