meeting planners

Meeting Planners Best Resource for Conference Facilities

February 19  |  connect in the city  |   Andrew Maxwell

meeting planners best resourceA meeting planner wears many hats. Depending on which part of their job tasks they are working on, meeting planners can be busy; negotiating, reviewing contracts, implementing a marketing plan to attract attendees, or just plain old being busy executing a program. As you can tell from that short job description, it does takes a certain kind of person to plan an event.

Anyone that’s involved in the supplier side of the meetings and events industry knows, firsthand, how hard it is to get in front of meeting planners. It’s really not that meeting planners are avoiding suppliers, trust me, they’re not. It really boils down to there are just not enough hours in the day sometimes.

Helping Meeting Planners Plan a Conference

If you have been to our website,, before then you know that it’s our priority to showcase conference facilities and suppliers to meeting and event planners. Over the last year we’ve been busy revamping our directory with the goal of simplifying the process. In other words we are trying to make it as easy as possible to put the right event suppliers in touch with the right meeting planners.

Some of the Changes That We’ve Made to Meeting Planners Best Resource

meeting planners best resource refine searchURL simplification – up until now each city that we listed in our directory was a separate URL. We’ve recently moved all of our supplier listings onto one URL (or as we refer to it, city), By changing from many URLs to one, we are able to better optimize our supplier listings. And the beauty of all of this is that it’s always free for meeting planners. Conference facilities and event suppliers are also able to have a free listing.

Fine tuning our focus – in the past our business model was based on a publishing business model. In other words, we achieved our revenue through advertising. While we still offer paid advertising, our focus has shifted. Our ultimate goal is to provide traffic. And of course the more traffic we generate the better it is for those that list on our site. In addition, we are also becoming active in green meetings, industry news and industry education. We love to hear from event planning students.

So if you haven’t visited our directory in a while we invite you to take a look at our revamped directory. For meeting planners our goal is simple: to provide the best resource of conference facilities and suppliers. For more on how works for planners, click here. For our industry vendors, our goal is to provide you with the ever coveted leads from meeting planners. Click here for more information on how our directory will benefit conference facilities and suppliers.


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Toronto’s Allstream Center Achieves Leed Silver Certification

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November 21  |  green meetings, meeting and event industry news  |   Andrew Maxwell

Mr. Hugh Mansfield, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place officially recently announced that the Allstream Centre at Exhibition Place has achieved LEED Silver (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification from the Canada Green Building Council. Allstream Centre is now the first conference centre in Canada with LEED Silver certification.

Renovated in 2009, Allstream Centre combined state-of-the art technology with environmental responsibility and sustainability and was built according to LEED Silver Standards. LEED is an internationally recognized system for evaluating the sustainability of building design, construction and operations. LEED certified buildings incorporate leading-edge features that protect the environment and promote healthy working and living conditions.

Allstream Centre Offers Meeting Planners an Environmentally Friendly Meeting Venue

The Centre’s renovation design by NORR Limited allowed for significant updates to the building’s façade and proves an historic building can be repurposed to be environmentally conscious and forward thinking. Allstream Centre serves as the go to venue for meetings, conventions, galas, special events in the City of Toronto, while offering high environmental standards. Among the highlights are the largest ballroom in Toronto, 20 divisible meeting rooms, fully powered by renewable energy, natural light throughout, a rainwater harvesting program, HVAC system, Low-VOC adhesives, sealants, and carpets, a white “cool roof”, and LED-technology for all exterior lighting to name a few.

“We are proud to receive this certification through the hard work and dedication from our design and construction partners and Exhibition Place employees,” says Dianne Young, Exhibition Place CEO “With partners like NORR Ltd., Enermodal Engineering, FCM, Carillion Canada and Allstream we successfully obtained LEED Silver Certification within a short period of time”.

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Maritz Travel Acquires Experient

May 31  |  meeting and event industry news  |   Andrew Maxwell

Maritz Travel, a global leader in providing full-service meeting, event and incentive travel programs to corporate clients, recently announced it has acquired Experient, another top provider of meeting and event services to associations, tradeshows, corporations and the US government.  As two of the largest and most respected companies in the meetings and events industry, Maritz and Experient now will expand their collective ability to deliver a full range of exceptional event experiences.

