MGME, Hickory and InteleTravel combine forces around MICE
Delray Beach, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2024)—InteleTravel, an integrated travel distribution group built on the longtime mega-host travel agency, announced today it has acquired MGME (McVeigh Global Meetings & Events), a leading full-service global events agency with over 30 years of expertise in event planning, strategic meeting management, incentive travel programs and creative production, making it a trusted partner for many of the world's largest corporations and associations.
The acquisition follows a like announcement a year ago when InteleTravel acquired corporate travel alliance Hickory Global Partners and is another step in the company’s strategy to leverage its leisure travel success and shared resources across more travel markets, while innovating in blended travel by crossing traditional lines separating leisure and business travel.
The venture means Hickory, in particular, will expand its value proposition to members with a new, significant source of revenue. The MGME integration will empower Hickory member corporate agencies and travel departments to offer their clients award-winning event production, meeting planning, conference logistical services, and creative development.
MGME will continue operating as an independent brand but as a wholly owned unit of InteleTravel, just like Hickory. However, MGME and its clients will benefit from InteleTravel’s resources and scale, as the three companies join in business development, purchasing power, cross-utilizing capabilities, and finding economies and efficiencies. Examples of this include: InteleTravel’s booking technology and automation will add value for MGME and its clients; Hickory will provide air fulfillment for MGME events through its Hickory 365 staffing solution launched last year; the three companies will consolidate some supply partner contracts for hotel (MGME books over 100,000 room nights annually), air, car, and even cruise – where InteleTravel’s expertise in charter and market-leading relationships with cruise lines will help develop MGME event-at-sea offerings.
The deal highlights InteleTravel’s continued growth, ending 2023 with nearly $1 billion in sales and a unique network of 100,000 travel advisors, and the company’s commitment to providing new resources and opportunities for its independent agents and supplier partners. For example, a new educational program is planned to teach advisors to generate qualified leads for MGME services, allowing a new source of commission income for the InteleTravel advisors and a new source of business for MGME. Additionally, MGME will enhance the attendee experience and logistics of InteleTravel’s calendar of over 40 large-scale events each year.
Focused on creating and building human connections, MGME produces upwards of 1,000 events and conferences annually (in-person, virtual, and hybrid formats) across more than 70 countries, with a value of travel and hospitality spend of over $500 million each year. In its 30-plus year history, the company has cared for over 1 million guests across 30,000 events for clients such as IATA, Anheuser-Busch, CVS-Aetna, GlaxoSmithKline, HBO, and Novartis. In 2023, MGME was named to MeetingsNet’s CMI 25 List for the 16th consecutive year, which recognizes the largest full-service meeting and incentive-travel management companies in the U.S. corporate market. The company is based in New York and Canada (MGME acquired Prime Events Partners in Toronto and Vancouver in 2021), and in London in partnership with Marble LDN.
“The corporate and business travel market has rebounded fully, and the meetings, conferences and events industry has been a particularly strong area of growth with analysts projecting the rising importance of business networking opportunities, knowledge sharing and employee motivation and engagement, along with the expansion of tourism in general and the advancement of meeting technologies. The MICE market is predicted to double to over a trillion dollars by the end of the decade,” said James R. Ferrara, President and co-founder of InteleTravel. “Getting behind a leader like MGME makes sense, while being able to represent top quality event and exhibition offerings is a strong competitive advantage for both Hickory members and InteleTravel advisors.”
“The Hickory team is thrilled to align ourselves with MGME, a full-service meeting and events company,” added Chris Dane, President of Hickory. “This will allow our members and partners to have full access to top-to-bottom world-class event planning and coordination without having to engage with multiple vendors. With our services, like Hickory Solutions 365 for staffing air and registration overflow, MGME’s added volume for key suppliers, and new sources of business all around, it’s a natural fit and a game changer.”
“I am incredibly excited to ally MGME’s professional storytellers and experienced designers with InteleTravel and Hickory’s travel professionals and clients,” said MGME CEO Carvie Gillikin. “I know how much MGME can offer their agencies, and we are creating the next 30 years of leadership for MGME by being able to expand our travel and accommodations offerings for our global programs, and having access to all the other InteleTravel assets, technology and management.”
Established in 1991, InteleTravel is an integrated distributor of travel built on the success of the world’s first and largest host travel agency, with a growing network of more than 100,000 independent home-based advisors across the U.S., U.K., Caribbean, Mexico, and the Republic of Ireland. The company is recognized by every major travel supplier, including every resort and hotel brand, cruise line, vacation company, car rental agency, and tour operator in the world. Over the course of its 30-plus-year history, InteleTravel has become known for its leadership in travel sales, robust preferred supplier relationships, groundbreaking agent education programs, and innovative travel technology. It operates wholly owned subsidiaries Hickory Global Partners and MGME. For more information, visit www.InteleTravel.com.
About Hickory Global Partners
Founded over 40 years ago, Hickory Global Partners is an industry-leading global alliance for corporate travel agencies, corporate travel departments and corporations that delivers unparalleled negotiated discounts and commissions, resources, support, and value that significantly benefits its members, and ultimately, their clients. Hickory Global Partners bridges the gap between members and suppliers and raises the bar on what being a global corporate travel alliance is all about. Its visionary hotel program, robust air program, one-of-a-kind ground transportation program, comprehensive ancillary portfolio and cutting-edge technology and tools, make Hickory Global Partners an important strategic partner in the corporate travel industry. For more information, visit www.hickoryglobalpartners.com.
McVeigh Global Meetings and Events, LLC (MGME) is an award-winning, top 25 provider of innovative meeting management and event production solutions on a global stage for the MICE industry. Focused on creating human connections worldwide, the company has team members in 25 countries with meetings and events experience in over 70. In its over 30-year history, the company has cared for over 1 million guests across 30,000 events for clients such as IATA, Anheuser-Busch, CVS-Aetna, GlaxoSmithKline, HBO, and Novartis. Global service groups provided by MGME include Meeting, Incentive & Convention Management, Air Travel Management, Hotel Sourcing Solutions, SMM Consulting Services (Strategic Meeting Management), Association Management Services, Event Production, and Creative Development, each operating either independently or seamlessly integrating as one group in partnership with clients. MGME is based in New York and Canada (acquired Prime Events Partners in Toronto and Vancouver in 2021), and in London in partnership with Marble LDN. For more information, visit www.mcveigh.com.