When the 2015 Meeting Professionals International (MPI) World Education Congress runs Aug. 1-4 at Moscone Center, attendees will experience a world-class travel destination, cutting-edge education sessions and red-carpet treatment from host San Francisco Travel Association.

“You won’t want to miss a moment, beginning with the opening night celebration at Pier 48, with some very special entertainment planned,” says Laurie Armstrong, S.F. Travel director of media relations for the United States and Canada. “The closing night celebration will be at San Francisco’s beautiful City Hall. I guarantee you’ve never been to a party like this.”

The opening keynote on Sunday will be presented by James Curleigh, executive vice president of Levi Strauss & Co. and president of the Levi’s brand. Curleigh’s presentation, entitled “The Edge of the Modern Frontier, will have a distinct San Francisco flavor. He will discuss the importance of balancing authenticity while creating excitement with new innovative solutions for today’s lifestyle.

“Our theme for WEC 2015 is all about finding your professional edge, so we will deliver a variety of learning experiences designed to give attendees a competitive advantage when planning meetings,” says Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “We want to encourage attendees to sharpen their minds, push boundaries, and rediscover the unique edge that live meetings and events give to business and to society.”

There will be a business-to-business marketplace called MarketSquare. MPI’s hosted buyer program is expected to have more than 200 participants.

The Big Deal

The Big Deal 2015, a key fundraiser for the MPI Foundation, will take place on Sunday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in Moscone Center. Presenting sponsors are Caesars Entertainment, Hilton Worldwide and Encore Event Technologies. The event features World Series of Poker gaming, plus dancing and gourmet food.

“Hosting MPI ’s WEC is a tremendous opportunity for San Francisco and we intend to make the most of it,” says Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association and co-chair of the 2015 MPI WEC Host Committee. “We are looking forward to showing off what’s new and different in our city, as well as sharing those experiences that keep people and meetings coming back. As we say, for great ideas and great gatherings, it begins here.”