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American Express, Maritz Launch Alliance

June 1, 2009 By: George Dooley
 


In the face of heightened scrutiny into spending on corporate meetings and events, American Express Business Travel and Maritz Travel have announced an agreement to launch MaXvantage. The new strategic alliance will provide end-to-end strategic meetings management services that support a company’s entire meeting, event and incentive travel portfolio.

MaXvantage will offer clients an enhanced level of transparency, control and insight across the entire category of meetings, events and incentive travel, the two firms said. The alliance would leverage the combined strengths of American Express Business Travel and Maritz Travel by providing expense management capabilities, strategic sourcing expertise and exceptional participant experiences.

“Against the backdrop of the current economic environment, managing corporate and incentive meetings has become more important than ever,” said Hervé Sedky, vice president and general manager of global business partnerships, advisory services and corporate meetings solutions of American Express Business Travel. “Companies are searching for ways to be more strategic and transparent in their meetings programs, including finding ways to quantify return on meetings investment and participant experience. MaXvantage will provide the tools and resources to help executives feel confident about investing in meetings, event and incentive travel programs.”

"Executives know that meetings, events and incentive travel are critical components to executing their business strategy, but these activities have been under tremendous scrutiny since last fall,"  said Christine Duffy, president and chief executive officer of Maritz Travel. "MaXvantage is designed to enable corporations to feel confident continuing their investment in these highly valued programs. The practices of strategic meetings management have brought about a convergence of corporate travel and meetings, events and incentive travel.  This is the perfect time for American Express Business Travel and Maritz Travel to come together to provide an end-to-end solution.”

“Meetings are a crucial element to solidifying and forming new relationships, sharing best practices and ensuring industries are forging ahead,” said Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer, U.S. Travel Association. “As the global economy emerges from the grip of the downturn, the reinvestment in meetings and incentive travel is going to play a catalytic role in jumpstarting spending and solidifying a recovery.  The combination of these two world class organizations demonstrates the growing importance of strategic meetings management not only to the meetings industry, but as a critical part of a well-managed business.”

MaXvantage will be offered initially to North American clients under the umbrella of strategic meetings management, which includes centralized sourcing, meeting planning and data analysis and business insight. The alliance is subject to the execution of the final documentation which the parties expect to complete shortly.

Key markets include companies companies that rely upon meetings, events and incentive travel to achieve key objectives and  procurement professionals charged with responsibly managing costs and mitigating risk and participants.

Visit www.americanexpress.com.


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