Introducing the CMI 25, the industry's first list of the largest and most influential North American full-service meeting and incentive companies focused on the corporate market: a who's who of the companies with which you do the most business.

  • ADVANTAGE TRAVEL & INCENTIVES INC. Savage, Minn.
  • AMBASSADORS LLC Newport Beach, Calif.
  • AMERICAN EXPRESS BUSINESS TRAVEL New York
  • BCD MEETINGS & INCENTIVES Chicago
  • BI Edina, Minn.
  • BUCOM INTERNATIONAL INC. Chicago
  • CARLSON MARKETING WORLDWIDE Minneapolis
  • CREATIVE GROUP INC. Appleton, Wis.
  • ENTERPRISE EVENTS GROUP San Rafael, Calif.
  • EXPERIENT Twinsburg, Ohio
  • GAVEL INTERNATIONAL INC. Lincolnshire, Ill.
  • GEORGE P. JOHNSON Auburn Hills, Mich.
  • GRAY CONSULTING INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS & INCENTIVES Philadelphia
  • ITAGROUP West Des Moines, Iowa
  • MAC MEETINGS & EVENTS St. Louis
  • MARITZ TRAVEL CO. Fenton, Mo.
  • MCVEIGH ASSOCIATES LTD. Amityville, N.Y.
  • MEETING ALLIANCE Robbinsville, N.J.
  • MEETING EXPECTATIONS INC. Atlanta
  • MERIDIAN GROUP TRAVEL St. Louis
  • MOTIVACTION LLC Minneapolis
  • MOTIVATION EXCELLENCE INC. Schaumburg, Ill.
  • R/A PERFORMANCE GROUP San Francisco
  • SDI TRAVEL AND INCENTIVES Chicago
  • USMOTIVATION Atlanta

CMI 25 Methodology

In fall 2006, Corporate Meetings & Incentives launched the CMI 25 project, an all-out effort to identify the meetings industry's top North American full-service meeting and incentive companies.

We began with a focus group of about a dozen meeting and incentive planning companies and industry leaders in a “proof of concept” phase to make sure that our core idea was feasible. Then, to identify the universe of potential companies for our list, we used two approaches: We asked our contacts at major hotel chains and other meetings-industry companies to give us lists of who they believed to be the largest full-service meeting and incentive planning companies focused on the corporate market.

We also worked with an independent database company that compiled information from public sources to append meeting and incentive companies on our circulation list with records on revenue, number of employees, and other data. The information collected through the database company is not included in our report; it was used only to hone our list of target companies.

We invited approximately 65 meeting and incentive companies to fill out the CMI 25 questionnaire, asking about their business volume, business focus, employees, company honors, and other company data. The CMI 25 is focused on full-service meeting and incentive companies and does not include site-selection companies.

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

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

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
98

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
25%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
45,000+

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
115

AT A GLANCE: CEO Leathers, who has 30 years' experience in corporate travel management, incentive travel, and meeting planning, was voted “Woman Business Owner of the Year” in 2007 by the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Minnesota companies such as SuperValue in Eden Prairie and Lawson Software in St. Paul are among her top clients.

Together, meetings and incentive travel programs bring in just 34 percent of the company's revenue. Advantage Travel & Incentives also specializes in corporate travel management and is a source for merchandise and recognition awards.

Ambassadors LLC

Newport Beach, Calif.(949) 759-5900
www.ambassadors.com
Founded: 1996
Leadership: Jerry G. McGee, president; John Lee, executive vice president

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
272

PERCENTAGE OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
15%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
620,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
168

AT A GLANCE: See Ambassadors Profile.

American Express Business Travel

New York
(212) 640-2000
www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel
Founded: Parent company
American Express Co. (founded in 1850) began travel services in 1917
Leadership: Charles Petruccelli, president; Priyan Fernando, executive vice president and chief operating officer

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
7,000
in North America
total of
14,350
globally

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
50%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
Approximately
450,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
260
in the U.S.
Total of
600
globally

AT A GLANCE: The travel giant, a division of American Express Co., offers a suite of meeting, event, and incentive travel services, including site selection, vendor negotiations, on-site logistics management, and meeting expense management and reporting. In May 2006, the company launched a Global Advisory Services unit focusing on policy consulting, strategic sourcing, and process management for companies looking to address their combined travel and meeting spend. In April, the company rolled out a new small meetings program for AEBT clients that features prenegotiated meeting packages.

