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Meetings-management firm Maritz Travel Co. this year will unveil
a network of dozens of destination management companies, professional congress
organizers and independent meeting-planning firms throughout the world to serve
clients' multinational meetings needs, the company announced this week.
Maritz Travel "in the coming weeks" will identify
the third parties selected to be part of what the company is calling the Maritz
Global Meetings Network, Maritz Travel president David Peckinpaugh this week
told BTN. The company expects to name
first about 30 such companies—one per country, though some suppliers have
multiple locations—in what he called "priority-one countries,"
including most of the European Union, China, Australia, New Zealand, Chile,
Mexico and Argentina.
A second, smaller rollout of countries is expected by year-end,
he said, giving the network a roster of about 40 companies and for now
completing the effort.
"Our goal is to have a partner in every country where
we either currently do or expect to do business in," Peckinpaugh said.
The selected third parties can fulfill clients' onsite
meetings needs in their given countries, he said, including logistical planning
as well as site selection and contract negotiation.
"The idea of being a global company is not new to us,
but what has changed is the significant interest of clients requiring
assistance for meetings and conventions [overseas], particularly big sales and
marketing events and even overseas client events," Peckinpaugh said.
"We need to have reliable resources in local markets all across the
The network, which Peckinpaugh said Maritz Travel began to
develop 18 months ago, will be led by the three global general managers it appointed in February: Ben Goedegebuure in Europe, the Middle East and
Africa; Eduardo Chaillo in Latin America; and Ping He in the Asia/Pacific
The three executives, Peckinpaugh said, "are
responsible for building, maintenance, management, oversight and creating
individual business plans with each partner to make sure we are completely
Maritz Travel this summer conducted first a
request-for-information process, then a request-for-proposals process, with two
to five potential members of the network in each country. "We had a global
optimization team, and they along with the global general managers and [Maritz's
procurement department] reviewed the information and did a grading process,
then identified one partner in each of those countries," Peckinpaugh said,
adding that the company is finalizing agreements with the first wave of network
Maritz Travel currently is conducting an RFP process for
companies in the remaining countries to be added to the network.
Maritz Travel will work with clients' preferred third
parties in countries even if they are not members of the network, Peckinpaugh
The effort to develop the network was driven in large part
by the needs of Maritz Travel's corporate clientele, a segment that this year generally
is rebounding in terms of meeting activity, he said.
"Overall, it's very strong," he said. "There
are a couple pockets of weakness, but all sectors are doing well. We are having
a significant growth year, and we don't see that changing outside of an
unexpected occurrence. The economy is strengthening, and corporations are
investing in meetings and incentives. Budgets are not rapidly but slowly
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