3 new members MPI Belgium

i Oct 3rd No Comments by

We are happy to announce our latest 3 new members:
– Kirsten Epskamp – conference manager at European Nuclear Society
– Ana Escarpenter – owner at Tech4Events
– Danny Stevens – owner at ROCME

BE Conference: Keynotes & Workshops

i Jun 15th No Comments by

Develop your customer service and upselling skills; learn how to stand out at work and in your private life. This years’ BE Conference, taking place 24 June at Château Fond’Roy in Brussels, is all about you as an individual, about hospitality and service.

In the morning, guests will hear from hospitality superstars Vincent Vermeulen and Christel Cabanier. Gain knowledge about what companies can learn from butlers, women in leadership and the importance of hospitality in all businesses.

Following the keynote presentations, delegates will experience at first-hand what butler service feels like during lunch. After the seated networking lunch guests can partake in up to 3 workshops throughout the afternoon.

Workshop 1: Etiquette in the 21st Century

Learn how to stand out in your professional and private life. With a little bit of knowledge about modern etiquette and tips & tricks on how to interact with people around you, success will be yours!

  • The importance of etiquette in the 21st century for your personal and professional success;
  • Differences between protocol and etiquette;
  • Learn the differences between the French and English table, and become a pro in how a table should be dressed.

Workshop 2: Using body language to advance your career

Ideal for people wanting to treat themselves to a boost of self-confidence and wishing to discover the secrets of (body) language.

  • Discover the art of upselling and the finesse needed to succeed;
  • Learn how to use body language to your advantage;
  • Find out the 8 steps to self-confidence.

Workshop 3: Get Donald Trump’s Suitcase

Workshop that will surely come in handy for your next business trip abroad – or your upcoming summer holidays! Learn about the techniques and tools needed to packing a suitcase like a butler does. Butlers have been using these for centuries, all techniques are designed to avoid damage, wrinkles, creases, & waste of limited space.


MPI at IMEX Frankfurt 2015

i Apr 30th No Comments by

In 2015, MPI is again playing a major role at IMEX Frankfurt.

Connect with MPI Belgium at IMEX

Our board members will be present throughout IMEX. Meet with (one of) us:

ALLAERTS Pieter President Present 18/05 Contact Pieter by email or on LinkedIn
BARBE Mieke VP Membership Present 20-21/05 Contact Mieke by email or on LinkedIn
DE JONGH Gemmeke Past President Present all week Contact Gemmeke by email or on LinkedIn
KESTELOO Mariska President Elect Present 20-21/05 Contact Mariska by email or on LinkedIn
SEGERS Steve VP Communications Present 20-21/05 Contact Steve by email or on LinkedIn

Visit the MPI booth, #F750

Visit the MPI Booth to network and for education.

Stand education includes sessions on:

  • SMM: Advancing from Event Planner to Manager of Events
  • Meetings Outlook: A Deep Dive Into the Latest Trends
  • Six Trends: The Changing Educational Environment at Events
  • MPI: Your Path to Success
  • Certifications and Designations in the Meeting Industry
  • Change Your Mindset: Salesperson or Strategic Partner?
  • ROI and ROO Measurement Strategies for Meeting Professionals

Networking receptions:

  • TUE, 19 May   | 16.00 – 17.00  MPI Happy Hour/Winterlust Reception
  • WED, 20 May | 16.00 – 17.00  MPI Foundation Not-So-Silent Auction Rally
  • WED, 20 May | 17.00 – 18.00 #EMEC16 Taste of Copenhagen Reception (Denmark Stand F270)

Get MPI Education at IMEX

For a full programme and description of the different education sessions organised by MPI, please visit the following links:
Concurrent | Show Floor | MPI Stand

Educational topics include:

  • Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC)
  • Come on, Get ‘Appy: Trends, Best Practices and the Future of Event Apps
  • Meetings Outlook: A Deep Dive Into the Latest Trends
  • Hot Topic: The Five Principles of Meeting Design
  • Certifications and Designations in the Meeting Industry
  • Change Your Mindset: Salesperson or Strategic Partner?
  • and more…

The MPI Foundation Presents: The Not-So-Silent Auction

The MPI Foundation in partnership with IMEX Frankfurt offers an incredible online auction. Bid on fabulous prize packages that range from trips, getaway islands and dream destinations to unique adventures, exclusive tours, concerts and more.