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

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
1,747*

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
5%*

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
178,259*

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
185
in the Americas
350
globally

AT A GLANCE: See BCD Profile.
*(BCD M&I U.S. division only)

BI

Edina, Minn.
(952) 844-4800
www.biworldwide.com
Founded: 1950
Leadership: Larry Schoen-ecker, president and COO

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
800

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
20%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
400,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
900

AT A GLANCE: Privately held BI claims annual sales “in excess of $470 million.” The company is a major player in the full-service performance improvement field, with 28 offices in North America, the UK, Australia, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. Recent acquisitions include Minneapolis-based direct marketing company Digital Marketing and The Mint Organization, an incentive and event company with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai, and Dubai. Among the company's recent honors was an IMEX Commitment to the Community Award for a program for Computacenter Distribution, which included a visit and donation to a village in Zambia.

Bucom International Inc

Chicago
(312) 943-2600
www.bucom.com
Founded: 1987
Leadership: Darlene B. Krammer, president; Ludwig J. Krammer, director of operations

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
85+

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
60%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
30,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
17

AT A GLANCE: Bucom has built its success around the pharmaceutical market, not only executing meetings but also consulting on the strict pharmaceutical industry regulations. About 80 percent of Bucom's business is from the pharmaceutical industry; about 60 percent of the meetings it organizes are overseas. Darlene Krammer, president in the company's husband-and-wife executive team, says Bucom's strengths include having a single team for a meeting from start to finish, being able to personalize its operating procedures depending on the client, and involving the client in negotiations.

Carlson Marketing Worldwide

Minneapolis
(763) 212-4520
www.carlsonmarketing.com
Founded: 1938
Leadership: Jim Schroer, president and chief executive officer; Fay Beauchine, executive vice president, global meetings, incentives and events

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
Approximately
1,000

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
30%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
Approximately
350,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
2,879

AT A GLANCE: Carlson Marketing Worldwide is a piece of the global Carlson Cos., a hospitality, travel, and marketing giant with brands such as Regent Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Carlson Marketing's meetings and events services include incentive and recognition events, business meetings, event marketing, and enterprise travel solutions working to organize and track meeting and event spend. Approximately 53 percent of Carlson Marketing's 2006 revenues came from meetings, 25 percent from incentive travel programs, and 22 percent from other sources.

Creative Group Inc.

Appleton, Wis.
(920) 739-8850
www.creativegroupinc.com
Founded: 1970
Leadership: Ron Officer, chairman and CEO; Brad Langley, president and COO

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
550

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
20%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
150,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
113

AT A GLANCE: See Creative Group Profile.

Enterprise Events Group

San Rafael, Calif.
(415) 499-4444
www.eeginc.com
Founded: 1995
Leadership: Matthew Gillam, officer; Richard Calcaterra, officer

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
85

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
20%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
70,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
96

AT A GLANCE: Between 1996 and 2001, Enterprise Events Group's sales grew 1,000 percent, earning the company 289th place in the Inc. 500, a listing of the nation's fastest-growing privately held companies. Since then, EEG has maintained its growth and remains a multimillion-dollar company. In addition to focusing on its clients — many of which are Fortune 500 companies — EEG is an active sponsor of local and national charities and community service projects including the Special Olympics, the Red Cross, and the Marin County Food Bank.

Experient

Twinsburg, Ohio
(330) 425-8333
www.experient-inc.com
Founded: 2006
Leadership: Ed Shartar, president and chief executive officer; David Erich, executive vice president and chief operating officer

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
1,124

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
5%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
442,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
678

AT A GLANCE: Conferon Global Services changed its name to Experient in August 2006 after a restructuring earlier that year of its three companies: Conferon, ExpoExchange, and ITS. The company has strong leadership in meeting and event management, housing, registration, and exhibition services. It opened its 10th office in June in Las Vegas, where it expects to operate 150 meetings this year. About 25 percent of the company's revenues come from corporate meetings and incentives.

Gavel International Inc.

