Meeting News - October 19, 2009 - (Page 4)

News BCD M&I’s Buy Taps Tech Market As BCD Meetings & Incentives heads into the third year of its fiveyear global growth strategy, it plans to fill some of its gaps in the United States and abroad, diversify its client portfolio and continue to build a network partner system in Asia/Pacific. BCD embarked on an expansion with last month’s acquisition of San Francisco Bay Area incentive, conference and meeting company One World Partners for an undisclosed amount. The One World purchase gives BCD a West Coast brick-and-mortar presence and a platform to migrate into the technology industry meetings and user conference sector, according to BCD M&I president Scott Graf. BCD will maintain the One World moniker for the Sausalito, Calif.-based office, which houses 15 employees. One World founder Teri Hollowell now is executive director of that location. In the United States, BCD has major offices in Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia. The deal brings BCD about 20 to 25 accounts, most of which are technology companies, Graf said. The company is integrating One World’s user conference and events technology, creative services and corporate social responsibility solutions.“Today they are very strong in handling the user conference markets, and today we’re not,” he said. “In the past, where we’ve not had the expertise or technology to address that market in any part of the country, we now pick up the technology and thought leadership that allows us to say yes to that.” The acquisition is the first for BCD M&I since the 2007 buy of U.K.-based Talking Point, which followed parent company BCD Holdings’ purchase of U.K. travel agency The Travel Company, which at the time partly owned Talking Point. BCD M&I is an operating company of BCD Holdings, which also is the shareholder of travel management company BCD Travel and travel technology firm TRX. While Graf expects organic growth as the industry begins to rebound with economic improvement, acquisition activity also is in the pipeline.“Now is a good time to be looking,” Graf said.“The market is tough, and you can get some situBy Seth Harris In Asia/Pacific, BCD has strung together a 12-partner network in core markets like Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. The program enables BCD to run business through local providers that are required to use specific technology that allows BCD to track data and work with a consistent pricing plan for its multinational clients. “If you asked me a year ago, Asia would have been a gap for us and everybody in our competitive set,” Graf said. “We all did quite a bit of work shoring things up there.” Although strides have been made in the region and elsewhere, as a result of the drop in demand the need to connect regional meetings programs into companies’ overall strategic meetings program “has taken a little bit of a back seat to other pressures,” Graf said. r BCD M&I president Scott Graf ations where owners of smaller or midsize companies are looking to liquidate some or all of their business. For us, it might be a good opportunity to extend in a certain market and a good time to buy.” SMI Back With U.S.-Approved Patent By Jay Boehmer When the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2006 rejected Software Management Inc.’s attempt to patent widely deployed meetings technologies and processes, many in the industry breathed a sigh of relief. However, the collective gasp returned last month after the U.S. approved a meetings technology and process patent that the Pittsburgh-based firm claims others in the industry infringe. SMI president Jennifer Reichenbach in an e-mail exchange this month with MeetingNews said, “We do believe that some technology in the industry infringes on our patent. SMI intends to carefully evaluate a variety of strategic options but also plans to continue to enhance our products in the marketplace using our proprietary technology.” Though it’s not clear what actions SMI intends to take or which specific technologies may run afoul of the company’s patent, the fallout could be significant. “There are 200 or 300 attendee management solutions or online registration solutions out there, and probably 98 continued on page 12 Contents 33, No. 13 October 19, 2009 Vol. s Meeting Post . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 s Meetings Spotlight . . . . . . 16 s Event Profile . . . . . . . . . . . 18 s Construction Cites . . . . . . 20 s Meeting People . . . . . . . . . 23 s Association Watch . . . . . . . 24 s VantagePoint . . . . . . . . . . . 25 s Gaming Destinations . . . . 26 s Dateline: Florida . . . . . . . . 36 s South Regional . . . . . . . . . 44 s Dateline: Guadalajara . . . . 52 s Travel Dashboard . . . . . . . 54 MEETING NEWS (ISSN 0145-630X, USPS No.356-010, October 19, 2009, Vol. 33, No. 13 is published monthly by Nielsen Business Media, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-9595, tel. 646-654-5000. Subscriptions are offered free of charge to individuals actively engaged in planning meetings or conventions in the U.S. and Canada. The cost of a subscription to non-qualified subscribers is $79 in the U.S. and $95 in Canada (Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40031729). The cost of a foreign subscription, payable in U.S. dollars, is $195. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. MeetingNews is a trademark owned exclusively by Nielsen Business Media. Copyright © 2009 by Nielsen Business Media Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine, in whole or in part, is prohibited unless authorized by the publisher. For address changes (please include mailing label), single copy sales ($10 per issue including shipping and handling, prepayment required), subscription information, and other customer service inquiries, write to MEETING NEWS, P.O. Box 1189, Skokie, IL 60076-8189 or call 847-7639050. Printed in the USA. POSTMASTER: Send changes of address to MEETING NEWS, P.O. Box 1189, Skokie, IL 60076-8189. 4 MeetingNews October 19, 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting News - October 19, 2009

Meeting News - October 19, 2009
Meeting Post
Meetings Spotlight
Event Profile
Construction Cites
Meeting People
Association Watch
Gaming Destinations
Dateline: Florida
South Regional
Dateline: Guadalajara
Travel Dashboard

Meeting News - October 19, 2009