Welcome to the CMI 25, Corporate Meetings & Incentives’ annual report on the meetings industry’s top North American full-service meeting and incentive companies. The third annual CMI 25 list provides market intelligence that is unavailable elsewhere in our industry. This year, we invited 60 meeting and incentive companies to fill out our questionnaire—all the companies on last year’s list plus companies that had contacted us and others that we identified as likely candidates. We require each company to provide us with information on its business volume, business focus, number of employees, and other measurement data. An officer of the company is required to certify the accuracy of the information provided.

In making their decisions on the final 25, editors gave the most weight to the information that they received about a company’s total number of room nights booked and total corporate meetings and incentive travel programs, but they considered all the supplied information before arriving at the final list.

The CMI 25 focuses on full-service meeting and incentive companies and does not list site-selection companies.

And the 2009 CMI 25 companies are...

Advantage Travel & Incentives Inc.; Savage, Minn.

American Express Business; Travel New York

BCD Meetings & Incentives; Chicago

BI; Edina, Minn.

Bishop-McCann; Kansas City, Mo.

Carlson Marketing Worldwide; Minneapolis

Creative Group Inc.; Appleton, Wis.

Enterprise Events Group; San Rafael, Calif.

Excellence In Motivation; Dayton, Ohio

Experient; Twinsburg, Ohio

Fox Premier Meetings and Incentives; Oshkosh, Wis.

Gavel International Inc.; Lincolnshire, Ill.

George P. Johnson; Auburn Hills, Mich.

Gray Consulting International Meetings & Incentives; Philadelphia

ITA Group; West Des Moines, Iowa

Maritz Travel Co.; Fenton, Mo.

McVeigh Associates, Ltd.; Amityville, N.Y.

Meeting Alliance; Robbinsville, N.J.

Meeting Expectations Inc.; Atlanta

Meetings & Incentives; Caledonia, Wis.

Meridian Enterprises Corp.; Hazelwood, Mo.

MotivAction, LLC; Minneapolis

SDI Travel and Incentives; Chicago

USMotivation; Atlanta

VMS; Indianapolis

CMI 25: By the Numbers

The CMI 25 companies are largely a Midwestern phenomenon, with almost 75 percent headquartered in the heart of the country (four in Minnesota alone). Only one company is on the West Coast, four on the East Coast, and two in Atlanta. They are well established, with a median of 29 years in the business. Still, the economic downturn has had its effects: While the median number of meetings managed is up, 17 of the 25 companies have cut staff in the past year and the median number of group room nights booked is down almost 13 percent.

Meetings/Incentives Managed
Total number of meetings and incentives managed by CMI 25 companies*:
31,157 in 2008 (vs. 29,800 in 2007)
Change: +4.5%

Median number of meetings managed in 2008:
221 (vs. 115 in 2007)

Median Incentives managed in 2008:
30 (vs. 68 in 2007)

Room Nights
Total number of room nights booked by CMI 25 companies:
4.8 million in 2008 (vs. 5.5 million 2007)
Change: -12.7%

Median number of room nights booked for meetings and incentives in 2008:
82,000 (vs. 108,000 in 2007)

Employees
Median number of full-time employees in June 2009:
91 (vs. 115 in June 2008)
Net change in the number of full-time employees at CMI 25 companies, June 2008 to June 2009:
-1,138

International
Median portion of meetings and incentives run outside the United States in 2008:
15% (vs. 25% in 2007)

Advantage Travel & Incentives Inc.
Savage, Minn.
(952) 447-1333
www.advantageperformancenetwork.com

Founded: 1995
Leadership: Mary Sue Leathers, president and CEO; Christopher Lund, executive vice president/partner
At a glance: Top clients for Advantage in 2008 were SuperValu, U.S. Foodservice, and ING. With diversified service areas—including corporate travel management, leisure travel, merchandise awards, and performance improvement solutions—40 percent of company revenues come from sources other than meetings and incentives. The company continues to upgrade its “to your advantage” online reward platform, and last September it formed an alliance with Travel Leaders, formerly Carlson Wagonlit Travel, strengthening its travel-buying position.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 101
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 31
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 15%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 52,410
Full-time employees: 86

