JTB partners Cvent to sell event solutions in Asia-Pacific

From left: JTB's Hideki Takaoka, Mizuho Hara, and Toru Ikuta; and Cvent's Brian Ludwig and Will Kataria

Cvent and JTB have entered into an 18-month-long partnership that will allow both companies to share business synergies to better assist their clients in events management.

As Cvent’s first Platinum Partner in Asia-Pacific, JTB will sell and use the technology specialist’s range of event management solutions for its current and future clients in the region.

From left: JTB’s Hideki Takaoka, Mizuho Hara, and Toru Ikuta; and Cvent’s Brian Ludwig and Will Kataria

Under the partnership, JTB will be extending three solutions to the market: event management, MICE agency and lead agency. Event management is the straightforward usage of Cvent’s event management technology to deliver events for clients. The next level, MICE agency, is management of the entire suite of Cvent technology offerings including the venue sourcing platform, Cvent Supplier Network. As a lead agency, JTB will develop, implement and manage a bespoke Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) programme for an organisation utilising Cvent’s solutions.

Will Kataria, director, Cvent Singapore, told TTGmice in an exclusive interview: “JTB is a renowned brand in Asia with a wide reach and we are proud to partner with them. Their industry expertise can help our customers elevate their events and grow their MICE business, while their broad regional impact can help introduce our platform to a new audience.”

All of JTB’s offices in the region are able to utilise Cvent’s event management technology immediately with support from the operations team.

Hideki Takaoka, senior manager for MICE business at JTB Asia Pacific, said: “Initially, JTB will have a centralised operations team running product management for our clients. Other operation centres will be launched in specific countries once needs based on business volume is determined.”

The sales initiative will be rolled out in three phases.

According to Mizuho Hara, manager, events & promotions business and Cvent strategic partnerships with JTB Asia Pacific Headquarters, the first phase, which will commence in 2019, includes Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. In 1Q2020, sales will be activated in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines and Vietnam, after which the final phase will be launched for the remaining countries.

Hara said having Cvent as the “go-to platform” for JTB will bring extensive benefits for both JTB and its clients.

“Prior to this partnership, JTB used various events management systems, often those chosen by the client. Relying on Cvent systems mean that everything will be centralised. Should we have another event with the same client, we would have their history on the Cvent platform. And should they have an existing Cvent account, we would be able to support them in making sure their compliance policies are met.

“JTB will enjoy uniformity in the back-end and become subject matter experts.”

Kataria believes that JTB’s extensive market reach will help bring attention to the advantages of SMM adoption, which has been slower in Asia compared to North America and Europe.

“Eighty per cent of Fortune 500 companies globally are Cvent SMM customers but the highest adoption rates come from their North American and European locations, with limited adoption in Asia. That tells us that there are vast opportunities for Cvent and JTB to drive more adoption here,” remarked Kataria.

When asked why Asian organisations are slower to pick up on SMM, Kataria said education around event technology is lacking.

“I don’t think Asia planners have enough exposure (to event technology and its application for SMM). They are also consumed in their long list of daily tasks. SMM is a concept that, many organisations struggle with. There is a need for it but the decision makers within those organisations don’t realise the positive impact it can have on their business and ROI,” he said.

Kataria pointed out that an SMM programme implemented properly achieves cost savings and additional revenue.

He said organisations could reduce expenses on venues and guestrooms by up to 15 per cent in a year, and save 20 to 30 per cent of a planner’s time on a daily basis.

In terms of revenue benefit, an SMM programme can collect valuable event data – such as what excites attendees and what they want to buy – and channel that to the organisation’s CRM for proper interpretation that ultimately improves business interaction.

“We have seen companies growing their revenue by 15 to 20 per cent through a good SMM programme. It can pay for itself in six months,” he said.

JTB and Cvent are no strangers to collaboration. JTB India held a Gold Partnership with Cvent in 2018, allowing it to offer Cvent products to the Indian market. Hara revealed that the partnership won JTB India several big clients such as L’Oreal, Siemens and Abbott, as well as SMEs.

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