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American Express Meetings & Events forms partnership with WRG for the UK market


American Express Meetings & Events forms partnership with WRG for the UK market

Monday 10th October 2011 is the day American Express unveils its new partnership with WRG.
The aim is to offer client companies not only a complete events service but to ensure that all objectives are met whilst keeping budgets tight. It emphasises that the objective is not just to stage an event smoothly and efficiently, but to make sure that the investment in the event works to the enterprise’s best advantage.

American Express has an interesting view of what is currently happening in the MICE sector. Peter Manning, UK Director, American Express Meetings & Events, suggests that the global spend on meetings and events is $140bn. He agrees that companies see tight budgeting as important, but he is also confident that this same money – or even less – can be used to better effect.

Michael Schüller, Vice President, Europe, American Express Meetings & Events, reports that the number of meetings is now rising, because enterprises are brainstorming to find a way forward out of the recession. ‘But’, he says, ‘the average spend per delegate is being reduced’. He suggests that they have cut back on the fireworks and the gala trimmings.

Peter Manning explains that American Express Meetings & Events , with over 1,000 employees worldwide, has the clout to save on air travel for events and on hotel bookings. Costs can be managed, but at the same time the objectives have to be achieved.

That is why the partnership has been created. American Express Meetings & Events has been providing services such as air transportation, meetings and event management and venue sourcing for 37 years in at least 50 countries.

Its new partner, WRG, was founded only in 2005. Now with a staff of 110 and offices in London, Manchester, New York and Qatar, WRG has gained a big reputation amongst blue chip companies for creative design, branding, web-services and film & digital services.
It has recently secured a £12m investment from the private equity firm LDC and has welcomed two new high profile board members, Jim Faulds and Lord Michael Grade.

Barry Day, CEO of WRG, says that his company’s strength lies in getting messages across to audiences, following-up and motivating so that a conference has a lasting effect. Objectives have not only to be defined for events, but they have to be followed through until the maximum benefit has been achieved.

About three years ago American Express Meetings & Events made a similar arrangement with Maritz in the USA and as recently as the beginning of October 2011 formed a partnership with Le Public Systeme of France. These new partnerships seem to indicate that American Express is now aiming to make similar arrangements in its key markets globally.

Pictured top to bottom: Peter Manning, Michael Schüller and Barry Day

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