Skip navigation
10_Milton Rivera.jpg

Small Businesses Get Access to Big Business Expertise

Changemaker Milton Rivera of AMEX M&E on the initiative to support planners and why it is important to ask, “What if I did this?” 

MeetingsNet’s annual Changemaker list recognizes 15 outstanding meetings professionals for their efforts to move their organizations and the industry forward in unique and positive ways. Find all the profiles here.

Milton Rivera

Vice President of Global Business Development 
American Express Meetings and Events,
American Express Global Business Travel

For leading the launch of a service platform for small- and medium-sized businesses to give them access to broader services and best practices


Making Change

The Meeting Expert initiative was an opportunity to port over our expertise to help smaller and midsize businesses to protect themselves with better contract clauses, to coach them to negotiate savings in procurement, and to produce better presentations with quantifiable ROI when bidding for events.

Before this, small companies sourced, negotiated, and contracted a meeting, now they can take advantage of the way American Express helps larger customers. 

What’s Next 

Where my thinking is now: Walk customers through what their approach to meetings will be next, whether they have one event or 1,000 events. I want to help them take a step back and rethink how we build things differently than we did two months ago.

I’m also contributing to a platform that brings a high level of engagement to virtual and hybrid meetings. Now, conversations about online events are based on technology first, but it should be the other way around, decide how we want to engage people first and execute around that.

Managing Change

As a leader, there is a process you have to let yourself go through to be ready to take others with you. If you haven’t reconciled with the change, you are not going to carry anyone else along. Make peace with what you are letting go, and if you encourage the opportunity with open arms, it will come. Once you see the opportunity, you can walk someone else through it. Explain that with change comes some pain, but there is a pot of gold at the end of it.  Communicate, communicate, communicate. 

Best Advice You Give

Stay curious!  The magnetic pull to get you through any change is curiosity. When you are curious, it somehow diffuses fear and concern and it pulls you along. In my career, several times I became curious about something, followed up on it, and found a gap in the market which lead to new opportunities. 

Think, “what if I did this?” Don’t be trapped in the walls of one role.

Spare Hour

I’m a documentary nut. You can learn a lot in a short period of time. I live in Spain where confinement has been quite strict and I recently watched, “The Hundred and One Events that Made the Twentieth Century,” which was very thought provoking. I even have an app for documentaries.

Role Model

I hope I’m humble enough to learn from everyone. I learn bits and pieces from individuals. Some people get hung up on roles, but I learn a good portion of what I know from people I lead. 



Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.