January 2017  

President's Message

Happy New Year to all!

It is incredible how six months have gone and we still have lots to do.

During the first six months we have brought you relevant education sessions and we hosted a wonderful, innovative Experiential Special Event “Dias de Los Muertos”. A huge shout out to Media Stage, Inc. who was kind enough to open up their world to us so we could learn and see how things work.

We will continue to bring excellent education and exciting special events starting with our Education Session Meaningful Interactions for Success at the Ritz Carlton South Beach on January 31, following by a Special event in March and Global Meeting Industry Day (GMID) on April 6, 2017. As you can see we have been working hard to bring to you great programs. We really need you support in attending them and letting us know what you think!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers that have helped during the year and for those that will help in the future. I salute you. We want you to remember you get what you put in. I can attest to that personally!

February 1, 2017 you will receiving the MPI Global survey, we urgently request you taking 5 minutes to answer the question, with this MPI Global can really know in what direction to lead our organization.
I look forward to seeing you all at our events and I strongly encourage you to take the next step in your career and getting more involved in your chapter by joining a committee.

Gilbert Villard
2016-2017 MPISFL Chapter President
Educate - Innovate - Connect - Grow

Back to top


This session introduces participants to the essential interaction skills that are critical to business success. These Interaction Essentials are the core behaviors that business professionals need to be effective in the many situations they handle on a daily basis, such as sharing information, giving effective feedback, delegating, and driving change. Participants will learn how to meet the personal and practical needs of their team members and clients, and how to communicate to spark action in others to achieve business results (75 minutes).
Register & find out more information on our website @ MPI South Florida Website.


The World Education Congress is designed to teach meeting and event professionals to think outside the ballroom. More than 2,000 global meeting and event professionals join us every year to learn how to stop planning meetings and start designing transformative experiences that deliver return on investment dividends to all stakeholders and participants. WEC is produced by Meeting Professionals International, the largest, most diverse and influential association of its kind in the world.

WEC is the quickest, most efficient way you have to gain the education you need to get certified as a meeting professional, refresh your business contact list and gain important new friends and allies in the meetings and events industry. You won’t find the same content or education anywhere else, and each breakout session is filled with timely, actionable advice that you can apply to your work right now.

Learn more about WEC and register online @ Register Here

Go Behind the Scenes at SXSW!

March 14-18, 2017

South by Southwest — aka SXSW — is a legendary event featuring more than 2,400 conference sessions, 2,200 music showcases, 250 film screenings, and 1,000 exhibitors in 11 separate exhibitions. In March 2017 the MPI Experiential Event Series can be your behind the scenes spotlight on this world-renowned convergence of conferences, festivals and expos and introduction to its planners and producers. This is a bucket-list opportunity to experience SXSW from the attendee perspective and then pull back the curtain to see inside the cultural behemoth that brings together nearly 100,000 creative professionals from over 80 countries to Austin, Texas each March.


-    Event Certificate in Conference Production

-    SXSW Platinum Badge (allows admission to all official SXSW events)

-    20 clock hours of continuing education

A limited number of MPI Foundation scholarships are available for this event. Deadline for applications is January 31, 2017.

For more information and to register for this MPI Experiential Event Series, please visit Register Here.


Back to top


                                                         A Look to the Future

At CES (Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas) this year, one of the most interesting things for us wasn’t the technology being displayed in the myriad shiny stands but what is just a few years down the road. In particular, what we’re talking about here is the “intelligent phone” concept described by Huawei’s CEO, Richard Yu.

According to Yu, intelligent phones will incorporate a broad range of sensors which will allow the phone to interact with the outside world and a core AI (artificial intelligence) which will allow the phone to think for itself and react to changes in its environment. These sensors could include cameras, allowing the phone to see, microphones to listen and even taste or smell sensors. Basically, if it exists, the phone of the future will be able to sense it. Sure, this sounds like science fiction but if you take a look at the various AI products and connected devices out there already, it’s not so far-fetched after all.

Intelligent Phones and Events

So what? I hear you say. Well, we think devices like this will not only give the consumer more to play with but also have very practical applications in the event industry. Of course, we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen but read on to find out some of the ways we think event managers and venues will be able to make good use of the technology to improve the attendee journey.

                                                       The Attendee Journey


The phone knows what kind of events you like based on events you’ve been to in the past and how you’ve reacted to them. When a new event is announced, if the device thinks you’ll like it, it’ll simply inform you and ask you if you’d like to go. Simply answering “yes” could be enough to sign you up.

Getting There

Don’t worry about all that travel business. Your phone has already booked a flight and an Uber at each end. It’s all in your diary too, so you can’t go wrong.


As you approach the event, your phone automatically activates your entry pass, which is, of course contactless. Just like that, you’re in. You walk up to a vending machine, tap it with your phone and your badge is printed.


Naturally, your phone knows when you want coffee. It can tell by your melatonin levels that you’re sleepy. As you pass the food court, it wakes up and smells the coffee, then asks “would you like a coffee?”. You answer “yes please”, and walk to the coffee stand where a Barista addresses you by name and hands over your favourite brew. Your phone has picked up the bill already.

