McVeigh Global Meetings and Events, a company formed last year through the merger of Fourth Wall Events and WorldTek Events and the subsequent acquisition of McVeigh Associates, hired Rick Weber in June to serve as vice president of sales. Weber was most recently with ALTOUR Meetings and Incentives, but has extensive experience in marketing, public relations, and advertising.
As MGME celebrates its one-year anniversary and the launch of a new company logo, we asked Weber to comment on trends in the conference industry.
MeetingsNet: There’s been a lot of consolidation among independent planning companies over the past few years, including at McVeigh. Is this a trend we’re going to be seeing more of? Is there any room left for the smaller players?
Weber: I do think it will happen more and more, especially when communication giants like Publicis, WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic, Dentsu, and others begin to pick off the newest and biggest stars in our space who are really thinking about human connection in exciting new ways.
MeetingsNet: It’s not enough to just meet anymore. Meeting planning companies are selling engagement and return on experience. What is the most challenging part about delivering those results?
Weber: Every client wants more for less: bigger experiences, better venues, more activities—but all for the same budget or less. That is compounded by the lower commission that many hotel chains have enforced in recent years, which puts more pressure on industry margins. But honestly, that pushes us harder to do our jobs better, smarter, and more efficiently, so in some ways it is making us better at what we do. The biggest challenge is being creative enough and industrious enough to accomplish both effectively and efficiently.
MeetingsNet: What’s the most memorable conference you’ve ever attended from the perspective of conference design, and what made it stand out?
Weber: I think C2 Montreal is by far the most intriguing meeting anyone in our field should attend. So many conferences today are very cookie cutter and designed and produced the same way. But with C2, registration, the ballrooms, breakouts, galas, award banquets, and the whole digital communications, social media, and event app approach help attendees free their minds and open up to new possibilities.
MeetingsNet: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Weber: That I have had senior leadership roles in advertising, PR, and corporate communications, and only 10 years ago started focusing my career on meeting and event management. A diverse background in many forms of marketing has really helped to open up the minds of people who have spent their entire career in this vertical to original and more integrated approaches and big ideas.
At MGME's launch party for the new company logo.