DAVIDE VEGLIA President ✪ ABTS Convention Services
Your International Partner From Online to On Site
Which of your new offerings are meeting planners most excited about? We are moving forward with new technologies to make the booking process faster and more convenient for our international meeting planners. We have intro- duced QR codes, which capture information on site during the conference for priority access to our preferred properties. We are constantly improving our inter- active websites to make booking intuitive and easy. Planners can also manage their group’s rooming lists and book local DMC services online.
What challenge do you think the meetings industry has successfully overcome in the past year or so? What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry in 2012? The global financial crisis that we are currently facing is a challenge. When the domestic meetings industry took a hit, we were able to increase international attendance, which helped offset some of the domestic losses. As for medical meetings, the biggest challenge facing the industry is the awareness and willingness to adapt to and accommodate attendees from abroad, where pharmaceutical sponsorship is com- mon. This is where we
With offices in Rome, Belgrade, Miami, and San Francisco, ABTS Convention Services has come a long way from its start, said founder Davide Veglia.
help our associations — by accommodating international groups who have larger housing blocks and tend to spend more on F&B and ancillary services.
How has your team used social media to work with meeting professionals and promote your company? We now offer live chat with our multilingual, multicultural staff in three international offices, who provide support to planners in a range of time zones. We also use blogs to connect planners with our immigration attorney and CME accreditation expert.
What piece of advice would you give to a young professional entering the meetings and conventions industry? Find something specific that you excel at and focus on that niche. I started work- ing with medical meeting planners in 1995, when I was eating pizza on the floor and using an old door as a desk because I couldn’t afford a real desk. Today, ABTS Convention Services has four international offices and represents more than 16 major U.S. medical associations. But I still have the door as my desk!
CHANGERS 80 pcma convene January 2012
What single asset makes you most proud to represent your company? The global reach that we extend to our association clients and housing partners — we work with more than 9,000 international planners all over the world. We’ve been building that network since 1995, and are still adding to it every day. n