MPI Announces Program for 2015 World Education Congress in San Francisco

Opening Keynote Speech to be Delivered by James Curleigh, President of the Levi's(R) Brand

DALLAS, April 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meeting Professionals International (MPI) wants attendees to find their professional edge during its 2015 World Education Congress (WEC). This week the association revealed program details about the conference on its website, including session descriptions, speaker bios, pre-conference programming, networking events and more. WEC is scheduled for August 1 – 4, 2015, at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

Held annually, WEC is MPI's signature event through which it delivers premier education, business and networking opportunities to MPI members and the greater meeting and event community. WEC 2015 will deliver more than 100 education sessions covering topics such as food and beverage trends, cutting-edge event technology, meeting design, corporate social responsibility, women in leadership and room block poaching. Most of the sessions will be eligible for clock hours and MPI is designated as a CMP Preferred Provider by the Convention Industry Council. New this year, prior to WEC 2015, the association will also host an expanded Chapter Leaders Forum, providing a variety of education sessions for more than 200 MPI chapter volunteer leaders.

The opening keynote will be presented by James Curleigh, executive vice president of Levi Strauss & Co. and president of the Levi's® brand. During his presentation titled, "The Edge of the Modern Frontier," Curleigh will discuss the essential balance between leveraging authenticity and at the same time creating excitement with new innovative solutions for today's lifestyle. Attendees will be challenged to think about what is next for the modern frontier and to re-envision their world by chasing and changing the landscape.

"Our theme for WEC 2015 is all about finding your professional edge, so we will deliver a variety of learning experiences designed to give attendees a competitive advantage when planning meetings," said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. "We want to encourage attendees to sharpen their minds, push boundaries, and rediscover the unique edge that live meetings and events give to business and to society."

MPI has engaged an array of distinguished speakers for WEC this year including Flash Point speakers Evelyne White, co-founder and CEO of the global social dining community, BookaLokal; Pamela Meyer, author of the national best-seller, Liespotting; Liz Murray, an international bestselling author who went from being homeless to a Harvard graduate; and Kai Kight, a multi-talented violinist, composer and inspirational speaker. The education sessions will feature WEC newcomers such as Yigit Pura, season one winner of the Bravo television show, "Top Chef Just Desserts," and Judith Holler, personal branding expert, professional improviser and president-elect of the MPI Chicago Area Chapter as well as high-demand, returning WEC speakers Tyra Hilliard, Corbin Ball, Joanne Dennison and Brandt Krueger.

In addition, MPI is taking a fresh approach with the opening general session by hosting a spectacular brunch, which is quite a popular pastime in San Francisco, for all attendees. The association also plans to redesign the WEC 2015 Career & Learning Central with its own take on the creative "San Fran" workspace, incorporating new break room and brainstorm areas as well as pop up meeting rooms.

"Hosting MPI's WEC is a tremendous opportunity for San Francisco and we intend to make the most of it," said Joe D'Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association and co-chair of the 2015 MPI WEC Host Committee. "We are looking forward to showing off what's new and different in our city, as well as sharing those experiences that keep people – and meetings – coming back. As we say, for great ideas and great gatherings, it begins here."

Other program highlights include opening and closing night celebrations, the MPI RISE Awards Luncheon, a dynamic and interactive business-to-business marketplace called MarketSquare, and the MPI Hosted Buyer Program, which already has about 200 planners accepted into the program thus far. The MPI Foundation will present its signature networking event Rendezvous as well as the Not-So-Silent Auction and The Big Deal – an official World Series of Poker satellite tournament. These fundraisers will directly benefit the foundation's education endowment, which provides chapter grants and scholarships to MPI members around the world.

To learn more or register for WEC 2015, visit

About MPI

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest and most vibrant global meeting and event industry association. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI membership is comprised of approximately 18,500 members belonging to 70 chapters and clubs worldwide. For additional information or to join, visit