A new meeting management and venue sourcing company launched this week, headed up by the former managing director of Grass Roots Meetings & Events, Des McLaughlin. The new company, Meet, is based in London.
McLaughlin, who left Grass Roots before it was purchased by industry giant BCD Meetings & Events in December 2017, has recruited several people from the Grass Roots/BCD team for the start-up, including Directors Stefani Goodrem and Olivia Hughes, Client Services Manager Duncan James, and Operations Manager Liana Winzer.
The company’s focus is sourcing and strategic meetings management, and it’s partnering with marketing agency Big Group for creative services. Big Group is based in London with 160 employees and clients that include Sony, Samsung, and Hyundai.
McLaughlin believes Meet fills a gap created by consolidation in the industry, with large travel management companies buying up meeting companies. “The TMCs' takeover of the larger independent agencies,” he says, “has resulted in clients now having to choose between a largely transactional service or working with smaller agents with a limited service offering.”