The event management and destination management company PGI shut down eight of its 23 U.S. and international offices last week as it announced a corporate restructuring with the intent of focusing on meeting services and event production.
The Alexandria, Va.-based company closed offices in Dallas, Houston, Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Palm Beach, Fla., Orange Country, Calif., and Athens, Greece. According to PGI President and COO Bob McCormick, 50 employees lost their jobs. While PGI will still offerservices, McCormick said, it would now market itself under one brand—PGI The Strategic Events Agency.
The future of PGI had been the object of much speculation in the industry prior to the restructuring announcement. In a press conference last week to announce the restructuring, McCormick acknowledged that there have been "conversations with several different organizations in the last couple of months," one of which had progressed to the due-diligence stage.
McCormick declined to comment when asked whether PGI’s negotiating partner had been CarlsonGroup—widely rumored within the industry. He added that negotiations have ceased and that PGI has "decided to stay independent in the foreseeable future."
Just a year ago PGI announced the formation of a distinct brand—Destinator by PGI—to represent the destination management part of its business. Last week’s closings, McCormick said in the news conference, "should quickly lead to the conclusion that PGI is evolving its approach to destination management."
Since setting up Destinator, PGI also set up a new product, Meeting Services Plus, which, McCormick said, "has grown steadily and rapidly as our clients have recognized the value of a single point of contact and the capacity of PGI to move with events from city to city and country to country."
This increasing strength of its meeting services offerings, McCormick said, quickly made redundant those PGI offices dedicated only to destination management services.
McCormick said PGI was not losing money on the destination management side of its business, but that the offices PGI shut down were "flat in the ability to create additional opportunities for us." PGI as a whole, McCormick said, has been profitable and, in fact, has just received some "significant investment" from its financial backers.