Lincolnshire, Ill.
(847) 945-8150
www.gavelintl.com
Founded: 1985
Leadership: John Seehausen, managing director; Peter H. Reichenbach, executive vice president; Michael Richardson, executive vice president

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
175

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
15%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
Approximately
200,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
44

AT A GLANCE: Gavel International is privately owned and managed by three partners. The company executes hundreds of meetings and performance-improvement programs annually, with the majority of its clients coming from the pharmaceutical, agricultural equipment, and business services sectors. Gavel's programs take place in a variety of domestic and international meeting locations and range from 10 attendees to more than 7,500. Headquartered just outside Chicago, the company also maintains offices in Detroit and Indianapolis.

George P Johnson

Auburn Hills, Mich.
(508) 513-3340
www.gpj.com
Founded: 1914
Leadership: Robert G. Vallee Jr., chief executive officer; Larry Vallee, president

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
550+

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
30%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
240,997

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
1,319

AT A GLANCE: With 20 marketing industry awards won in the past year alone, George P. Johnson has a lot to show for its more than 90 years in the business. GPJ is the world's largest privately held experience marketing company with more than $300 million in annual sales. Its top clients include IBM, Toyota/Scion, and The Chrysler Group. In addition to IT and automotive, clients come from the pharmaceutical and communications industries. The company has 20 offices around the world.

Gray Consulting International Meetings & Incentives

Philadelphia
(215) 413-2034
www.gcimi.com
Founded: 1994
Leadership: Kathleen A. Murphy, co-president and CEO; Scott A. Gray, CMP, co-president and COO

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
349

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
5%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
22,367

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
53

AT A GLANCE: See Gray Consulting Profile

ITAGroup*

West Des Moines, Iowa
(515) 326-3400
www.itagroup.com
Founded: 1963
Leadership: Steven G. Chapman, chairman and CEO; Tom Mahoney, president and COO

*Full statistics were not available from the company.

MAC Meetings & Events

St. Louis
(314) 421-2005
www.themaccompanies.com
Founded: 1968
Leadership: Susan Gray, DMCP, president; Dan McGuire, CEO

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
3,484

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
1%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
38,225

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
62

AT A GLANCE: In July, the company appointed a new president, Susan Gray. Gray has been an executive member of MAC Meeting and Events since its inception, and serves on the national board of directors for the Association of Destination Management Executives. MAC's business mix is 20 percent corporate, multiday meetings and 52 percent corporate events with no overnight. The remaining 28 percent of its revenues come from other sources.

Maritz Travel Co.

Fenton, Mo.
(636) 827-4000
www.maritz.com
Founded: 1958*
Leadership: W. Stephen (Steve) Maritz, chairman of the board and CEO; Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Maritz Travel

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
2,741

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
12%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
1.48 MILLION

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
Approximately
920

AT A GLANCE: A giant in the meetings and events field, Maritz has offices in the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Germany, and Spain, and is ranked No. 227 on the most recent Forbes list of 500 Largest Private Companies. Maritz Travel Co.'s business mix in 2006 was approximately 70 percent meetings, 26 percent incentive travel, and 4 percent events. The company offers a suite of e-registration and communication tools, and recently launched a survey and data-analysis tool called Meetings Effectiveness. (See article on page 17.) Recent client honors include Mobil Oil Co.'s Preferred Supplier Award and Ford Motor Co.'s “Q1” Quality Award Certification.

* Maritz Inc. was founded in 1894

McVeigh Associates, Ltd.

Amityville, N.Y.
(631) 789-8833
www.mcveigh.com
Founded: 1990
Leadership: Frank McVeigh, president; Robert LeValley, executive vice president; Ellen Montuori, executive vice president

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
400

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
47%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
120,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
80

AT A GLANCE: McVeigh Associates manages programs throughout the U.S. as well as in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim. It executes programs for seven of the top 10 Fortune Global 500 pharmaceutical companies. Clients include AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., and Merck. The business is composed of 58 percent meetings and incentives, 28 percent air travel, and 14 percent hotel division.

Meeting Alliance

Robbinsville, N.J.
(609) 208-1908
www.meetingalliance.com
Founded: 1999
Leadership: David P. D'Eletto, managing partner; Barbara Jackson, managing partner; Michael Franks, managing partner

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
70

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
10%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
54,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
15

AT A GLANCE: See Meeting Alliance Profile

Meeting Expectations Inc.

