Welcome to the MPI Heartland Chapter!

MPI Heartland is made up of meeting planners and suppliers from across Iowa and Nebraska and we are a part of the MPI Global community.

MPI Heartland brings networking and educational opportunities to our members, and non members, in order to advance the meeting profession. Almost every month there are opportunities to be involved in the chapter through events.

Meeting Professionals International, the meeting industry’s largest and most vibrant global community, is committed to delivering success for its nearly 17,000 worldwide members by providing innovative knowledge and learning experiences, connecting people and ideas, and creating rich marketplace opportunities. Founded in 1972, the Dallas-based organization delivers global human connections through its 90 chapters and clubs in 24 countries. For more information or to join, visit www.mpiweb.org


Cvent, Inc. (NYSE: CVT) is a leading cloud-based enterprise event management platform, with more than 1,450 employees and more than 12,600 customers worldwide. Cvent offers software solutions to event planners for online event registration, venue selection, event management, mobile apps for events, e-mail marketing and web surveys. Cvent provides hotels with a targeted advertising platform designed to reach event planners looking for suitable venues. Cvent solutions optimize the entire event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage hundreds of thousands of meetings and events. http://www.cvent.com/


Member Spotlight


Kim Johnson-Smith

Go Stagestruck, a Division of Iowa Sound

Founder and CEO

Title:  I’m the Founder and CEO of Go Stagestruck, and I was also recently hired to act as the Executive Director of The District Association at Prairie Trail. 

MPI Member Since:  I’ve been a member on and off (based on career path) for 10 years.

How long have you been in the meetings / hospitality industry?  Almost 15 years

How has MPI helped in the support and growth of your career? In most of my positions, I’ve been a team of one, and being involved in MPI allows me to bounce ideas off other professionals in my industry. The chapter provides quality trainings, and I feel like I always walk away with new ideas to implement. Most recently, being involved in MPI pushed me to test for my CMP, something that has been a personal goal for several years. With MPI providing a study group opportunity, it gave me the support I needed to make the leap!

Have you done business with any MPI members, locally or nationally? Absolutely! Far to many to name, but I love that when I work with an MPI member, I know I’m working with a professional.

What three tips can you share with others in our industry? 

  • 1. Take time for yourself. When you are onsite for an event, it’s easy to feel obligated to say yes when a board member or client invites you to go to dinner, but in most instances, it’s truly ok to say no. Having time to decompress and not feel like you have to be “on” will help you refresh at the end of each day. Treating yourself to a little glass of wine never hurts either!
  • 2. Forgive yourself. We ALL make mistakes, and I promise, as much as you’d like to think you are an exception to that rule, you are not. I once scheduled tour buses for the day AFTER my group’s tours were happening. In my mind, my career was over, and I could never show my face again. Luckily my boss didn’t feel the same way, but I can assure you, no one was harder on me than I was on myself. When mistakes happen, learn from them, give yourself grace, and then move on. That’s how we grow as professionals.
  • 3. Laugh and do it often. One of my favorite event memories was when my co-workers and I discovered a website that posts screen shots of funny auto corrects. We took turns reading them out load to each other while participants were in session (damnyouautocorrect.com – you can thank me later). Finding a way to have fun while your event is in full swing helps you relax and makes you appear more confident. If your participants see you as the planner having fun, it sets the stage for them to have fun as well.

What is your dream vacation spot?  If it has sunshine, a beach, and crystal blue water, it’s calling my name! St. John’s in the US Virgin Islands will always have a special place in my heart, because it’s where my husband proposed.

What do you do in your spare time? Any hidden talents? Fun facts about yourself?  I have a Netflix addiction, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. After my kids go to bed, and I’ve finished working for the evening, you’ll find me on the couch with remote in hand. My most recent binge was New Girl. A fun fact and hidden talent is that I used to run a cake business out of my home. I sometimes miss the creative outlet it gave me, but I do NOT miss the kitchen mess one bit!

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