SALT LAKE CITY (July 13, 2009) - Meeting Professionals International's (MPI) Annual World Education Conference (WEC) is convening in Salt Lake July 11-14, 2009, at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center. The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau (SLCVB) anticipates an enormous economic impact for its meeting and convention industry.

MPI delegates represent billions of dollars in meetings and conventions annually. "We can absolutely quantify the direct economic impact from the stay of over 2,500 delegates for the MPI event at over $2 million, but the long-term exposure of hosting MPI is where the real impact is going to be felt," said Scott Beck, President/CEO of the SLCVB. "This group is to the meeting industry what the 2002 Winter Olympics were to the winter sports industry. We know from feedback from prior MPI host cities that we can expect a strong halo effect from the successful hosting of MPI as we continue to promote Salt Lake as a world-class destination for meetings and conventions."

The ‘stamp of approval' this prestigious group bestows allows the SLCVB to show the world that Salt Lake is an ideal place to do business. "If the leading organization in this industry says our city is good enough for its international meeting, then it also is good enough for any group planning its next large meeting," said Beck.

MPI is also excited to introduce its members to Salt Lake. "Not many members have done events in Salt Lake. This is an opportunity to introduce them to a potential new place to bring their business," stated Vicki Hawarden, MPI's Vice President of Knowledge and Special Events. "We look for a city to host this convention that has passion and creativity. We look for a city that is affordable, with natural beauty. We chose Salt Lake because they are hospitable and creative. We're sure they're going to blow this out of the water for us," she continued.

The SLCVB is showcasing the area's natural beauty and its ability to host large-scale gatherings, with events at spectacular outdoor venues. Opening night festivities take place at Library Square in conjunction with the Salt Lake Jazz Festival, with a performance by the world-famous Project Bandaloops. The closing night soiree at Red Butte Garden features a sumptuous picnic and concert by Smash Mouth. In cooperation with the Park City Chamber/Bureau, the SLCVB plans a Monday night "Party in the Park (City)" with Park City Mayor Dana Williams' band, Motherlode, playing and a performance by the Flying Aces. All events are focusing on locally produced, organic and sustainable foods, highlighting Utah's national rising-star producers.

Highlighting one of Salt Lake's most enduring strengths, the SLCVB is utilizing a unique group of volunteers to welcome and shepherd MPI delegates: the ‘Hospitality Rangers,' playing off its "Different By Nature" branding, and to shine a light on the friendly, outgoing and hospitable nature of Utahns, something Salt Lake became known for during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The SLCVB has been working closely with it tourism and hospitality partners for years to win the bid to host this prestigious convention. "You don't pull off an event of this size on your own," stated Beck. "The Utah Office of Tourism, the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Salt Lake County, Meet In Utah partners and our own members have been invaluable in their assistance to create these world-class events slated to impress."

About MPI: Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the meeting and event industry's largest and most vibrant global community, helps its members thrive by providing human connections to knowledge and ideas, relationships, and marketplaces. MPI membership is comprised of more than 24,000 members belonging to 71 chapters and clubs worldwide. For additional information, visit

About the World Education Congress: The World Education Congress (WEC) is MPI's largest gathering of meeting and event professionals from around the globe. This annual conference and expo draws thousands of industry planners and suppliers to learn, to connect and to exchange ideas.

The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the SLCVB's mission is to improve the area economy by attracting and providing support to conventions, leisure travelers and visitors. Salt Lake is a unique fusion of metropolitan city and quaint mountain town; the towering Wasatch Mountains that embrace Salt Lake offer a dramatic backdrop to the vibrancy and activities of downtown. For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, go to

- -