MPI-Professional Education Conference in Houston was all about “Meeting Different”, including an ‘Unconference Alley’ where delegates could drop in and discuss issues that mattered to them without panelists and presenters, including a Green Café. Close to 200 planners stopped by the Café, dropping in to pose questions and share information in roundtable discussions about green issues that included:
APEX Green Meeting Standards: Where do we start and how can you help?
Help me help you! What can hotels do to help meeting planners go green?
How do I start a carbon offset program?
Ok I’m recycling – now what’s next?
What can the destination provide to help green meetings?

PEC also featured an entire learning track on corporate social responsibility (CSR) including informative presentations about benchmarking green meetings, standards and certification, contract language and liabilities and tips on how to stay green in a brown situation.

In keeping with the green theme, conference organizers:
Used organic cotton bags and lanyards and provided recycling bins for them.
Printed on recycled content paper using vegetable based ink.
Provided recycling stations for paper, glass, plastic and cans.
Powered the conference using 100% wind energy.

A message board was also available for attendees to post information about what they are doing to be green, and provide recommendations for MPI moving forward. Thanks to Shawna McKinley for sharing this information.