RTE to sponsor 30 new European MPI members

EIBTM show organiser RTE is to sponsor 30 new European members of MPI, as part of the US trade body’s move to drive membership on the continent. The partnership with EIBTM will allow for three new planner members for each of the nine MPI chapters, plus three members "at large", who are likely to come from Spain, the host country for EIBTM from 2004. The planners will be selected from EIBTM’s hosted buyers list. "It’s important for us to grow the membership in Europe as fewer than 1,200 of the current 18,000 members are based outside North America," explained MPI’s director of European operations, Didier Scaillet. "Even though membership in Europe has been growing at between 15% and 20% year on year, we estimate it will take up to 15 years to achieve some sort of parity on both sides of the Atlantic as the number of new joiners is still continuing to grow in the US and Canada." Scaillet pointed to increased attendance both at chapter events and at the association’s annual conference as evidence of the need among meeting planners to network with their peers. "In times like these, with issues such as the threat of terrorism or the SARS outbreak, MPI is more relevant than ever and can provide organisers with the information they need to do their job properly," he claimed. l Almost half of all the corporate companies surveyed in a trends report carried out by the MPI Foundation, the research arm of MPI, will increase the use of events as a marketing medium this year. The report also found that return on investment (ROI) is more closely tied to event decision-making than ever before, with 51% of respondents citing successful ROI as a reason to increase their event budgets. "Meetings are big business, so it’s encouraging, especially in this difficult economic climate, that the number of business-to-business events are forecast to increase," said MPI interim chief operating officer David DuBois. The annual benchmarking survey is co-sponsored by global event marketing agency, the George P Johnson Company.

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