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American Express Businesss Travel
New York
(212) 640-2000
www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel
Founded: 1916
Leadership: Charles Petruccelli, president, Global Travel Services; Priyan Fernando, president, Customer Group, and COO, American Express Business Travel
At a glance: American Express Business Travel, a clear industry leader in meetings and business travel management, in June announced an AEBT–Maritz Travel partnership program called MaXvantage. The program is focused on end-to-end strategic meetings management services, helping companies with centralized sourcing, meeting planning, and data analysis. In July, AEBT put the spotlight on meetings with a month-long event hosted on its online corporate travel community, businesstravelconneXion.com (btX), called “Meetings Month.”

Corporate meetings in 2008: 17,000+ including 9,500+ in North America
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: N/A
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 664,000 in North America
Full-time employees: 600

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BCD Meetings& Incentives
Chicago
(312) 705.2200
www.bcdmi.com

Founded: 2006
Leadership: Scott Graf, president; Bruce Morgan, senior vice president, marketing and business development
At a glance: BCD Meetings & Incentives is an operating unit of BCD Travel, which formed in 2006 from a merger of World Travel Meetings & Incentives, TQ3 Travel Solutions, and Talking Point. It has annual sales of approximately $300 million, and in January it opened a new office in Philadelphia with 14 employees. That office joins BCD M&I locations in Chicago, Atlanta, and eight international destinations that include Mexico City, London, Brussels, and Singapore. In the past year, BCD partnered with SignUp4 as a technology provider for meeting and incentive registration and attendee management

Corporate meetings in 2008: 3,671
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 150
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 24%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 391,502
Full-time employees: 450

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BI
Edina, Minn.
(952) 835-4800
www.biworldwide.com
Founded: 1950
Leadership: Guy Schoenecker, chairman and CEO, and Larry Schoenecker, president and COO
At a glance: Half of BI’s revenues in 2008 came from creating group incentive travel programs, 40 percent from meetings, and 10 percent from other sources. In reaction to the economic downturn, BI has introduced FirstTouch Virtual Meeting Center, a Web-based portal that provides an alternative to live meetings. It also launched AwardBound, an incentive travel rewards system. Program participants can use it to track their progress and to research and book reward travel, while program sponsors can monitor program activity.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 500
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 300
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 15%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 375,000
Full-time employees: 800

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Bishop-McCann
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 474-3555
www.bishopmccann.com
Founded: 1997
Leadership: Dan Nilsen, president; Michelle McSpadden, executive vice president
At a glance: Bishop-McCann, a new name on the CMI 25 list this year, reports a 41 percent increase in meeting and incentive room nights booked from 2007 to 2008. In the last year, the company moved into a new headquarters, a turn-of-the-century dry goods building in downtown Kansas City, which the company purchased and renovated. It is also expanding its Chicago office.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 172
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 6
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 6%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 51,543
Full-time employees: 39

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Carlson Marketing Worldwide
Minneapolis
(763) 212-4520
www.carlsonmarketing.com
Founded: 1938
Leadership: Jeff Balagna, president and CEO; Fay Beauchine, president, engagement and events
At a glance: See sidebar "Carlson Marketing The Science of Results"

Corporate meetings in 2008: 729
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 385
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 15%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 376,000
Full-time employees: 2,004

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Creative Group Inc.
Appleton, Wis.
(920) 739-8850
www.creativegroupinc.com
Founded: 1970
Leadership: Ron Officer, chairman and CEO; Brad Langley, president and COO
At a glance: Creative Group has a strong client base in the healthcare, electronics, and financial services industries. Its recent partnerships continue with Milwaukee-based Adelman Travel, which provides corporate travel management services, and Meeting Metrics, a specialist in return-on-investment measurement for meetings and incentives. More recently, the company has partnered with Tiger Solutions, a St. Louis–based company that builds applications for the incentive and recognition industries.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 419
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 74
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 14%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 88,000
Full-time employees: 105

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Enterprise Events Group
San Rafael, Calif.
(415) 499-4444
www.eeginc.com

