During a sumptuous cocktail, with the courtesy sponsorship by the direction of St Regis Grand Hotel in Rome, the President and CEO Paul Van Deventer, in charge since april 29th 2013, in his first visit to Italy, met the Italian Board of Directors, chaired by Olimpia Ponno and some italian members.
Attending the venue, influent professionals of the meeting industry, members and non members,
among them: Annamaria Ruffini, member of the Global Board of Site (Society of incentive and
travel executives) and president of the Italian Chapter of the Green Meeting Industry Council and
Mario Buscema, President of Federcongressi&eventi.
In his speech, Van Deventer summarized the strategic outlines of his mandate. "I’m glad to be in Italy, because I know and value the extraordinary energy, enthusiasm and passion of Italian membership. Passion has always been at the center of MPI message. Under my presidency the mission of MPI will focus to help members’ careers to take off, and to increase their business. I’m confident that the community will share such effort to consolidate professional skills, jobs attitudes and business development.
"It implies, at level of macro-strategy, to look forward, opening up to emerging Countries and far markets, to cooperate with other associations and other segments, in accordance to the new guidelines imposed by globalization and wider business horizons. MPI also aims to enhance its reputation, investing in new technologies and communication tools, to fill the gap among different cultures.
"From a global point of view, compared to the positive trend in North-american, Canadian and Northern Europe markets, the HQ looks with much more attention at the Southern Europe economy and the Mediterranean area, by appointing two renowned professionals such as Federico Toja and Pierre Fernandez in the respective roles of Senior Director of European Operations and Director of Chapter Business Europe.
"The chapters’ model is effective, but not in very place and with the same performance, due to different cultural factors. So far our community has followed an US focused model. Such model is not applicable to far Countries. We therefore will approach them with more local attitude, hoping to provide MPI a real efficacy and expansion all over the world. So far MPI success has been the success of single chapters and the success of the chapters has been the one of the single leaders. From now on there will be more integration between the HQ and the chapters.
"We also have adopted a new financial model adequate to Europe: European Chapters will receive higher rebates and throughout the time will have more access to sponsorship and finance by hotel chains and destinations, historical sponsors of the initiatives carried out by the community".
Olimpia Ponno, President MPI Italia Chapter, commented "I’m very glad of Paul’s words, not as much for the news, which are very positive on the financial and operational side, but for the new horizons he opens, in line with the strategy of contamination, representing the present and future of our profession and of the association. These challenges are the same that the Italia Chapter is pushing forward in its activities with strong determination.
"MPI is changing not only due to the market evolutions, but also because it needs to reconsider roles and models of associative life itself in every branch, and on a global level. In Italy , as well across Europe, we feel now more than ever, the need to involve corporate representatives in our strategies. A model that already proved top be effective in the USA, because, without the proactive contribution by our committers, the development of meeting and event industry will suffer penalization. We have the challenge to be able to speak to everybody the same language and to share common objectives, being more confident in the aims to fulfil. We know that there is a big cultural gap compared to the American model, but it is a gap that the Italian Board is strongly committed to progressively fill".