Nearly 700 MPI members gathered in Grapevine for Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Congress (WEC). Held at Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, the hybrid convention’s in-person attendees were joined virtually by 1,000-plus additional participants, all coming together under the theme “Reunite for Recovery.” The 2020 WEC set the tone for future events and raised the bar with its Duty of Care health and safety procedures. These included sending name badges, lanyards, masks and personal hand sanitizers in advance to attendees, requiring temperature checks each day as delegates entered the event, incorporating responsible F&B/seating/ barriers precautions, and having social activities with made-to-order and individually packaged food items.

Meeting in an idyllic, natural setting doesn’t mean you have to give up a dynamic urban energy –at least not when you’re gathering in The Woodlands, a charming community located less than 30 miles from Houston and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The town boasts a full social calendar, as well as all of the conveniences found in a more metropolitan locale. But it is shaded by acres of heritage trees, surrounded by neighborhood parks and centered around the sparkling waters of Lake Woodlands and The Woodlands Waterway. 

 

When executed safely, in-person meetings and events are possible. But it’s been tough for meeting planners across the nation, due to differing state-by-state and even county-by-county guidelines. In some areas, meetings and events returned a while ago, but for others, it’s hard to imagine what planning a meeting would be like. In an effort to show the latter how to hold safe business gatherings when restrictions loosen, the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) launched their Meet Safe platform as a resource for other planners to reference when planning future in-person meetings.