SOURCE: i-Meet The Online Community For People Who Plan Meetings And Events

February 03, 2011 07:00 ET

Maritz Travel and i-Meet Partner to Address Growing Market Needs; Bring Jobs to Independent Meeting Planners

Global Community Provides Experienced Base of Planners Worldwide; More Flexible Staffing Model Emerges

PHILADELPHIA, PA and ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - February 3, 2011) - As businesses continue to see improved market conditions, corporations that utilize meetings, events and incentive travel programs are facing new challenges -- staffs have been reduced, meeting lead times have shortened and there is greater demand to demonstrate program value. To address these growing needs, today, the professional and social network for people who plan meetings and events, announced a strategic partnership with Maritz Travel Company, the leading provider of effective meetings, events and incentive travel programs. 

The partnership, which brings together long-time industry veterans known for their innovation and customer service, introduces i-Meet's "Skills Marketplace" -- a new, turn-key, project-based labor solution. This service will deliver highly-credentialed independent meeting planners on an "as-needed" basis for worldwide clients, helping companies better manage their meetings and events through access to a supplemental pool of highly skilled project management talent. 

"The future of this industry is dependent on flexibility, resource allocation and the keen ability to manage the incredible speed at which market conditions evolve," said John Pino, Founder and CEO of i-Meet. "We're thrilled to be partnering with Maritz Travel Company on this innovative staffing approach. And we're excited about the opportunities that our Skills Marketplace will create for independent planners -- a kind of stimulus to connect more people to more work."

Project-based labor, while not a new idea, has experienced more demand and support given economic conditions, and the need to control costs. Clients like the idea of gaining access to highly experienced independent planners who can meet their needs, while keeping costs limited to specific projects. Planners from i-Meet's worldwide community are qualified, screened and presented to corporations and service companies for assignment, with i-Meet providing a process for independent planners to help them market and secure these opportunities.

"We are pleased to partner with i-Meet to bring experienced, independent meeting planners to the table to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients. For more than 50 years, Maritz Travel has led the market in delivering exceptional experiences for our clients worldwide. Through our partnership with i-Meet, we can provide clients with greater flexibility and access to a proven pool of people that will deliver the same quality service they're used to experiencing through Maritz and their full-time staff," said Jane Herod, COO of Maritz Travel Company. "This relationship provides us the opportunity to respond to our clients' shortened lead times, provide more nimble staffing options to better meet the ebbs and flows of their business, all while ensuring an exceptional participant experience by providing these planners Maritz Travel's extensive support structure of technology and industry best practices." 

i-Meet is the world's largest community dedicated to people who plan meetings and events. Its support for the industry and for planners around the world includes project-based work opportunities, and most recently, its Careers Job Board which highlights full and part-time employment opportunities, and the ability for planners to post their anonymous resumes online for potential employers to review with strict compliance to confidentiality.

About Maritz Travel
St. Louis-based Maritz Travel is the global leader in helping companies achieve business results through the effective use of meeting, event and incentive travel programs. Maritz Travel works with companies to reward and recognize top performers, ensure effective communications to customers or staff, spur innovation through enhanced collaboration, and improve customer, employee and channel partner engagement.

About i-Meet
Created by the Founder of StarCite, i-Meet is focused on building the industry's most relevant worldwide online community for the meeting and event industry. With over 50,000 members from 140 countries around the world, i-Meet brings social and professional networking, web 2.0 tools, industry social media marketing and relationship opportunities to its members and suppliers.

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