Meeting and incentive company Creative Group Inc., Appleton, Wis., a Direct Travel company, has acquired Masterplan Inc., LaGrange Highlands, Ill., a 25-year-old meeting planning firm specializing in high-end corporate and association events.
“This strategic partnership allows us to expand into new industries, while further increasing the already significant buying power we offer our clients,” said Creative Group President Janet Traphagen. Masterplan clients have included Steelcase, Ann Taylor, and AT&T. Masterplan President Mary Jo Blythe, CMP, said that becoming part of Creative Group allows her to offer clients a “vast range of services and support, enabling us to become a greater resource and a more valuable partner.”
Last April, Creative Group, a CMI 25 company with offices in Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles, was acquired by Direct Travel, an equity-funded firm that has been buying up travel management companies since it was incorporated in 2011 (at least six in 2014 and several in 2015). Creative Group was the first meeting planning company under the Direct Travel umbrella and, according to Traphagen, the new owner plans to further expand its meetings footprint through acquisition and organic growth under the Creative Group brand name.