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CWT Meetings & Events and JTB Communication Design join forces to bring strategic meetings management expertise to Japan

CWT Meetings & Events, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s meeting & events division, has partnered with JTB Communication Design Co., Ltd. (JCD), the meeting & events arm of the JTB Group, to provide Strategic Meetings Management services to companies in Japan.

Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) is the enterprise-wide management of meetings and events. It’s a strategic approach to managing a company’s meetings and event processes, suppliers and data to create substantial efficiencies. The key benefits are greater transparency of spend, cost reductions, improved compliance, risk mitigation and improved effectiveness of the company’s meetings and events.

The partnership brings together the global SMM expertise and experience of industry pioneer CWT Meetings & Events with JCD’s in-depth knowledge and understanding of Japan’s MICE industry to create SMM solutions tailored to Japan’s unique transportation, accommodation, venue management and regulatory environment.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest from our clients to include their operations in Japan as part of their global Strategic Meetings Management programmes,” said Kari Wendel, Vice President, Global SMM Strategy & Solutions, CWT Meetings & Events. “However, the nuances of Japan’s meetings and events landscape mean that SMM solutions which work well in other parts of the world can’t be applied wholesale in this market.”

“This new partnership for advancing SMM services in Japan in support of both local and global clients is pivotal for both JCD and CWT Meetings & Events,” added Wendel. “We have created, for the first time, a real centre of excellence for enterprise meeting strategies within the Japanese market. The partnership will support the continued advancement of our global capabilities as well as our clients’ strategies.”

“In addition to the meetings and events expertise of JTB Communication Design in Japan, we will benefit from the SMM know-how of CWT Meetings & Events, thereby actively building company-specific SMM programmes in Japan,” said Tadashi Machida, Director, JTB Communication Design. “In the future, we will continue to support the provision of SMM programmes. We aim to contribute to achieving companies’ visions, solving business problems, and further strengthening their competitiveness.”

The implementation of SMM programmes by European and American companies with global operations in sectors such as IT, pharmaceutical, energy, and insurance has accelerated in recent years. Asia Pacific remains amongst the least mature regions when it comes to SMM adoption, primarily because processes tend to be highly manual. This is a result of local market nuances which may not fit a global framework on which most technology is engineered. Still, Japan is one of the markets in the region where interest in SMM programs is quickly gaining traction.

In a 2016 study by CWT, more than half of meeting and event planning professionals surveyed said their companies had achieved savings of 10% from their SMM program, with a further 17% of respondents saying they had saved more than 15%.

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