The Event Floor

As you wander around, you visit a few stands, look at a few things and speak to a few people. Your phone is looking, listening and most importantly learning about what you’re most interested in based on what it sees and hears. It doesn’t take long before it suggests visiting someone able to answer every question.


Like any decent event patron, you’ve already drawn up your keynote itinerary but what if you miss something important from one of the other speakers? No need to worry, your phone has already thought of that. Based on what it’s learned throughout the day, your phone has suggested a few changes. You never need to miss an important announcement again.

The Bar

After all the keynotes have wrapped up, it’s off to the bar. For some, this is the most important part of the event because it’s where the important conversations happen. As you arrive, your phone suggests others with similar interests to seek out and connect with.

Post Event

As you’re taking your automagically arranged ride home, your phone compiles a handy dossier of everything you’ve seen, heard and discussed for later dissemination. If you’re so inclined, it may even suggest writing and publishing a blog post for you.

The next day, as you wake up, you find that your phone has also suggested a few meeting times to follow up on the conversations you forgot you had after that difficult third margarita.


Navigating a busy event can be a difficult experience for some. For those hard of hearing or with sight difficulties, it may even give the ability to experience what they wouldn’t otherwise be able to, due to the device’s ability to hear and see respectively.

In Conclusion

This is one of those situations where you can truly say that there are limitless possibilities for event professionals and attendees alike to exploit these technologies. Whether or not all of the above may be of use to you is a very personal thing but what is clear is that technologies like this can remove what some of your attendees may consider drudgery, allowing event professionals to create a much better experience for all involved.

Read more Here.


Back to top


The best advice I ever got… When I was having trouble with coworkers at a new job and I wanted to quit and accept a position I had been offered at another company, the Director who hired me told me at some point I was going to have to grow a backbone and stick it out, so that’s what I did!  I stayed with that company for 3 years before leaving to join the Boca Resort, which was ironically the company who had offered me a position 3 years prior, but in a different department.  I never would have ended up in the department I am in now doing what I love if I hadn’t stuck it out with the other company!

 New Members to Meet & Greet!

Leigh Botha, Boca by Design

Gabriell Chapas, EAST Miami

Oswaldo Lopez, CMP, The Confidante Hotel

Mayline Menendez, PCO, GRUPO MENSI, INC.

Ashley Siculietano, Everglades Holiday Park

Erin Silloway, ConferenceDirect

Giana Sirota, Koncept Events

Jayme Washam, CMP, Event Planning Concepts

 We are also proud of our young professionals in our industry and
would like to welcome
our New Student Members:

Fabiola Rodriguez

Kathryn Wilt

MPI SFL welcomes a new resort on Hutchinson Island to the Meeting & Events Community.

Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa in Jensen Beach is the Treasure Coast of Florida's new premier resort for family vacations, meetings, corporate retreats, oceanfront weddings, and spa getaways. Enjoy 184-rooms of oceanfront accommodations with coastal-inspired decor and luxury amenities steps from the sand on Florida's East Coast. The first new resort to be built on Hutchinson Island in almost two decades, the new resort will feature an oceanfront restaurant, two pools, a jacuzzi, a signature spa, 8,000 square feet of oceanfront meeting space, and a spectacular beachfront location perfect for soaking up the sun, cooling off in the surf, and sinking your toes in the sand.

Opening Spring 2017, The Hutchinson Shores Resort is a welcome addition to the area. With more than 8,000 square feet of meeting space and a prime oceanfront setting, the resort is an exciting new addition for meeting planners here in South Florida.

Learn more about Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa at Hutchinson Shores.

Sponsored by Hutchinson Shores.

Want to learn more about Advertising with MPI SFL? Contact

Back to top



Learning is a lifelong process, especially when it comes to delivering exceptional meetings and events. With rapidly changing technology, evolving business standards and a renewed focus on strategy, professional development is more important than ever. MPI is here to help.

The MPI Academy offers an array of professional development opportunities that align with the Meeting and Business Competency Standards (MBECS) and are suited to fit the diverse needs of our industry. 

Please visit: MPI Academy for more information and learn about the many certification programs that MPI offers to our members to help you grow in the meetings industry!


In honor of a dedicated MPI Board Member and Volunteer the MPI South Florida Chapter has created an Education Scholarship to carry on the legacy of Karyn Altman. Her passion for the chapter was continuing education, therefore the Karyn Altman Education Scholarship was created. Here is your chance to attend the prestigious WEC. Represent your chapter, meet MPI members from around the world and learn what is happening in our ever changing industry. There are up to two scholarships of a maximum of $1,000 each that will be awarded. Please see application for more details. Deadline to Submit an application is February 7, 2017. Decision will be made by February 28, 2017. Don’t let this wonderful opportunity pass you by. Apply today for the Karyn Altman Education Scholarship to attend WEC.

Click Here to Download Application then submit to:  Joanna Berens, Scholarship Chair –


Back to top