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Spike In Meeting Association Membership indicates positive industry growth

Confirming a return-to-normal growth for the meeting and hospitality industries, Meeting Professionals International (MPI<.>) posted new member totals…

Confirming a return-to-normal growth for the meeting and hospitality industries, Meeting Professionals International (MPI<.>) posted new member totals in first quarter 2002 that return the association to its strong growth levels of first quarter 2001.



From January – March 2002, the number of new member applications increased 40 percent over those received October – December 2001. Based on this growth, MPI now projects to sustain an all-time high of approximately 19,000 members worldwide recorded last fiscal year*. During 1Q 2002, MPI's membership growth was just 23 members less than the same period last year.



Aiding this growth is MPI's aggressive "Business Rules" initiative for suppliers, the hardest hit segment of the meeting and hospitality industries. Through May 31, suppliers may join MPI without a planner match, provided they recruit a new planner member during the first 12 months of membership waiving for the first time a historical requirement that suppliers can join only with a planner match. And for planners and suppliers joining by June 30, MPI is waiving its $50 application fee.





"For the past six months, our focus has been to help MPI members get back to business and regain forward momentum," said Edwin L. Griffin Jr., CAE, president/CEO of MPI. "Our latest new member growth statistics definitely support signs of industry recovery, especially as association dues revenue typically is a lagging economic indicator because of a year-round dues cycle. In fact, it's a very positive sign that we have so many new members joining at the beginning of a new year."



Maintaining a Balanced Membership Ratio



MPI's commitment to a balanced planner/supplier membership ratio has not been impacted by its aggressive offer for suppliers (hotel chains, convention and visitors bureaus and other service providers) to gain broader access to meeting planners that purchase their services. Of MPI's total membership, planners equal 46 percent, suppliers make up 52 percent, and two percent comprises students. In addition, MPI predicts retention levels for its FY2001-2002 will slip a mere .004 percent.





For its new fiscal year (2002 – 2003), MPI is developing a special planner-focused "Business Rules" campaign in order to ensure its ongoing commitment to a 50-50 planner/supplier ratio unmatched by any other industry association.

Founded in 1972, Meeting Professionals International, with approximately 19,000 members in 64 countries with 60 chapters and four chapters in formation, is the leading global community committed to shaping and defining the future of the meeting and event industry.



* MPI's fiscal year is July 1 – June 30.

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