MPI is collaborating with the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) John M. Tisch Center of Hospitality to develop educational programming for meeting planners to design more inclusive experiences for attendees.

NYUSPS will conduct a research study sponsored by the MPI Foundation to examine what tactics can be implemented to ensure all attendees at meetings and conferences through inclusive event design.

Results of the study are scheduled to be revealed at the MPI 2018 Thought Leaders Summit, held November 4-7, 2018, in Riviera Maya, Mexico. MPI said it will also collect feedback from industry leaders and senior-level meeting planners during the summit, with insights used to influence a new Inclusive Experience Strategist Certificate Program that is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2019.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with industry influencers to inform both the research and education of this very important initiative,” said Melissa Majors, director of the MPI Academy. “MPI encourages our members to embrace and foster an inclusive business environment, and we want to help them design universally inclusive events with our Inclusive Experience Strategist Certificate Program.”

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The course program will offer an interactive four-hour training session that explains how meeting planners can make inclusion decisions and offer tactics on how to achieve that goal. Elements will include demonstrating a business case or rationale, key principles and strategies, and an outline of tactics, according to MPI.

MPI is partnering with Dawn Snyder, Ph.D, of Dawn Snyder Associates, to lead the association’s inclusion-related educational offerings and ensure the program is actionable and performance based, MPI said.

Respecting diversity is one of MPI’s three Principles of Professionalism, which urges members “to embrace and foster an inclusive business climate of respect for all peoples regardless of national origin, race, religion, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental impairment.”

Previous efforts by MPI to address the need for multicultural awareness and education in the meetings industry include the MPI Multicultural Initiative, which was launched in 2001 and discontinued in 2007, along with its Women's Leadership Initiative.

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