Bidding is easy. To get started, using your mobile or smart device, go to http://ucanbid . Or using your computer, go to The auction opens 20 April and closes at IMEX Frankfurt on Wednesday, 20 May at 17:00 in the MPI booth, #F750.
The MPI Foundation funds education and pan-industry research that drive the success of meeting professionals. To learn more, go to

IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum

The Future Leaders Forum is jointly run by IMEX, MPI (Meeting Professionals International) and MCI. It’s been developed to harness the imagination of the most promising students and encourage them to join the meetings and incentive travel industry. Final year students studying meetings and conventions, tourism or hospitality at university or colleage are invited to attend a Future Leaders Forum.


Associations Congress in Lausanne – MPI Belgium Discount

i Mar 16th No Comments by

MPI Belgium is happy to announce that members receive a 20% discount by using the code “mpibe” when registering for the International & European Associations Congress in Lausanne, 5-7 May 2015.

Association employee meeting planners can take advantage of the discount of 20% to attend the International & European Associations Congress in Lausanne, 5-7 May, where over 200 association executives from Europe are gathering.

The International & European Associations Congress 2015 is designed specifically for Association Executives who work in International and European membership organisations. There are two dedicated days with 4 streams focusing on issues identified by association employees as most relevant and challenging to them at this time, and a meeting for Association CEOs and Executive Directors the day before.

With a renewed focus on solving issues, this Congress concentrates on delivering detailed insights into methods being adopted to improve and future-proof associations, their membership, events, and other services, on behalf of their members Internationally.

  • A unique opportunity to hear from and spend time with other Association Executives, tapping into a rich resource of relevant expertise
  • Hear from over 30 International association executives all of whom are speaking on methods they have adopted to overcome specific challenges
  • Craft your own programme from a selection of 4 streams developed alongside Associations focusing on the issues you are facing right now, from social media to event strategies
  • Hear expert insights into the role and situation with PCO’s in 2015
  • Themed networking events: grow your community of association contacts for future expertise sharing
  • Attend the 1st ever International Association Awards developed by and for Associations to recognise and reward talent
  • Join a group of Chief Executives to discuss, confidentially, how you can develop and grow your association with a precise approach to development.

MPI Launches Destination Finder for US & Canada Destinations

i Mar 12th No Comments by

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has partnered with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) in an effort to help MPI members and non-members with sourcing locations for meetings and events. MPI recently incorporated the Destination Finder tool, powered by DMAI’s, into its website. Through the web portal, meeting professionals can quickly research and compare destinations as well as get connected to contacts at destination marketing organizations – also known as convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) – representing destinations, hotels and convention facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“MPI strives to help our members be more successful in their careers and to enhance the value that they provide to their customers,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “Destination Finder, powered by, is a great example of the type of value-added resource that MPI members have access to.”’s Destination Finder offers extensive information on destinations and CVBs, including details on meeting facilities, CVB services, news, promotions and maps of hotels and venues. Meeting planners can also use the tool to submit questions directly to CVB sales professionals serving a particular market, and send specific meeting requests and RFPs to one or multiple destinations – all for free.

“The robust database enables me to specify properties to receive my request for proposal and I receive timely responses from both the CVBs associated with the program and hotels contacted on my behalf,” said Terrie Rickard, co-founder of Voices of Advocacy. “I have found that I can rely on this tool for reaching new, as well as familiar destinations for all my program needs. saves me time, saves me from making several phone calls, and produces great results.”’s latest features include professionally curated news feeds from each destination incorporated directly into their profile page. The feeds keep meeting planners informed about recent renovations, new hotel or facilities development and other offerings specifically relevant to meeting planning.

“Destination sales professionals have had a long history of working with planners to find the right fit for any size meeting. The sales professionals’ unique position as a free resource with unparalleled local expertise, is a tremendous asset for any planner,” said Michael Gehrisch, President and CEO of DMAI. “The newly launched Destination Finder on MPI’s website is just one way of making that expertise widely available and integral to the success of meeting professionals worldwide.”

For more information and to use Destination Finder, visit


MPI Names Michael Woody as its New COO

i Mar 3rd No Comments by

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has announced the selection of industry veteran Michael Woody as its new chief operations officer (COO). In this role, Woody will lead the daily operations and marketing efforts of the association, ensuring the delivery of community-wide member value and brand consistency. He will officially begin the role on March 23, 2015, reporting to MPI president and CEO Paul Van Deventer.