Atlanta
(404) 240-0999
www.meetingexpectations.com
Founded: 1992
Leadership: Brian Meyer, president and managing partner; Jeff Rausch, COO and managing partner

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
Approximately
225

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
10%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
Approximately
20,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
70

AT A GLANCE: Meeting Expectations, which goes by the acronym ME!, is a meeting-planning company and an accredited association management company. About 45 percent of its revenues come from corporate meetings and 25 percent from incentive travel programs. Manhattan Associates and Vignette Corp. were among its top clients in 2006. ME! has managed conferences, trade shows, and other events in North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific.

Meridian Group Travel

St. Louis
(314) 592-3000
www.meridian-incentive.com
Founded: 1978
Leadership: Sam Toumayan, president and founder; Michael Jordan, executive vice president

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
205

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
15%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
150,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
100

AT A GLANCE: Meridian Group Travel is part of Hazelwood, Mo.-based performance improvement company Meridian Enterprises Corp., which designs performance improvement and customer loyalty programs and offers technology products for incentive program management, among other services. Meridian Group Travel's largest clients in 2006 included Panasonic and Siemens. The lion's share — 65 percent — of the company's business is incentive travel. Another 30 percent of its revenue comes from corporate meetings.

MotivAction LLC

Minneapolis
(763) 412-3000
www.motivaction.com
Founded: 1976
Leadership: William Bryson, owner, president and CEO; Marlyn Sjaarda, CFO

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
70

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
35%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
60,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
Approximately
166,
with 40 in Travel and Event Services

AT A GLANCE: MotivAction's top three clients in 2006 were John Deere, United Healthcare, and LexisNexis. The company prides itself on having earned 22 Crystal Awards from the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives since 1988. In 2006, the company earned a Circle of Excellence award from the Incentive Marketing Association for its work with the Agricultural Division of John Deere on an incentive program that reached 178 percent of its sales increase goal.

Motivation Excellence Inc.*

Schaumburg, Ill.
(847) 839-5500
www.meiweb.com
Founded: 1985
Leadership: Greg Lewis president; David Jobes, chief operating officer

*Full statistics not available from the company

R/A Performance Group

San Francisco
(415) 869-6500
www.raevents.com
Founded: 1986
Leadership: Donna Riser, CEO; Mimi Almeida, president

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
65

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
65%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
50,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
25

AT A GLANCE: By some measures, R/A is among the smallest companies on the CMI 25, but by its client list, you wouldn't know that. The company's top three clients in 2006 were BMW of North America LLP; MINI USA; and Lincoln Benefit Life. R/A received a 2007 Meeting Professionals International Global Paragon Award of Excellence for Promotion for its “MINI Takes the States” experiential event, which took MINI owners from across the country on a 17-day road trip spanning 16 cities, 19 states, and 4,119 miles.

SDI Travel and Incentives

Chicago
Phone: (312) 587-8200
URL: www.sditravel.com
Founded: 1992
Leadership: Scott A. Dillion, president and CEO; Amy B. Michel, vice president

NUMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
86

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
35%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
22,000

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
15

AT A GLANCE: SDI's top three clients in 2006 were medical technology company Becton Dickinson; L&W Supply, a Chicago-based contractor supply company; and Baxter Healthcare. Its business is nearly evenly split between meetings and incentives, with meetings bringing in 45 percent of the company's revenues and incentives 50 percent. Events comprise the remaining 5 percent.

USMotivation

Atlanta
(770) 290-4700
www.usmotivation.com
Founded: 1962
Leadership: Dan Leong, chief operating officer; Michael Ruege, senior vice president of sales and marketing

N UMBER OF MEETINGS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL PROGRAMS IN 2006:
77

PERCENT OF THOSE HELD OUTSIDE THE U.S.:
20%

NUMBER OF ROOM NIGHTS BOOKED FOR MEETINGS AND INCENTIVES:
76,434

NUMBER OF FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES:
137

AT A GLANCE: The company specializes in a mix of incentive strategizing; marketing and communications to support incentives, loyalty programs, and other events; and merchandise and travel rewards. Meetings and events bring in 15 percent of its revenue; incentive travel, 35 percent; and other services the remainder. In 2005 and 2006, the company earned three Circle of Excellence Awards from the Incentive Marketing Association and a Crystal Award from the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives, among other honors.