“As a result of this deal, Maritz Travel will lead the industry in four key areas – corporate, association, tradeshow and strategic meetings management. Coming together this way will fuel our shared objective to grow in the markets we serve,” said David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel. “By combining, we will expand the capabilities we bring to clients beyond what either of us might offer independently.”



Maritz’ end-to-end service delivery model will be enhanced by Experient’s ability to provide additional full and select services (including registration, housing, site sourcing/contract negotiation and lead retrieval).  As a result, the combined companies will be able to tailor services that better align with clients’ specific needs.  Clients also will benefit from 12 regional locations, deepened industry influence and the ability to serve clients across corporate, association, tradeshow and government markets.

Business Event Industry Leaders Join to Provide Full Spectrum of Meeting and Event Solutions

Maritz Travel and Experient are long-time leaders in the business events industry.  While individually they represent significant business event market share – and lead industry innovations such as a model approach for client- and audience-centric experiences – together, they are even stronger.  In 2011, their combined impact represented more than $2 billion in industry volume spend and nearly 3 million travelers served.

“Both Maritz Travel and Experient have been stable and innovative forces on behalf of our clients over the challenges of the last few years,” said Peckinpaugh. “The event industry has had to evolve as a result of a volatile business environment.  Spend is returning to pre-recession levels, and together Maritz Travel and Experient are leading the market in delivering the flexibility and range of services organizations need to achieve growing and increasingly aggressive business results.”

“This is a great day for Experient employees and our clients.  I’m particularly excited about the cultural fit between Maritz and Experient,” said Jeff Price, CEO of Experient, who has shepherded this acquisition by Maritz Travel. “Our companies share core values, especially our commitment to helping clients achieve better business value by delivering exceptional event experiences for their participants.”

As a result of the acquisition, Price will be stepping down, and Experient will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Maritz Travel.


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Total Travel Management Compensation Up 5% Over 2010

January 18  |  meeting and event industry news  |   Andrew Maxwell

The majority of travel buyers (62%) are satisfied with their salaries, with average total compensation climbing five percent this year to $101,736 according to findings released today from the GBTA Foundation’s annual 2011 Travel Management Compensation and Benefits Survey.  Based on the responses of 255 corporate travel and meetings managers working in the U.S. and Canada, a large majority of travel managers (71%) also noted their travel departments haven’t seen job cuts related to the economy.

“Despite global economic challenges, job security and compensation remain strong for travel buyers,” said Craig Banikowski, GBTA Chairman.  “Employers increasingly recognize that business travel is a strategic investment in growth and rely on their travel management teams to ensure a good return on that investment.”

Key Findings:


Compensation levels for travel professionals tend to increase as total domestic travel spend increases.  In 2011 average compensation by title is as follows:

  • Directors: 1% increase to $133,965
  • Managers/ Supervisors: 11% increase to $101,250
  • Coordinators/Specialists, Administrative Assistants: 5% increase to $62,514
  • In addition, two out of five respondents (40%) say their employer offers a stock option plan.


  • Travel managers are increasingly responsible for global programs, with 69% of respondents indicating their program covers travelers based in other countries vs. 54% of respondents in 2010.
  • The role of travel managers is multifaceted.  Classic duties include: negotiating with travel vendors (95%); administering corporate travel programs (91%); and developing and administering travel policy (84%).
  • Buyers also have responsibilities in other areas such as technology, including evaluating and applying new technology to travel management (80%) and developing travel risk management/travel security programs (50%).

Professional Development

  • Nearly 90% of respondents reported their convention attendance and professional association dues are benefits paid in full by their employer.
  • Nearly eight out of ten (78%) said their employers also covered continuing education.

“Companies recognize that travel managers are the key to developing and implementing strategic travel management programs and are investing in their continued education,” Banikowski concluded. “Through professional development, business travel buyers will continue to improve their knowledge and skills, expanding their ability to support corporate travelers and help maximize the value of their companies’ travel programs.”


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