Woody has more than 27 years of experience in the meeting and event, hospitality and tourism industries and is a current, active member of MPI. As COO, he will be responsible for the development and implementation of tactical business plans as well as management of MPI’s events, professional development, chapter business, marketing, communications, and European operations teams. In his current role, Woody serves as the assistant executive director for the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), the fourth largest budgeted bureau in the State of Texas with an annual operating budget of $24 million. He leads daily operations and oversees a team of more than 150 employees, providing direction, supervision and consultation for all CVB departments including comprehensive sales, marketing, sponsorships, public relations, advertising, festivals and events, convention center operations, and historic planning and preservation initiatives.

“We are very excited to have Michael join the MPI leadership team. He brings a unique blend of passion for MPI and our community, with broad experience across the hospitality and meeting and event industries, including hotels, F &B, publishing and DMOs,” said Van Deventer. “We believe Michael’s strategic planning experience with repositioning American Airlines’ publications and hands-on approach to promoting and differentiating the Grapevine CVB will be instrumental as we continue to grow our association.”

Over the course of his career, Woody has worked in sales, restaurant management, operations, marketing, communications and publishing. In addition to his role at the Grapevine CVB where he served from 1997-2005 and 2012-2015, he held senior leadership positions at American Airlines from 2005 to 2012 including director of art and editorial for the custom publishing and in-flight portfolios and ultimately as publisher of the in-flight portfolio of magazines which included American Way, Celebrated Living and American Airlines Nexos.

“It is indeed an honor to be joining Meeting Professionals International as the new COO. I have had the opportunity to gain tremendous insight over the recent months from many business unit leaders in the organization, the executive team and the board of directors as to where the opportunities are and how this position can help move the needle on so many fronts,” explains Woody. “My focus will be on the core strength of education and connecting planners and suppliers in unique and engaging ways that will increase membership, marketplace relevancy and the value proposition for all MPI members. The team is very passionate about their responsibilities, the organization and the future of MPI. This is an exciting opportunity and I am very anxious to get started!”

Woody is based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and is an active alumnus of The University of North Texas (UNT). He has served as a member of the UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality Management & Tourism Board of Governors since 2006 and is currently the board’s chairman. In addition, Woody has served as a guest lecturer for the university’s Hospitality Management & Tourism Department for the past 20 years. He also serves on the board of directors for both the Tarrant County Hotel Association and the Society of American Travel Writers, Central States Chapter.

MPI Belgium, Moving You Forward – Launch Job Board

We’re excited to announce that MPI Belgium is launching our own MPI BE Careers, designed to provide jobseekers in the local MICE industry with an easy to use tool to search and apply for their next role. Employers benefit from a straightforward platform on which they can post their vacancies in a fast and efficient manner. 

Pieter Allaerts, President of the MPI Belgium Chapter, clarifies: “As a professional and committed association for MICE professionals, MPI Belgium is always on the look-out to add services that benefit our members and our industry. Our web-based portal targets MICE professionals from Belgium and neighbouring countries, offering what other mass-market sites lack: industry-specific focus.”

“We are implementing a system that allows effortless, free job browsing, searching & alerts for jobseekers,” Mieke Barbé, VP Membership explains. “The Job Board permits fast & hassle-free posting for employers and our members benefit from listing vacancies for free”.

Global MPI Career Services

Are you an MPI member and looking for a job in f.e. the US? Log into with your account and visit the MPI online career portal “Career Connections”. The Career Connections site also provides free access to a library of helpful articles, compiled by MPI resource specialists. As a job-seeking MPI member, you can use this site free of charge.

Eventonline neemt SEMINDEX over

i Jan 23rd No Comments by

Eventonline, de online evenementengids neemt zijn belangrijkste concurrent Semindex over. Hiermee verdwijnt een begrip uit de MICE-industrie. Door de overname verstevigt Eventonline zijn leiderspositie op de markt aanzienlijk.

Semindex werd in 1978 opgericht en gold decennialang als de belangrijkste gids voor al wie een vergadering, seminarie, congres of zakelijk evenement wilde organiseren.

Eventonline startte al in 2005 met een online evenementengids. Dat was lang voor de anderen in de sector met digitalisering bezig waren. Erik Wood, managing director van Eventonline: ”Toen ik destijds met mijn project klanten probeerde te overtuigen om op te adverteren, was er weinig geloof dat ik zou slagen. Ik kreeg overal te horen dat er in de sector maar één referentie was: Semindex, de papieren gids. Toch ben ik samen met mijn zakenpartner, Olivier Wauters, altijd rotsvast blijven geloven dat digitaal de enige toekomst was.”

10 jaar later is Eventonline uitgegroeid tot de absolute marktleider in de MICE-industrie. Eventonline werkt uitsluitend online en telt vandaag 800 adverteerders.

