London to host biggest MPI PEC-E

Next year’s European MPI Professional Education Conference (PEC-E), which takes place at Excel London from 18-20 April, is set to be the biggest yet as the organisation looks to drive North American delegates to Europe. “As a destination, London provides a fantastic opportunity to draw in members from North America like never before,” said MPI president Bruce Macmillan. “Access if excellent. People from that market have heard of PEC-E and it’s a case of them deciding when to attend and that time is 2008. With the Olympics just around the corner, there is a great story to tell and once people come to PEC-E, they come back.” Didier Scaillet, vice-president of global development, added that marketing for the London event would start a lot sooner than for previous PEC-E conferences as MPI was seeking to seriously increase delegate numbers. The record number so far is 507, with this week’s Copenhagen gathering is thought to have attracted a similar number. While Scaillet refused to set 1,000 as a target for 2008, he added it was possible and that “600 would be disappointing”. Securing a landmark destination in London marks a step-change for the PEC-E, which has traditionally been held in less established cities looking to raise their C&I profile. To further drive appeal for long-haul delegates, next year’s conference has been timed to take place directly before Frankfurt’s Imex show to enable visitors to take in both in one trip. With an emphasis on ‘co-creation’, the 2008 event will see a steering committee created that will include representatives from MPI, Visit London, Visit Britain, and Excel London. “With new venues and developments such as The O2, Wembley Stadium and St Pancras International coming on stream just ahead of the PEC-Europe 2008, it’s an ideal time for event planners and suppliers to discover the city,” said Visit London sales manager (Europe) Barbara Jamison.

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