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IMEX Group donates US$250,000 to MPI Foundation

Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the industry association representing over 15,000 members, recently announced that long-time strategic partner, IMEX Group, has donated US$250,000 to mirror ongoing efforts towards assisting distressed members.

The donation boosts the Foundation’s ‘One Million to Meet’ campaign as MPI and IMEX move into the fifth year of their formal strategic alliance, although the link between the two organisations goes deep. MPI decided back in 2010 not to run its marketplace exhibition alongside its World Education Congress and instead encourage its members to attend IMEX America. MPI’s then President and CEO at that time, Bruce MacMillan, said: “We are putting the collective buying power of MPI members, estimated to be $16.4bn, behind our exclusive strategic partnership with IMEX America.”

“Covid-19’s abruptness made face to face interactions an unfathomable situation. To watch our community and our members struggle when these are the individuals representing a top 10 global economic driver is heart wrenching,” said Paul Van Deventer (pictured), president and CEO of MPI. “Unsolicited support, like this, demonstrates how acts of generosity and kindness between organisations can aid in a united mission towards recovery. Our members, our industry and our world benefit from gracious people like those at IMEX Group; we don’t take this for granted and know that we are indeed stronger together.”

Most of the IMEX donation has been offered as a grant to The MPI Foundation, which will immediately direct funds to distressed members and non-members.

The MPI Foundation itself has contributed more than $250,000 in support April through August, benefiting more than 1,200 members.  With this new IMEX donation, the MPI Foundation is launching One Million to Meet, a campaign to raise $1 million by the end of 2020 to accelerate the recovery of meeting and event professionals around the world.

“We’re over halfway there,” said Kevin Kirby, executive director of The MPI Foundation. “Never has robust member and community engagement been more essential to assuring career support and economic recovery. One Million to Meet starts with coming together from across the globe to support and build a path to recovery. Every donation helps!”

Funds from the IMEX donation will also provide relief to the eleven European MPI chapters for initiatives to help sustain education and country-specific programmes that can re-engage industry awareness and commence recovery.

“Our partnership means a tremendous amount to the entire IMEX family and, being incredibly close with our friends at MPI, we know the value of its membership is critical to our global community,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group. “We see this not only as a donation to MPI, but to the recovery of our global economy, because the guidance and facilitation of their passionate members will pave our way forward.”

In recognition of their donation, MPI is providing ‘Industry Champion’ credentials to both Carina Bauer and Ray Bloom, chairman of IMEX.

Members facing financial distress have the ability to renew by contacting MPI through their engagement team at help@mpi.org to confirm eligibility.

Those interested in donations toward One Million can go to: www.mpifoundation.org/milliontomeet. The campaign will also use #milliontomeet on social.