American Express Meetings & Events has developed a global solution to source small, simple and recurring meetings with partnerships with third-party technology providers in different regions. The division of American Express Global Business Travel has launched the Meetings Express platform to meet the needs in what it describes as a “significant” market.
Through the platform, users are able to work with these providers – Groupize in North America, MeetingsBooker.com in the United Kingdom and Nordics, Bizmeeting in France, meetago in Germany and iVvy in Australia – directly through this single interface. American Express says each has been “carefully selected” and “vetted” to ensure they combine the right hotels, venues and meetings’ spaces with the best possible user experience.
“Client demand for service in the small, simple meetings segment is significant, yet until now no one has addressed it globally,” explains Issa Jouaneh, senior vice president and general manager, American Express Meetings & Events.
“Meetings Express helps meeting owners achieve their goals with consistent global service and relevant local content, supporting the creation of the best possible attendee experience,” he adds.
The platform is serviced by the American Express Meetings & Events team, and aims is to help meetings arrangers align small and simple meetings strategies with existing programmes, and to promote policy compliance. This maintains the same professional sourcing, contracting and supplier knowledge that these clients already receive with American Express Meetings & Events.
Meetings Express connects to the company’s centralised data platform, Meetings Insights, and integrates with American Express M&E’s reporting and management tools to provide customers with broader insights across their meetings portfolio.
American Express M&E believes that more than ten years on from the 2008 global economic recession, the meetings industry has bounced back and settled into what it describes as “a new normal of steady and stable growth”. Its 2019 Global Meetings and Events Forecast predicts global meetings activity to grow this year, along with small increases in budget allocation for meetings and events.
Consolidation across the industry and the rise of disruptive suppliers will create an environment where meeting planners feel more pressure, it says, but also have more choice. This dynamic will allow the industry to “collectively tackle long-term challenges, such as live inventory for small and simple meetings, and increased opportunities for attendee engagement,” according to the company.