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Students set to shine at IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum

More than 100 conference and event industry students from across the USA, Canada and Mexico are set to gain a foothold in the competitive meetings sector at the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum.

The Forum takes place during IMEX America, held in Las Vegas on 13 - 15 October, and is set to deliver a comprehensive educational programme with inspiring sessions by experienced industry professionals, meetings with selected exhibitors on the show floor and numerous networking opportunities.


Meetings industry leaders will share their expertise on topics including the future of the meetings industry, strategies for success in a global, culturally diverse economy and tactics to establish and advance a professional career in today’s competitive environment.


Students will gain insight from experts including representatives from Women In Travel (WINiT) who will discuss their own stories about how confidence is a key component to success in their session ‘The Confidence Code’. ‘How and Why to Plan for a More Sustainable Event’ will be explored by Aaron Elliott, Project Manager at MeetGreen. In an interactive keynote, Sam McNeill, Creative Director at Song Division, will explain how music and song-writing can help to create a culture of innovation, increasing happiness and productivity of project groups. Tyra Hilliard, Speaker and Educator at Hilliard Associates will run through the potentially daunting transition from college to the real world in Five Things Your Professors Haven’t Told You about the Real World.


Experts from across The Venetian® l The Palazzo® Las Vegas, which is sponsoring the Forum, will deliver a session on leadership as well as hosting a career development reception and a ‘behind the scenes’ backstage tour.


During a visit to the IMEX America show floor, supported by IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events) and coordinated by M.T. Hickman (Director of Travel, Exposition and Meeting Management Program at Richland College) and George Fenich (Professor at School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University), the budding event and meeting planners will have appointments with selected exhibitors.


More than 110 Forums have taken place and around 6,500 students have passed through the programme since its launch in 2003. A recent survey of participants showed that 90% of students are "likely to enter the industry as a result of attending" a Forum. Many former participants have gone on to enjoy further career and education opportunities in the industry, as Gabriela Herrera, alumni of Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico) who attended the 2014 Forum, explains:
“Thanks to the Future Leaders Forum, I not only learned more about the meetings sector but was able to meet some of the key people in the industry. After making contact with selected companies, I was offered an interview and, following graduation, now have a job at Meeting Incentive Experts. I work as Operations Coordinator, based at its Cancun office and look after community management and social media among other activities.”


Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, adds: “The expert-led education programme coupled with the glowing feedback we regularly receive from participants show the Future Leaders Forum to be an outstanding career development opportunity. It’s a chance to gain a real insight into the industry, meet some of the best in the business as well as network with peers. The Forum enables students to hit the ground running in their chosen career.”


The IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum is a year-round programme which is jointly run by IMEX, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and MCI. Final year students studying meetings and conventions, tourism or hospitality at university or college are invited to attend a Future Leaders Forum. Forums typically take place as part of a larger meetings industry conference or trade show in 12 or more locations around the world every year.


The IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum takes place at IMEX America held in Las Vegas 13 -15 October and is sponsored by The Venetian® |The Palazzo® and Luxor Las Vegas.

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