1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stacey Ruth, 404-874-8522
GEORGIA CHAPTER OF MEETING PROFESSIONALS INTERNATIONAL HOSTS MEETINGS
EXPLORATION CONFERENCE IN ATLANTA AFTER ONE YEAR HIATUS
Tools and technology supporting the health of the meetings industry
Atlanta, Georgia, January 18, 2010 – Georgia Chapter of Meeting Professionals International
(GaMPI) will be hosting a two-day regional meeting planner conference, Meetings Exploration
Conference (MEC), at the Georgia World Congress Center February 11-12, 2010. Historically
MEC has provided 25 new educational tracks for planners to provide opportunities for
professional development as well as a substantial supplier tradeshow. To date, MEC has been
the largest local opportunity for planners to access this sort of education.
“The past year and a half have been challenging times for most suppliers and planners in our
industry. We believe that there is a pent up demand for meetings, however, and that in 2010
companies that have been holding back will increase meetings and travel programs in order to
outperform their competitors,” says Kate Lastinger, CMM, CMP,GaMPI President, “That is why it
is so critically important to deliver strategic education and resources to our local planner
community right now.”
“One of the fastest changing areas of the meeting industry is the incredible array of technological
tools that are bursting on the scene,” adds Kevin Johnston, CMP, 2010 MEC Co-Chair, “So we
have created an exclusive Technology Playground at this MEC, just to feature this software and
The 2010 MEC program will feature a panel of industry experts including Danielle Babilino, Senior
Vice President Hotel Sales with the Wynn and Encore Hotels; Geoffrey Freeman, Senior Vice
President, Public Affairs with the U.S. Travel Association; Dave Lutz, Managing Director of Velvet
Chainsaw Consulting; and Gary Sain, President & CEO with the Orlando/Orange County CVB.
Also featured will be Mark Whitacre, whose story was made famous in the recent movie, The
Informant, who will discuss business ethics lessons for tomorrow’s business leaders.
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the premier organization devoted to the educational
and professional needs of people in the meeting industry. With over 20,000 members globally,
MPI serves both meeting planners and suppliers to the industry.
Meeting Professionals International Georgia Chapter (GaMPI), 2004-2005 and 2005-2006
Chapter of the Year, is currently the 5th largest chapter, with over 1000 members. Throughout the
year, GaMPI offers superior educational opportunities including retreats and workshops,
coordinates several social outings annually, as well as networking receptions prior to each
monthly meeting. For more information, visit www.gampi.org.
If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with either Kate
Lastinger or Kevin Johnston, please contact Stacey Ruth at 404-874-8522 or email Stacey at