Founded: 1995
Leadership: Matthew Gillam, officer; Richard Calcaterra, officer
At a glance: Based just north of San Francisco, EEG is the only West Coast company on this year’s CMI 25 list. About 80 percent of EEG’s 2008 revenues came from meetings and the balance from incentives, with HP, Autodesk, and Business Objects topping its client list in 2008. Summer 2009 saw the launch of the latest version of the company’s customizable event management software, EventDirect.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 56
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 16
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 15%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 115,218
Full-time employees: 66

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Excellence In Motivation
Dayton, Ohio
(937) 222-2900
www.eim-inc.com
Founded: 1993
Leadership: Bob Miller, president and CEO; John Kernan, CFO
At a glance: This past year saw a new version of EIM’s proprietary registration system and the release of RewardXpress, an on-demand software product for managing reward and recognition programs. Top clients in 2008 were Toyota, AT&T, and GSK, with a full 40 percent of the company’s revenue coming from sources other than creating and executing meetings and incentives. April Mescher, the company’s executive director, travel, was named to the Dayton Business Journal’s “Forty Under Forty, Class of 2009,” which honored up-and-coming leaders.

Corporate meetings in 2007: 35
Incentive travel programs in 2007: 125
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 37%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 65,000
Full-time employees: 192

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Experient
Twinsburg, Ohio
(330) 425-8333
www.experient-inc.com
Founded: 2006
Leadership: George Benson, acting president and CEO; Rick Binford, executive vice president, event management services
At a glance: See sidebar "Experient: Green Consulting: Standard Operating Procedure"

Corporate meetings and incentives in 2008: 1,020*
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 4.5%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 434,198
Full-time employees: 552
*Combined meetings and incentive programs

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Fox Premier Meetings and Incentives
Oshkosh, Wis.
(920) 236-8030
www.gofoxpremier.com
Founded: 1980
Leadership: David Juedes, president, Fox World Travel; Geoff Kuhnz, executive vice president, Fox World Travel; Tracy Norum, CMP, vice president and general manager, Fox Premier Meetings and Incentives
At a glance: Fox Premier is an arm of Fox World Travel, the 19th- largest travel management company in the U.S., as ranked by Business Travel News. Church Mutual Insurance, Secura Insurance, and Ariens Co. were its top meeting and incentive clients in 2008. In March 2008, Fox Premier acquired Motivation Works Inc., a 14-year-old meeting and incentive company out of Oshkosh, Wis., Fox Premier’s hometown. Founder and owner Julie Pollnow joined Fox Premier.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 148
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 65
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 31%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 25,000
Full-time employees: 18

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Gavel International Inc.
Lincolnshire, Ill.
(847) 945-8150
www.gavelintl.com

Founded: 1985
Leadership: John Seehausen, managing director; Peter H. Reichenbach, executive VP
At a glance: Gavel’s top three clients in 2008 were JI Case, EISAI Pharmaceuticals, and Solvay Pharmaceuticals. The percentage of revenues coming from meetings last year rose to 78 percent, while incentive travel business dropped to 20 percent, with just 2 percent of revenues coming from other sources. Services include program design, attendee messaging, performance tracking, an in-house air department, registration and housing management, and all aspects of meeting management.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 120
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 30
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 8%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 232,000
Full-time employees: 45

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George P. Johnson
Auburn Hills, Mich.
(508) 513-3340
www.gpj.com
Founded: 1914
Leadership: Robert G. Vallee Jr., CEO; Larry Vallee, president
At a glance: GPJ announced a number of partnerships and acquisitions in the past year to bring new services to the event and experience-marketing agency. These include partnerships with Altus Learning Systems, a software platform for event content and community, and InXpo, a virtual-event platform. GPJ has also invested in The Spinifex Group, a multimedia design agency, and acquired JUXT Interactive, a Web/interactive marketing agency, and MobilePromote, a mobile-marketing firm. Top clients in 2008 were IBM, Toyota/Lexus/Scion, and General Motors.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 500
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 100
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 40%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 250,000
Full-time employees: 1,000

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Gray Consulting International Meetings & Incentives
Philadelphia
(215) 413-2034
www.gcimi.com

