MPI announced that its signature annual event, World Education Congress (WEC), has been postponed from its original June date to November 3-6, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with a new date, the event—hosted in Grapevine, Texas—will feature updated content that focuses on “learnings, lessons and initiatives related to COVID-19,” according to a press release. It will also run under the banner “Reunite for Recovery.”

Paul Van Deventer headshot“This experience will be a rallying cry for our meeting and event community to Reunite for Recovery,” said MPI president and CEO Paul Van Deventer in a statement.

“The desire to meet, reconcile business opportunities, assist in the economic rebound and learn from peers and experts on COVID-19 response, among dozens of other topics, has been building. Historically, our industry has been the platform to accelerate economic recovery and our focus is to aid in pushing our global community and society forward.” (Photo: Paul Van Deventer, MPI President and CEO)

Registration for in-person attendees is open now and is “risk free,” according to MPI. For those who are unable to attend in-person, MPI will offer a virtual experience to parallel the onsite experience. Attendees’ event fees are eligible for a refund, “with flexibility in applying them to WEC Las Vegas in 2021, among other options.”

[Related: What Will Hotels and Conferences Look Like Post COVID-19?]

The event’s host hotel, the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, is a Marriott property, and the hotel chain plans to use WEC as a way to showcase its enhanced commitment to guest wellness, according to a press release. Last week, Marriott unveiled plans to roll out next-level health and cleanliness standards in response to the pandemic.

“The timing for our industry to reunite in November is momentous to say the least,” said Paul W. McCallum, executive director of the Grapevine CVB, in a press release. “We see this as a case study in the next generation of meetings and events by incorporating hybrid learning and truly unique Texas hospitality for both virtual and in-person attendees.”

View of the terrace at Marriott

The new November date for WEC occurs during the 2020 presidential election day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. U.S.-eligible voters can visit this link to register or check their registration. Visit your state election office website to obtain an absentee ballot or go to vote.org/absentee-ballot.

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