Meetings Beat: Carlson Marketing Acquires TQ3Navigant Mtgs. Group
Carlson Marketing Acquires TQ3Navigant Mtgs. Group
Minneapolis-based Carlson Marketing last month announced the acquisition of meetings and incentive management provider TQ3Navigant Performance Group, after the approval of the acquisition between both sides' parent companies. NPG president Steve Some will become a senior vice president with Carlson Marketing, according to a company release, and focus on East Coast clients. "We're looking forward to a smooth integration process that leverages and closely aligns our complementary capabilities, creating synergies that will ultimately benefit our clients. Our joint goal is to engage, entertain and educate using meetings and events as the platform for our clients to strengthen relationships and deliver results," Some said in the release. The acquisition increases Carlson Marketing's meetings and events team by 25 percent and NPG clients now have access to Carlson's services and consultants. "The benefit for current NPG clients is that they'll continue to enjoy the same service and access to the account teams they've worked with in the past, in addition to having Carlson Marketing's other 3,000 marketing professionals at their disposal," said Robbin Rouillard, executive vice president of meetings and events for Carlson Marketing. NPG's operations will be fully integrated and aligned with Carlson, according to the release.
ConferencePlus Builds Cost-Allocation Technology
Schaumburg, Ill.-based ConferencePlus, a provider of audio-, Web- and videoconferencing services and a subsidiary of Westell Technologies Inc., on Aug. 24 said it had built an internal billing solution for an American Express corporate purchasing card client using in-house audioconferencing bridges. The solution allows the client to send call data records to ConferencePlus for processing and allocates and distributes charges internally via the client's Amex card program, according to a company release. The client is a Fortune 50 technology company that moved from a conferencing service provider to in-house voice over Internet protocol conferencing bridges. After the switch, the client had no way to allocate the costs to employees, departments or business units, the release said. The processing solution provides for daily, automated allocation of charges and bill processing. The client also receives level-two data, according to the release, and enhanced supplier information on expenditures. "We can purchase the bridge, install it, maintain it, service it, manage it and provide customer support, technical support and any necessary cost allocation and billing," said Gary Ratkiewicz, senior vice president of sales for ConferencePlus, in the release. "We don't know of anyone else in the industry that is offering a comprehensive service like this."
Conferon Becomes Experient
Following months of internal reorganization, Frederick, Md.-based Conferon Global Services on Aug. 29 announced it has rebranded as Experient. The brand unites the company's three distinct meeting and event management brands: Conferon, ExpoExchange and ITS. "While we recognize the enormous equity in each of the former divisions, I have absolutely no doubt that the event industry will very soon recognize a much greater benefit in the combined resources we have as Experient," said Ed Shartar, CEO of Experient. "We lead the industry in each of the segments we serve and will continue to serve, but we believe that the event industry is ready to look beyond providers of individual services and embrace a company dedicated to creating fully-integrated and distinctive experiences for attendees, exhibitors and event organizers." Experient claims more than 1,000 clients, according to a company release, one-third of which are corporations. The company the name change signals the completion of an internal integration initiative rather than changes in the products offered to clients.
Marriott Expands Pre-Arrival Services to Meetings
Marriott International last month announced the expansion of pre-arrival planning services to meetings and events worldwide. The free e-mail service alerts attendees about details of their stay five days prior to arrival, and resort guests receive the service 14 days in advance, according to a company release. The pre-arrival e-mail includes a reservation confirmation, information about property-specific amenities, weather forecast, maps, directions and information on transportation from the airport and the local area. The service would be available at nearly 2,500 hotels worldwide, including Marriott conference center properties. "We have received great feedback from customers on our pre-arrival planning service, which is already available to business and leisure travelers," said Mike Beardsley, senior vice president, national group and field sales for Marriott. The service was launched early last year after 80 percent of guests who participated in a chain survey said they would book their next trip with Marriott if they received information about their stay that was personalized, reassuring and timely, according to the release.