IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum

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    Developed to harness the imagination of the most promising students and encourage them to join the meetings and incentive travel industry, the Future Leaders Forum program is jointly run by IMEX, MPI (Meeting Professionals International) and MCI. The Forums offer packed educational programs including inspirational sessions from industry experts on key topics, insightful international and regional overviews of the meetings industry, round table discussions, and opportunities to make valuable industry contacts. More than 125 Forums involving 7,000 students have taken place since the program's launch in 2003. Running at industry conferences or trade shows around the world, the largest Forums are at IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America with 100-plus students participating in the two-day programs.

    Forum at IMEX America

    October 19-20, 2016 

    San Polo 3503, Level 3, The Venetian®│The Palazzo® Congress Center

    The Forum at IMEX America brings together students from across the US, Canada and Mexico to take part in an outstanding career development opportunity. The two-day program covers inspiring sessions by experienced industry professionals, appointments with selected exhibitors on the show floor and many networking opportunities. If you attend you'll meet and learn from meetings industry leaders on topics including:  

    • The future of the meetings industry
    • Strategies for success in a global, culturally diverse economy
    • Tactics to establish and advance a professional career in today’s competitive environment

    To qualify for the Forum you should be in your final year at a university or college, where you are studying meetings and conventions, tourism or hospitality. You should not have attended a Future Leaders Forum at IMEX America previously. Attendance at the Forum is free of charge however you must pay for your own travel to Las Vegas and for your accommodation.

    Download the program

    Frequently asked questions

    Student registration

    I am interested in attending a IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum, how can I register?

    We usually invite students from local universities but always encourage the participation of proactive students. Please contact us for more information.

    What are the requirements for attending a Forum?

    You must be a student of courses related to the meetings and events industry and must not have attended a Forum before. Participation is most valuable if you are in your final year of education. 

    I am not a student any more. Can I participate?

    Priority is given to students but if places are still available, young professionals in the first years of employment are welcome to apply.

    I am not studying hospitality management, event management or tourism management, can I still participate?

    If you have a strong interest in the meetings and events industry and plan to start your career in this field, you can contact us to check if places are still available.

    I have attended a Forum before but I would like to attend another Forum at another event. Is this possible?

    Priority is given to first-time attendees but in certain cases we will consider a repeat participation, for example if it is held in a different country or if you want to share your experience of what happened after the Forum. Please contact us to discuss your case.


    What is the dress code?

    There is no dress code for the Forum but we recommend business casual, for example what you would wear to a job interview.

    Will I receive a certificate?

    Yes, we will provide certificates of attendance at the end of the Forum.

    Do you have any tips on following up with new connections after the Forum?

    You can make many impactful connections at the Forum and we recommend that you follow up with everybody you met. Please find some inspiration and follow up tips in our Inspiration section.

    Can I get a job at the Forum?

    The Forum is not a job fair. The participating speakers and industry professionals are not necessarily looking for new staff but they might be able to put you in contact with potential employers. Please be mindful when you ask about employment possibilities and try to be clear about your goal and your background. 

    What are the benefits of attending?

    You can network with and get practical industry insight from experienced experts. Many of our speakers have been recognized with awards or are influential industry leaders. We aim to provide a program that leaves you feeling inspired and more motivated to take the next step toward your career goal—and offer the opportunity to meet with like-minded people.


    How much does registration cost?

    Registration to the Forum is generally free of charge for participating students. Depending on the related industry event, there might be special discounts for students to take part in the main event and social functions.

    Are accommodations and transportation included?

    Accommodations and transportation costs normally need to be covered by the participants themselves.

    Will there be lunch or other breaks included?

    Coffee breaks and lunch will be provided (thanks to sponsors) unless stated otherwise in the program.


    We are always looking for new topics and speakers—please contact Sarah Skavron and tell us more about your session ideas.

    How can my students attend the Forum?

    The application process for each Forum depends on the main event and requirements given by the local organizing committees. If you are interested in participating in the Forums, please contact us for more specific information.

    Are there any guidelines on how to select students for the Forum?

    There are no designated guidelines but we consider the most important selection criteria to be the motivation of the students. Priority should be given to those students who are highly motivated to start a career in the meetings industry and who would benefit from this education and networking opportunity.

    Organizers and industry professionals

    I would like to support the Forum—how can I get involved?

    There are several ways to get involved, both on site at the Forums or online—for example delivering a session, giving career advice in smaller groups, sharing case studies and other information resources or sponsorship opportunities. Please contact us to discuss further details.

    How can I hold a session at a Forum?

    We are always looking for new speakers and new topics that are relevant for participants of the Forums. If you already have a concrete idea for a session or if you are generally interested, please contact us for more information.

    My organization is looking for new talent. How can I recruit Forum participants?

    We are happy to forward any information about work experience opportunities and job descriptions to previous Forum participants and help you spread the word. 

    Upcoming Forums

    Date Main Event Location
    17 January 2017  Conventa  Ljubljana, Slovenia
    27 February 2017  Meetings Africa  Johannesburg, South Africa
    5 March 2017  MPI EMEC  Granada, Spain
    7 March 2017  COCAL  Punta del Este, Uruguay
    22 March 2017  IT&CM China  Shanghai, China
    23 March 2017  Federcongressi&eventi  Riva del Garda, Italy
    24 March 2017  Meetings Week Poland  Warsaw, Poland
    17 - 18 May 2017  IMEX in Frankfurt  Frankfurt, Germany
    19 June 2017  MPI WEC  Las Vegas, USA
    12 July 2017  World Meetings Forum  Mexico City, Mexico
    26 - 27 September 2017  IT&CM Asia  Bangkok, Thailand
    11 - 12 October 2017  IMEX America  Las Vegas, USA



    I learnt, I networked, I had fun. The event taught me a lot, and I met different kinds of people who were all so friendly and willing to share their knowledge."

    Participant at the Future Leaders Forum at Meetings Africa 2016

    Contact Sarah Skavron to find out more.

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