Founded: 1994
Leadership: Scott A. Gray, CEO; Kathleen A. Murphy, president
At a glance: Celebrating its 15th year in business, Gray Consulting has strong clients in the pharmaceutical industry, with Merck & Co. Inc., Shire U.S. Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline ranking as its top three clients in 2008. The company reports 33 percent growth in its customer base in 2009 over 2008 and says the first half of 2009 produced record revenues. Last year was the first year for a new subsidiary, GForce Promotional Products.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 221
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 6
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 10%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 24,889
Full-time employees: 45

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ITA Group
West Des Moines, Iowa
(515) 326-3400
www.itagroup.com
Founded: 1963
Leadership: Thomas J. Mahoney, Jr., president and CEO; Mary Z. Bussone, senior vice president, event management
At a glance: See sidebar "ITAGroup ROI: Measured, Guaranteed"

Corporate meetings in 2008: 224
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 77
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 56%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 275,000
Full-time employees: 337

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Maritz Travel Co.
Fenton, Mo.
(636) 827-4000
www.maritz.com
Founded: 1958
Leadership: W. Stephen Maritz, chairman of the board and CEO, Maritz Inc.; Christine Duffy, president and CEO, Maritz Travel Co.
At a glance: Maritz Travel built four key partnerships this year, including one with American Express Business Travel establishing the MaXvantage program, which offers end-to-end strategic meetings management services. Maritz also announced reseller agreements with InExpo, a virtual event services provider, and Velocity Satellite Broadcasting, the first two suppliers in its new Maritz LIVE (Local Interactive Virtual Events) program. And most recently, Maritz announced Freeman will be its preferred provider of audiovisual, multimedia, and creative services, and Freeman, in turn, will offer clients the Maritz LIVE solutions as well as meeting assessment and measurement services through Maritz’s Meetings Effectiveness program.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 2,077
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 349
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 10%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 858,968
Full-time employees: 520

See Sidebar "CMI 25ers: Make Meeting History"

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McVeigh Associates Ltd.
Amityville, N.Y.
(631) 841-7042
www.mcveigh.com
Founded: 1990
Leadership: Frank McVeigh, president and CEO; Robert LeValley, managing partner; Ellen Montuori Graziano; managing partner
At a glance: McVeigh Associates, which does a large percentage of its business with pharmaceutical companies, reports that its clients include the majority of the top 10 Fortune Global 500 pharmaceutical companies. McVeigh is beta-testing a meetings consolidation platform called The Meeting Portal. The new software product includes a sourcing module, as well as tools for budgeting, registration, air-travel management, communications, reporting, and more, allowing clients to access real-time project reports.

Corporate meetings in 2007: 435
Incentive travel programs in 2007: 19
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 40%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 129,000
Full-time employees: 75

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Meeting Alliance
Robbinsville, N.J.
(609) 208-1908
www.meetingalliance.com

Founded: 1999
Leadership: David D’Eletto, managing partner; Barbara Jackson, managing partner; Michael Franks, managing partner
At a glance: In 2008, Meeting Alliance was named to Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5,000 list of the fastest-growing small businesses in the U.S., the second year it made the list. The company, which this year celebrates 10 years in business, reports increasing its staff almost 20 percent between June 2008 and June 2009 to 23 full-time employees. Top clients in 2008 included Novo Nordisk, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Hologic.

Corporate meetings in 2007: 110
Incentive travel programs in 2007: 12
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 5%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 82,000
Full-time employees: 23

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Meeting Expectations Inc.
Atlanta
(404) 240-0999
www.meetingexpectations.com
Founded: 1992
Leadership: Brian Meyer, president; Jeff Rausch, COO
At a glance: Success stories for Meeting Expectations in the past year include a 2008 Art of the Show award from the International Association for Exhibitions and Events for Best Sponsorship Development Program. Standing behind its commitment to sustainable events, the company has also entered a sponsorship agreement with the Green Meeting Industry Council’s Atlanta chapter, where Jennifer Altman, director of business development for Meeting Expectations, serves as membership chair. The company’s top corporate clients in 2008 included Vignette, Datasynapse, and Riverbend Technology.

