I’m in San Francisco this week for the MPI WEC (World Education Congress) http://www.mpiweb.org/Events/wec-2015/home event.

As a first-timer to this event, I’m excited and curious to find out why so many of my colleagues get so fired up about this conference.  The truth is, people in this line of work go to a lot of conferences, so seeing a whole bunch of meeting industry professionals get so enthusiastic over a conference is fascinating.

I’m the VP of Membership at MPI Ottawa and my first event is today – it’s called the Membership Bootcamp.  I don’t think there’s exercise involved, but if there is, I’ll be the one standing at the coffee station. There are some fantastic people on MPI Ottawa’s Membership Committee and I’m stoked about getting some great ideas to pass along to them about what other MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Chapters across Canada and the US are doing so we can provide more value to our members in Ottawa.

In addition to some great education and the opportunity to network with a whole bunch of suppliers from Canada, the US and abroad – there is a reception or two (or TEN) that I’ll be attending.  As a bizarre mix of introvert and extrovert, I always have to talk myself into going to these social events – but then I’m always so glad I did!

I also get to hang out with my fellow board members who are here for the conference — Jen Holly from Travel Alberta, Dave Dugas from DE Systems, Jennifer McAndrew from Mastermind Events, Allison Collins from the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Ryan Young from the Banff Centre, Scott Ventresca from Tourism Toronto and Alyssa Bignell from InitLive Inc.  I’m lucky to be a part of such a great, professional and fun group of people. We’re pretty approachable, so if you’re at WEC, come by and introduce yourself!

Also  – super exciting news – thanks to my colleague Mary-Frances Gingras (Global Sales Officer at Hilton Worldwide), I get to play in the Big Deal (a poker tournament) on Sunday night.  It’s a satellite tournament and the winners gets a seat at WSOP (the World Series of Poker)!  I’m a Texas Hold ‘Em fan, so getting to play in this tournament will be fun. I’ll have to try to not scare my table mates with my super sonic death stare (it’s a strategic tactic that never works – don’t tell anyone! 🙂  For the record, the tournament is a fundraising event for the MPI Foundation – I’ll try to remember that as I psych myself up for the challenge of playing 200+ people!

I’m sure I’ll be back with more info about what makes WEC such an awesome event, but for now…I’m going to go find some java in the City by the Bay and maybe hop on a street car – it seems to be the way to see what’s up at the top of all these steep hills!

Have you been to San Francisco?  Do you have any suggestions for what we shouldn’t miss while we’re here? Let us know!