NYIAD Wedding and Event Planning Instructor Sandra Serrant has been an Events Professional for over a decade. She has planned, coordinated and executed a variety of events ranging from multi-day national conferences and fundraisers to large weddings, galas and other social events.
She has worked with such organizations as the National Football League and American Diabetes Association; and has also served as the Head of Events for renowned international celebrity Chef, Jose Andres; as well as planned events for Wolfgang Puck Catering. In addition to her many national events here in the U.S, she continues to plan events abroad. Check out Sandra’s latest blog post about the events industry and follow her on Twitter @SandraSer. Enjoy!
A lot of my students ask advice about what they can do to get started in the event/wedding planning business and what it takes to grow in the industry. Well, I always tell them one of the best things they can do (aside from obviously taking an events course), is to network, network, network! And one of the best places to both learn and network is the MPI World Education Congress conference (WEC). MPI (Meeting Professional International) puts on WEC annually. It is the premier conference for the event industry! With over 70 educational sessions and endless opportunities to network with other event professionals, it is one of THE conferences to attend.
Last year was the first time in many years that I was unable to attend WEC, because I was living in Europe at the time. So I was excited to return this year to reconnect with old friends and make new industry contacts. With over 2,000 event professionals in attendance each year, those who are new to the industry will have the opportunity to meet fellow Planners, Faculty members and sale/event teams from various venues; as well as Tourism & Conventions Bureau Representatives from the U.S and Canada.
This year, WEC took place in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And all I can say is…wow, their tourism and convention bureau team (DO AC) put on quite a show to display their city’s event potential! I mean, who knew Atlantic City had such amazingly gorgeous event spaces?!
WEC will not only fulfill your need for networking and learning, the amazing Speakers there will also inspire you. Some were within the industry and some were outside of it. They were all spot on with their message to us! One of my personal favorites was Shiza Shahid, founder of Malala Fund (named after 15-year old Activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai). Many in the audience (including me) were in tears listening to her story and her passion for helping others. And that was only the beginning.
It is virtually impossible to cover everything I learned and observed at the conference. So next week, I will blog about some of my top takeaways from attending it.
WEC 2017 will be held in Las Vegas. Add it to your agenda and go next year!