Corporate meetings in 2007: 225
Incentive travel programs in 2007: 18
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 8%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 30,000
Full-time employees: 74

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Meetings & Incentives
Caledonia, Wis.
(292) 835-3553
www.meetings-incentives.com
Founded: 1967
Leadership: Jean Neider, CMP, president; Tina Madden, CPA, CFO
At a glance: See sidebar "Meetings & Incentives: Growth in the Downturn"

Corporate meetings in 2008: 415
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 22
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 15%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 60,000
Full-time employees: 89

Back to CMI 25 2009

Meridian Enterprises Corp.
Hazelwood, Mo.
(314) 592-3000
www.meridianincentives.com
www.meridiangrouptravel.com

Founded: 1978
Leadership: Sam Toumayan, president and founder; Deb Hill-Jablonski, executive vice president, global rewards and marketing services
At a glance: Meridian Enterprises Corp. is a full-service marketing company that includes Meridian Group Travel among its divisions. The group-travel division handles meetings, incentives, conventions, and special events, with incentives bringing in the majority (75 percent) of its revenues. The company offers technology products for incentive program management, among other services. Meridian Group Travel’s top clients are in the home furnishings, health foods, and communications industries.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 25
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 140
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 20%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 120,000
Full-time employees: 110

Back to CMI 25 2009

MotivAction LLC
Minneapolis
(763) 412-3000
www.motivaction.com
Founded: 1976
Leadership: Williams Bryson, CEO; Joseph F. Keller, president and COO
At a glance: For MotivAction, top clients in 2008 included healthcare, manufacturing, and technology leaders. But it was its own motivational meeting, MotivAction’s President’s Council for top performers, that won it a 2008 Site Crystal Award in the sustainable event category. The meeting was in Cancun, Mexico, and for a special activity, MotivAction partnered with Friends of the Maya, which provides relief to impoverished Mayan communities. Together, they organized a bike-building event that resulted in a new bike for every child in a local village.

Corporate meetings in 2007: 40
Incentive travel programs in 2007: 38
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 20%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 46,500
Full-time employees: 125

Back to CMI 25 2009

SDI Travel and Incentives
Chicago
(312) 587-7111
www.sditravel.com

Founded: 1992
Leadership: Scott A. Dillion, president and CEO; Amy B. Michel, vice president
At a glance: SDI’s top clients are in the healthcare, building supplies, and insurance industries, with more than a third of its meetings and incentives last year being held outside the United States. Among the smallest of the CMI 25 companies, SDI says the economy, H1N1 flu virus, and the AIG effect created a difficult business environment in 2009. However, some one-time-only programs helped to sustain its volume over the past year, and staffing levels in June 2009 were the same as in June 2008.

Corporate meetings in 2007: 42
Incentive travel programs in 2007: 51
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 35%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 24,000
Full-time employees: 15

Back to CMI 25 2009

USMotivation
Atlanta
(770) 290-4700
www.usmotivation.com
Founded: 1962
Leadership: Dan Leong, COO; Michael Ruege, executive vice president, sales and marketing
At a glance: In the past year, USMotivation introduced two new products: Virtual Incentive Venue Assistant, a service that allows businesses to plan and host webinars and virtual shows; and TravelLite, a one-stop-shop for small travel programs. The company also earned a number of awards in 2008, including a Circle of Excellence Award from the Incentive Marketing Association for a sales incentive created for MODIS and a Site Crystal Award for Diebold Inc.’s Master’s Circle trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 146
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 26
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 12%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 74,506
Full-time employees: 123

Back to CMI 25 2009

VMS
Indianapolis
(317) 805-6600
www.vmsbiomarketing.com
Founded: 1995
Leadership: Mandy Moore, CMP, principal; Angie Duncan, CMP, CMM, VP of meeting operations
At a glance: VMS, a strategic marketing and meetings company, works primarily in the highly regulated and heavily procured pharmaceutical and biotech industries. New to the CMI 25 list this year, the company earned about 57 percent of its revenues in 2008 from executing meetings, 2 percent from incentive programs, and the balance from other education, marketing, and communications services. In 2009, VMS hired a team of healthcare marketing experts to enhance its strategic meetings management services to offer other marketing solutions.

Corporate meetings in 2008: 203
Incentive travel programs in 2008: 3
Meeting and incentive travel programs held outside the U.S.: 7%
Room nights booked for meetings and incentives: 49,512
Full-time employees: 91

Back to CMI 25 2009