MPI Hosts Live Event for 700 in Grapevine with Concurrent Digital Experience

November 16, 2020

The city of Grapevine, Texas, played host to Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Congress, held in hybrid format Nov. 3-6. “Reunite for Recovery” was the theme of the event, which took place at Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center and drew nearly 700 in-person attendees and 1,000 virtual participants.

Grapevine CVB partnered with MPI in developing Duty of Care procedures that allowed for safe general sessions, breakout sessions and one-on-one appointments. The goal was to demonstrate the new standards for a safe return to live, in-person meetings and conferences. In doing so, MPI sought to deliver the first-ever meeting and event industry event with a 100-percent live experience, planned and designed exclusively for both its in-person and digital audiences. 

Created in partnership with Freeman to run parallel to the in-person event, WEC Grapevine Digital Experience featured its own agenda, exclusive concurrent education; live keynote sessions with exclusive post-event interviews; live midday broadcast updates from ALHI Studios; musical interludes including entertainment by Mark Shulman, former drummer for Pink; morning Zumba workouts, a digital networking and career center and more.

“This is the future of events,” said Jessie States, director of the MPI Academy, who was among the architects of the Digital Experience. “The days of one-way virtual engagement are going to be in the rearview mirror soon, making it critical that we showcase how this can be done and involve our digital attendees to be the first beneficiaries of this incredible format.”

To further complement WEC Grapevine, robust social activities took place safely with made-to-order and individually packaged food items, beverage service, and enforcement of physical distancing and face coverings. In addition to MPI's Duty of Care, the Grapevine CVB is championing the process to allow all 20 Grapevine hotel partners to pursue the Global BioriskAdvisory Council STAR accreditation to continue to make Grapevine convention facilities safe for all visitors. 

“When Freeman and MPI began collaborating on the Digital Experience, we all felt it was critical to design for the digital environment and create a format that was engaging, familiar and 100-percent live,” said Mike Silvestro, vice president of client solutions at Freeman. “There are inherent risks associated with having two live events going on at the exact same time, but we all wanted to be the first ones to take the leap and do this for our community.”

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