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MU Conference Office

Joy Millard, director

photo: MU Conference Office

MU Conference Office Coordinator Erica Lovercamp tells a Summer Media Conference participant and an instructor about her job. Lovercamp manages the logistics of conferences at MU, such as coordinating with building supervisors. Her job helps carry the burden of putting on a large conference.

The MU Conference Office (MUCO) was created in 1963 to provide high-quality, professional, full-service meeting management for a variety of noncredit educational programs such as conferences, workshops, seminars and symposia.

Whether a meeting is hosted on the MU campus, elsewhere in Missouri or anywhere in the world, the office's professional staff helps create the best learning environment for participants. In 2012, MUCO's portfolio of conferences included applied reproductive strategies in beef cattle held in Joplin; a citizen corps training at Lake of the Ozarks; the North Central Regional 4-H Science Academy in St. Louis; and a national board chair/CEO conference of agricultural cooperatives in Newport Beach, Calif.

MUCO provides comprehensive services: the complete management of all specifics from budgeting, contract negotiation, menu selection, seating arrangements, name badges and proceedings, to final reconciliation of income and expenditures. MUCO excels at organization, attention to detail, and flawless execution providing enjoyable quality learning experiences.

In 2012, clientele included university academic and administrative departments; state and federal agencies; private and public organizations; faith-based groups; youth camps; and athletic groups.

During 2012, MUCO collaborated with eight MU colleges and schools, 17 administrative units, 10 federal and state agencies, and 13 associations and entities to deliver 91 conferences that generated $4.16 million in gross revenue. These conferences attracted 22,344 people, of whom 14,865 were Missourians.

Campus-based economic impact studies conducted by the Association of Collegiate Conference Events Directors-International confirm that university conferences and events are substantial contributors to both campus and local economies. MU hosted on-campus events that contributed $1.6 million to campus units, including $841,788 in revenue sharing. In addition to campus economic impact, the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that every dollar spent by a visitor to Columbia turns over 1.9 times in the community. Currently, a Columbia visitor spends $145 per day when staying overnight and $65 a day without an overnight stay. MUCO held 22 conferences in Columbia hotels. It spent $290,833, adding to the local economy for food, beverage, and rental and lodging expenses.

MU Conference Office activities by MU division or program

MU Division or ProgramNumber of ActivitiesAttendance TotalIndiv. Hours InstructionStudent FTE*
*Student FTE = Student Full-time Equivalent
Arts and Science24232815.5
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources164,535352264.8
4-H Youth Development36856954.0
Fire and Rescue Training Institute22,02252119.0
Human Environmental Sciences267495.6
Human Environmental
Sciences Extension
MU Administration193,595311206.0
MU Extension2105206.1
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute461285.4
Veterinary Medical Extension and Cont. Ed113874.0
Veterinary Medicine158122.6
Vice Provost Extension54094714.4
Conference Office-hosted247,748592750.6
Conference Office Totals9122,3441,7181,557.2