CWT and JTB team up to offer ‘centre of excellence’ in Japan

A strategic partnership has been forged between CWT Meetings & Events, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s meeting & events division, and JTB Communication Design, the meeting & events arm of the JTB Group, to offer strategic meetings management (SMM) services to companies in Japan. This alliance will offer SMM solutions tailored to Japan’s unique transportation, accommodation, venue management and regulatory environment.

The SMM model of enterprise management offers a strategic approach to managing a client’s meetings and event processes, suppliers and data to create optimal efficiencies. It leads to greater transparency of expenditure, cost reductions, enhanced compliance, risk management and greater effectiveness of the company’s meetings and events.

Kari Wendel, vice president, global SMM strategy & solutions, CWT Meetings & Events, said: “We’re seeing a lot of interest from our clients to include their operations in Japan as part of their global SMM programmes. However, the nuances of Japan’s meetings and events landscape mean that SMM solutions which work well in other parts of the world can’t be applied wholesale in this market.”

“We have created, for the first time, a real centre of excellence for enterprise meeting strategies within the Japanese market. The partnership will support the continued advancement of our global capabilities as well as our clients’ strategies,” added Wendel.

European and American companies with global operations in sectors such as IT, pharmaceutical, energy and insurance have increased implementation of SMM programmes in recent years.

Asia-Pacific region is the region where SMM remains adopted the least, because most processes are manual. The peculiarity of local market practices are often not synergetic with technology platforms that is used globally. The Japanese market is showing increasing interest in adopting SMM programmes.

A 2016 study by CWT revealed that more than 50 per cent of meeting and event planning professionals surveyed said their companies had achieved savings of 10 per cent from their SMM programme with a further 17 per cent of respondents saying they had saved more than 15 per cent.