Professional Organizations Review

Meeting Professionals International is an organization that contains the meetings and events industry largest global community. It was founded in 1972 and is Dallas-based. The International Festivals and Events

Association was founded in 1956 as the Festival Manager’s Association. It is headquartered in Boise, Idaho and in 2005 celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

Purpose and Mission
The purpose of Meeting Professionals International is to build a rich, global meeting industry community. Their mission is to make their members successful by building human connections to knowledge and ideas, relationships, and marketplaces.
The vision of the International Festivals and Events Association is to be a globally united industry that touches lives in a positive way through celebration. Their mission is to inspire and enable those in our industry to realize their dreams, build community, and sustain success through celebration.

To join Meeting Professionals International, one can either go online and fill out their application or print it off and send it in. Membership dues are $375 annually and include a $50 subscription to The Meeting Professional. Membership also includes unlimited use of the Membership Directory so members can have instant networking at their fingertips, a personal page on the website, early access to industry research and trends, and professional development and education. Joining MPI brings its member to higher levels of professionalism by creating development levels to evolve member’s careers to positions of strategic understanding and influence, influencing executive’s understanding about the value of meetings, and intensifying business opportunities for suppliers. There are different types of memberships including corporate meeting professionals, associate/non-profit meeting professionals, government meeting professionals, supplier meeting professionals, and meeting management professionals. There is also a way for students to join if they are currently enrolled in a post-secondary academic program with emphasis in the meeting, hospitality, events, and tourism-related industries leading to qualification as a regular member. They are eligible for membership for one year, but can not be eligible for transitions dues rates after completion of their program.

The International Festivals and Events Association offers individual and organization membership categories. A group membership consists of one main member, plus 4 additional members such as staff, board members, volunteers, etc. The fees are based on the budgets of the organization. Individual memberships are $105 and each additional member to the main member is $100. Fees for a full-time student are $56 and a copy of current school year registration receipt is required. As a member, one is given the opportunity for peer-to-peer connection, online resources, education, industry honors, The Business of International Events Magazine, the annual IFEA Who’s Who is Festivals and Events Membership Directory and Buyer’s Guide, and the IFEA Annual Convention and Expo Program. Members are also offered product and service discounts and vendor opportunities.

Structure and Size
Meeting Professionals International has nearly 23,000 members world-wide and 68 chapters and clubs around the world. It has grown from 159 members in 1972 and now has over 23,000 members in 65 countries. There are 71 Fortune 100 companies represented in the MPI membership. There are 68 chapters and clubs in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Japan. Meeting Professionals International is the only events industry community to maintain a 50/50 ratio between planners and suppliers.

The International Festivals and Events Association has over 1,600 members both individuals and companies. It is overseen by an independent, international Board of Director’s. They are globally by affiliate regional organizations, each with their own boards and staff representatives.

Meeting Professionals International offers several publications for both members and non-members. The Meeting Professional Magazine is an award winning monthly magazine that delivers professional development and career enhancing material and covers major issues facing the industry. There are also two online newsletters, the Community NetNews and Meeting Europe. Community NetNews offers its members e-mailed, weekly newsletters offering chapter and industry news. Meeting Europe offers news about the meeting industry in European countries.

The International Festivals and Events Association also offers publications for its members. The Business of International Events is a quarterly magazine that covers the latest industry issues and trends. They also offer an Affiliate Newsletter that offers weekly press releases, news stories, and triumphs or lessens learned.

Meeting Professionals International offers many different conferences for its professionals. The Professional Education Conference offers professional education sessions over a week long period. The World Education Conference offers workshops, professional education sessions, and trade shows. MPI also supports The Global Certification in Meeting Management and the Certified Meeting Professional Program. As of January 2006, they created MPI Member Solutions. Here, members can create a roadmap for their career growth, define core competencies and skills needed to advance and training to master them.

The International Festivals and Events Association offers the IFEA Convention and Expo which is ranked as the top educational and networking event in the field. The Expo features over 100 educational sessions hosted by the highest ranked speakers in the industry. The IFEA also offers an online bookstore and reference center for the latest information on event planning for members and non-members. Templates are available on the website for professionals who need examples on contract writing, brochures, and marketing materials.