Quick response to market opportunities has fueled Enterprise Events Group’s success since founders Richard Calcaterra and Matt Gillam launched the company in 1995.

The company’s original focus on providing services for user/developer conferences, sales meetings, and incentive travel has expanded to include trade show and exhibitor management services. EEG’s latest opportunity for growth: event sponsorship programs.

Corporate clients with sponsorship programs have increased twofold in recent years, Gillam reports, with EEG helping to raise more than $10 million in sponsorship revenue for clients in 2010. As a result, the company has invested more resources in its sponsorship department, with plans for continued growth in 2012.

“When you think about it, it makes sense in today’s economy that sponsorships would be a growth area,” Gillam says. “When a company puts on a conference, there’s a lot of financial risk. Why not reduce that exposure with exhibitor sponsorships that pay for the conference?” For EEG, it’s another example of how to grow in response to clients’ needs.

Based in Silicon Valley, EEG “cut its teeth in the technology industry,” Gillam says, but the company has worked over the years to diversify its client base to include healthcare, energy, financial, and pharmaceutical companies. “When the economy goes off the cliff, not everybody goes at the same time,” he points out.

EEG spent most of 2009 renegotiating contracts and moving programs, “but all of that stuff went away by the end of the year.” The company has enjoyed a successful 2010, seeing the number of corporate meetings jump to 90 from 52 in 2009, and the number of incentive travel programs increase to 22 from 14.

“Pent-up demand fueled growth in 2010,” Gillam says. He expects 2011 to be a good year but not off the charts. “Companies are being conservative and responsible,” he says. “They want to be sure the rebound isn’t going away again.”

View the EEG profile in the 2011 CMI 25