February is when we celebrate Black History Month. And this month, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide, and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP) are extending and expanding their formal relationship through 2026. The partnership will include more education, featured leadership at signature annual conferences, programming for its communities and increased collaboration from organizational leadership.

In October 2020, the partnership was focused primarily on a joint membership offering that has resulted in 53 members across both organizations having taken advantage. But the updated partnership will extend through 2026 with ongoing renewals available for the two organizations to continue their collaboration.

Among the primary features, the two associations will seek to collaborate on industry education efforts through shared virtual learning and in-person sessions at each of their annual signature events, including MPI’s World Education Congress, Global Meetings Industry Day and NCBMP’s Annual Conference.

More specifics around the expanded and extended agreement include:

  • Visible organizational engagement and collaboration.
  • Reciprocal participation by NCBMP and MPI volunteer leaders to serve on committees or in a related capacity.
  • Creation of education and programming through the MPI Academy, including four virtual sessions co-hosted by MPI and NCBMP.
  • Collaboration on anti-human trafficking education for the industry.
  • Collaboration with the MPI Foundation to promote grants and scholarships.

“When these talks were first initiated, both of our organizations saw incredible potential in this partnership,” according to Jason Dunn, executive director of NCBMP. “Three years later, we recognized the reality of that potential, and this purposeful expansion feels organic to what the industry and our community needs from both of our organizations and associations in general. We believe in building authentic relationships; the future is bright.”

“Our relationship with NCBMP has been special from the start,” echoes MPI CEO Paul Van Deventer. “We have collaborated exceptionally well over the past three years and our collective communities, which are the focal point of our efforts, have been the beneficiaries. We’re thrilled to expand these benefits to the global meetings and events industry.”