David Taylor is managing director of Grass Roots Meetings & Events – specialists in strategic meetings management and delegate management. An industry figurehead with over 25 years’ experience, starting at Hotel Brokers International (HBI), he became sales director as they joined the Grass Roots Group. After a period of integrating GRG services with WPP in 2015 he was made managing director of the M&E division in 2016.
Thoughts on 2018
2018 promises to be an exciting year for Grass Roots Meetings & Events. Our offering stood apart from the core services provided by The Grass Roots Group and when Blackhawk Network, a prepaid and payments agency bought The Grass Roots Group in late 2016 it was understandable that we were never going to be a key part of their long term business plan. I’m delighted therefore that we have now joined BCD M&E and have the support and backing of a leading global travel business who are totally focused around our strategic meetings management and delegate management services.
Whilst the acquisition only happened last month and integration plans are still under discussion, BCD M&E’s global reach and financial strength can only be of benefit in further developing and growing our business model. Research from our 2018 Meetings Industry Report which is published this month and downloadable at meetingsindustry.report highlights the ongoing desire for clients to consolidate suppliers and work with those who can provide global solutions and the timing of our coming together therefore is opportune.
According to research carried out for The Meetings Industry Report, 70% of corporate procurement teams are looking to combine transient travel and meetings spend and so its important that we can now meet this demand if required. It’s no secret that travel management agencies have struggled to really understand and deliver strategic meetings management and so its very exciting that we can now go head to head with these companies in countries and regions that were previously beyond our reach.
The Meetings Industry Report also highlighted companies increasing desire for meaningful data around meetings and events. This is music to my ears because as a business we have long made data analysis and interpretation a priority for both our delegate management and strategic meeting management services. We expect therefore to be working even more closely in 2018 with clients to deliver detailed delegate and event data which will help evaluate and improve clients events and increase their event ROI.
Whilst 2018 remains a year of economic uncertainty due in part to the ongoing Brexit negotiations, threats of terrorism, the Trump factor and so on, I personally feel upbeat about what's ahead. As meetings come under increasing scrutiny this will lead to more opportunities to work with businesses who want to fully understand their meetings and events. With BCD M&E by our side and a bigger international market to play in I’m confident we are excellently positioned to deliver.