The bribery scandal engulfing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, has prompted John Hancock Financial Services to stop negotiations with NBC to become a major broadcast sponsor of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. John Hancock released a statement February 10 that says, "The company will not purchase any advertising until it is confident that the International Olympic Committee is heading in the right direction."
However, the Boston-based company is still going forward with the incentives and meetings it has planned in conjunction with the Sydney games. According to a John Hancock spokesperson, a decision is pending on whether or not the company will renew its Worldwide Olympic Sponsorwhen it runs out after 2000.
* Philadelphia-based McGettigan Partners has spun off its CORE Discovery technology into a new, independent company called Star-Cite! Solutions. The new company will distribute a suite ofproducts: RealPlanner Pro, the new name of the CORE Discovery software for planners looking to leverage their buying power and track their events; RealPlanner EN, the enterprise version of the software, that accommodates an unlimited number of concurrent users and includes more sophisticated budgeting tools and reporting capabilities, plus an attendee registration and management module; and RealPlanner LT, a single-user version of the software package, to be released in the third quarter of 1999.
* Founded by John Kelly in August 1997, the Mr. Meeting Network of independent meeting managers now covers the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe with 42 affiliates. They have an average of 17 years of meeting experience and conduct more than 1,000 meetings per year. Call (215) 886-1128.
* Bob Vitagliano, CITE, executive vice president/CEO of the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives, has announced he will leave the organization at the end of the year. He has been SITE's chief executive since August 1993. Vitagliano said he will continue his involvement in the industry. SITE hopes to name a successor by October.
* The Marriott Meetings Network, a collection of 41 Marriott meeting properties, realized a 45 percent increase in available "Rooms That Work"--an additional 1,847 such rooms. The rooms include large console tables and mobile writing desks, two power outlets and PC modem jack mounted in the console top, and ergonomically correct chair.
As noted in the sidebar "The Scoop on Third Parties" in the cover story of the January/February 1999 issue of ICP, the majority of respondents to our 1998 Reader Survey reported that they do not use incentive houses, nor do they use third parties for site searches. The pie charts accompanying the text of that sidebar, however, incorrectly represented those results.