A few months ago, we embarked on a project like no other. We decided to do what's never been done and try to create a comprehensive list of the 25 top meeting and incentive companies. As you know, this is a vast and diverse group, and one that is difficult to define once you get beyond a few industry giants. We wanted to develop an informational tool that will set the standard for corporate meeting planners who want to outsource any part of their meetings and incentives.
We started at the source, with dozens and dozens of e-mails and phone calls to hotel companies, meeting and incentive companies, and industry leaders to find out who they thought the top leaders were. Then we surveyed the universe of companies and convinced them to tell us about themselves: everything from the number of programs they book to how many heads they put it beds. (For more on our methodology, see page 30.) The resulting list is the CMI 25.
Congratulations to the companies that made this prestigious list, as they have clearly made their mark on our industry. The CMI 25 will become an annual list and, I'm sure, will get people talking about who did or didn't make our inaugural list. I welcome your comments!
At the same time as our editors were poring through the CMI 25 data, we were kicking off another huge project: a complete redesign of our magazine. We hope you enjoy its fresh look and upgraded paper, as well as the new information we are providing: the up front “Keynotes” section of bite-sized stories tailored to our various reader groups, from meeting and incentive planners to senior management; our new “featurettes,” for those of you who don't have the time to read a longer article; monthly Q&As with industry leaders (don't miss the master of the Motivation Show, Pete Erickson, on page 11, and the president-elect of the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives, Padraic Gilligan, on our back page); our new “Breakouts” section, packed with the checklists, tips, and expert advice that you've been asking for; and pointers to a wealth of related content that you'll now find exclusively on our Web site, meetingsnet.com.
Behind the redesign and the CMI 25 is our incredible staff, who worked tirelessly on both for months: Executive Editor Susan Hatch, Senior Writers Michael Bassett and Rachel Gecker; Assistant Managing Editor Kristen Payson; Art Director Joan Lockhart (who started her new job in the middle of it all!); Editorial Director Betsy Bair; and last but by no means least, Group Design Director John Herr. We couldn't have done it without their talent and dedication.