Monday, January 24, 2011

MPI Opens Info to Nonmembers

MPI has always been very proprietary about its vast library of resources and tools – if you’re not a member, you don’t get to get your hands on any of the articles, white papers, tools, and reports that they carry on their website.

Well, this morning that changed. MPI announced on a webcast that it is opening up many of these resources to nonmembers. You simple present them with your planner credentials ( and you can use their new service - MPIWeb Connect, to access selected content that was previously hands-off to nonmembers. In addition, MPI announced the availability of a new mobile web tool and an app for the iPhone that allows MPIWeb Connect users to access content, MPI social media channels, tools for travelers and more.

MPI’s reasoning is that they think it’s important to “elevate the global meetings industry.” In other words, they’re not just looking out for their members, but for the industry itself. I like that kind of thinking. It’s good for all of use. Kudos, MPI!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Airlines vs. Online Travel Sites

If you’ve been following the brouhaha in the media about the war between online travel shopping sites like Orbitz and Expedia and American Airlines, you’ll be interested to hear what the National Business Travel Association has to say. American wants to stop paying the global distribution fees associated with those sites and have passengers book directly with them. As a result, American’s flights are no longer sold through Orbitz and Expedia, decreasing their value as a one-stop shopping site. According to experts in the travel industry, If other airlines follow, it could alter how travelers book their flights, and ultimately, how much they pay.

The NBTA has been making a lot of noise about the situation. They’ve published several white papers condemning the action, and added a session on the topic to their Masters Program meeting on Feb. 7-8. Their point is that American’s action is threatening competition in the marketplace, and that the business traveler will ultimately foot the cost. That’s us and our attendees, of course. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that. What do you think?