StarChapter of July: MPI Southern California

The Meeting Professionals International Southern California Chapter (MPISCC) is a member-centric organization focusing on professional development for the meetings and events industries. MPISCC is recognized as an award-winning chapter with over 600 members serving the greater Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, and Las Vegas areas. As a volunteer organization, MPISCC relies on its members to craft, guide, and direct the local meetings industry in support of MPI’s overall vision and mission.  We had the opportunity to connect with Joe Marcy, CMP the 2017-2018 President to discuss how they are increasing their membership and engagement.


1. What was MPISCC’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?

Meeting Professionals International Southern California Chapter (MPISCC) takes great pride in our member retention and recruitment.  Our Membership team is focused on recognizing existing members and cultivating new ones as well.  We rolled out a new recognition program, increased our member engagement to 24% and highlighted member milestones.  Handwritten notes were sent to members thanking them for being a part of our “community”. 

We increased our membership 7% in 2017-2018 by focusing on our emerging leaders.  MPISCC had a significant presence at universities across Southern California, establishing education sessions/panels, meet and greets and attending career fairs.  Our student engagement nearly doubled due to these efforts.  The Board of Directors recognize these individuals as the next generation of leaders.  We’ve crafted tools to make their involvement easily accessible and effective. 

2. Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized this year.

Our Education and Special Event teams have a lot to celebrate - attendance is up!  We processed over 1,500 registrations this year and had several SOLD OUT events.  MPISCC truly values its partnerships with other industry associations.  We organized one of the largest Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) events in North America in partnership with SITE and PCMA. 

Many of our associations share similar values and goals.  Understanding our member’s needs and busy schedules, it was a great fit for us to collaborate.  We had global leaders and industry icons present.  It truly gave our members great pride and fit well with our theme, “Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About”

3. The MPI Southern California network is extensive. Does the board get ideas on how to improve membership value from other chapters?

MPI headquarters does an excellent job at recognizing chapter success and delivering “best practices”.  Every chapter has a unique culture.  It’s a priority for our leadership to take chances.  There are many initiatives that have worked well in our community.  We’ll continue to learn from our colleagues, share ideas and collaborate effectively.

Our greatest opportunity to improve member value is by listening to our community often.  We developed multiple surveys that gave our members an opportunity to share constructive feedback.  Survey results are reviewed often and are taken into consideration when building the business plan.  MPISCC has truly developed a leadership culture where it’s encouraged to have a voice.  And part of that culture is to empower members to take action.


4. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers?

Take chances but always keep your membership in mind.  Our community is diverse and spans a large territory.  We value everyone in the organization and experiment with different concepts to meet all their needs.

As a volunteer, it isn’t always easy to manage life’s demands.  But you’ll make time for the opportunities that you value.  Take on areas outside of your comfort zone – it’s a great opportunity to grow.  Make connections and begin with the end in mind. You’ll be surprised how rewarding volunteer service can be.


5. What is in store for your members next year?

The 2018-2019 Board of Directors are excited to serve the members!  They have a great leader, Bryan Quinan, who will inspire them to do great things.  As an award-winning chapter, the opportunities are endless. 

MPISCC celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.  We’ll look back on what we’ve accomplished and plan for the next 40 years.  Most of the 2019 calendar is already set. Be a part of the celebration - visit mpiscc.org today.


6. How have been able to utilize StarChapter to run MPI Southern California and reach its goals?  

Thank you, StarChapter for giving us a strong communication outlet.  We direct our members to our website often.  It’s the backbone of everything we do.  We have advertising opportunities, calendar of events, event banners, and a new blog run by our volunteers.  It has provided all the resources we need to be successful.

Would you like to share the success story of your chapter with other board volunteers? We'd love to feature you! Fill out this form to let us know.

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