Naast Eventonline richtte Wood en Wauters ook nog ander een platform op: Venues Online. Het is een online evenementengids die zich specifiek tot de B-2-B-markt richt. Begin dit jaar lanceerde Eventonline ook nog MICE Magazine, een gratis online magazine dat alle nieuws uit de meeting en eventsector bundelt. Daarmee leveren Wood en Wauters een totaalaanbod aan voor de sector dat door geen enkele andere speler op de markt geëvenaard wordt.

“Semindex is een belangrijke aanwinst voor ons,” aldus Erik Wood. “Onze doelgroepen zijn dezelfde: managementassistenten, bedrijfsleiders, professionals in de evenementen- en seminariebranche, marketing- en communicatieverantwoordelijken en eventplanners.” Voorlopig blijft Semindex nog online maar het portaal zal in de loop van 2015 wel verdwijnen. Met de overname van Semindex bereiken Eventonline, Venues Online en MICE Magazine dagelijks samen ruim 2.000 bezoekers die op zoek zijn naar relevante informatie in de MICE-sector.
“Voor Concentra past het product Semindex niet meer in de strategische herschikking van haar kernportfolio”, aldus CEO Marc Vangeel.

Hoeveel Eventonline aan Concentra Media Groep, de eigenaar van Semindex, betaalde werd niet bekend gemaakt.

Over Eventonline

Eventonline is een online evenementengids voor de organisatie van bedrijfs- en privéfeesten, congressen en seminaries.  Alle informatie over de MICE-sector in België zijn hier gebundeld. Tot dezelfde groep behoren ook Venues Online, een platform voor de B-2-B sector. Eventonline geeft ook een gratis online magazine uit, MICE Magazine dat alle informatie en nieuws uit de sector verzamelt en publiceert. Eventonline werkt uitsluitend digitaal. Eventonline wordt gerund door Erik Wood en Olivier Wauters.

EventonlineVenues OnlineMice Magazine

Convince your boss that you need to be at EMEC 2015

i Jan 12th No Comments by

We want to make the approval process of attending MPI’s European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC) worry-free. If you need to justify the expense to your supervisors, we’ve provided a few tools to help you build your case: a benefits worksheet, a budget worksheet and a sample letter.


When submitting a proposal to your boss, remember to focus on the specific skills and knowledge experiences you can immediately bring back to the organization. Consider learning new industry best practices, making new contacts and gaining new insights and ideas from the education sessions you attend.

Build Your Education Session List

After you’ve clearly outlined the connection between the needs of your organization or department with the benefits of attending EMEC, you can focus on yourself. Build your personalized list of education sessions that have relevance to your current job description and review how the sessions will enable you to better serve your customers. When you’ve built your session list, print it and include it with your Justification Kit.

Proving you can put the knowledge gained at EMEC immediately into action makes it easier for your supervisor to say “You’re approved to attend EMEC!” So build your session list, download the justification kit, customize your letter and we’ll see you in Krakow!

Jumping into the New Year with a focus on our members

i Jan 7th No Comments by

2014 Wrap Up

We wrapped up 2014 with two successful ‘Get Togethers‘ – a relaxed networking format focussing people and a good time – and will be repeated in 2015 (RSVP for the 20 January edition). Our most recent educational “Food awareness in the MICE industry” was held the 11th of December at the beautiful Antwerp City Hall. Participants learnt about the new European allergen law (EU FIC) and how it affects us as MICE professionals. We have published a white paper “Managing Food Restrictions in the MICE Industry”, more tools and resources – such as webcasts – can be found here.

Jumping into the New Year with a focus on our members

In the last few weeks, we have also spent a considerable amount of time working on our goals and actions for 2015 and decided that this year we’re focusing on YOU, members and engagers. The board is making it a priority to really get to know all of our members so we can inspire them and help them to branch out and meet the right people. Aside from our current members we’ll also focus growing our base.

Twenty years of MPI Belgium

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of our Belgium Chapter so we will invite you all to come and celebrate with us! Just as in 1995, we continue to provide a space where MICE professionals can socialise and engage; but also one which inspires, provides future career prospects and insights in the profession.

BE Conference “It’s all about you”

Our third annual BE conference is taking place in June 24th in Brussels, the theme “It’s all about you”. We’re happy to announce a partnership with New Balls Please, an all-round agency that provides new and fresh concepts for clients with “balls” and clients who dare to change. A few months ago they won a Silver Award at the EuBEA Festival, another reason to be excited about the BE Conf!

Last but not least we want to thank you for having been a part of our chapter the past year(s) and hope you’ll continue to join us in 2015!