About Us:about Experient | history |leadership | what we stand for | corporate responsibility
In 2006, Conferon changed its name to Experient — the source for integrated meeting and event services, and in 2012 joined forces with Maritz Travel Company.
Conferon was founded in Northeast Ohio in 1970 by Bruce Harris. Although at the time no one had ever heard of a professional meeting planner, Harris defined the market. Harris is credited by Tradeshow Week magazine and many others as “helping turn meeting planning into a profession.”
Conferon began as a “hotel rep” company that was paid a fee to get people to go to a hotel. While dealing with major corporate clients, Harris realized the clients were having difficulties understanding and being understood by hotel management when it came to holding their meetings. Harris saw the opportunity to get involved as a meeting planner and created an industry.
Conferon was the first full-time meeting planning firm and provided service to corporate clients. Throughout the 80s Conferon added site selection, hotel contract analysis and negotiation, on-site expertise, attendee management, supplier negotiations, marketing consulting and trade show sales & management services and became a unified source for comprehensive meeting consultation and production.
In November 2000, Conferon purchased Cramer Event Management, the event management division of Cramer Productions. Located in Boston, Cramer Event Management provided Conferon with a presence in the New England area and instantly positioned Conferon to service high-tech corporate clients with its high quality Web registration technology.
In June 2002, Conferon acquired The Bellwether Group, a site selection and meeting planning services company. The purchase strengthened Conferon’s position in the corporate meeting market.
In the quest to further broaden Conferon’s service offerings, the growing company purchased Jackson Marketing Group, Inc. (JMG) of Atlanta in 2003. The move advanced Conferon into the incentive and promotional product segments and added to its impressive list of high-end corporate clients.
In May of 2003 Conferon merged with Frederick, MD-based ExpoExchange, which significantly enlarged the organization, and became Conferon Global Services.
ExpoExchange was formed in 2000 by merging Galaxy Information Services, International Travel Service (ITS), and the e-products division of 3MC – Third Millennium Communications.
Galaxy Information Services, the registration and lead management segment of ExpoExchange, was formed in 1982 in Frederick, Maryland. Galaxy was an industry leader in pre-show and on-site registration and revolutionized lead retrieval with the introduction of the ExpoCard® system. ExpoCards became an attendee’s electronic business card, storing contact and demographic data, first on a computer chip and later on a magnetic strip plastic card, like an electronic business card. ExpoExchange was able to build upon the ExpoCard technology and add electronic lead qualification software, handheld PDA lead collection devices and Web-based lead follow-up services and products.
In 1998, Galaxy introduced InfoManager and brought Web-based, real-time event reporting to show managers. InfoManager allows show organizers to monitor event progress throughout the registration process.
In 1999, Galaxy purchased ITS – International Travel Services - the industry’s most recognized name in event housing and travel. ITS formed in 1945 as a travel agency based inside the Palmer House hotel in Chicago. The ITS founders felt that there was a pent-up demand for travel after the war. Their clientele included a lot of doctors which led to group trips to Europe where most of the state-of-the-art medical knowledge existed in those days. This grew to organized group movements and European-based medical meetings. ITS first engineered the electronic transfer of housing data with prominent hotels in 1992.
Galaxy and ITS introduced Destination Manager, a Web-based housing room block booking and management system, in 2000. Destination Manager is widely used by attendees, exhibitors and show organizers, and provides up-to-the-minute reservation services, live customer service and reporting.
In 2000, Galaxy and ITS added Atlanta-based 3MC’s e-product division to the organization structure and changed the corporation’s joint name to ExpoExchange. The online services offered by ExpoExhange included Web-based exhibitor e-booths, itinerary planners, virtual expo, data synchronization and more. In 2003, ExpoExchange began offering HTML e-mail marketing, online and printed showfloor and city maps, PDA downloadable event programs, Web-based post-show reports, electronic online meeting match and other services.
Conferon Global Services (CGS) was formed in May 2003 when ExpoExchange merged with Conferon. CGS became the most powerful company in the event industry instantly, offering award winning meeting and event planning, tradeshow and travel services.
In August 2006 CGS became Experient – the source for integrated meeting and event solutions. With a vision to perfect the event experience and a mission to help bring people together to drive business, Experient leaders joined the three leading event services companies (Conferon, ExpoExchange and ITS) into one centrally managed resource for full service, customized attendee, exhibitor and event management services.
In April 2012, Experient joined forces with Maritz Travel Company to expand our collective ability to deliver a full range of exceptional event experiences to our clients.
Experient’s roots run deep in the event industry, and its heritage of excellence, creativity, integrity and accountability is well known and respected. Experient is a result of that heritage, energized by cutting-edge services and people who are passionate about what they do.
Experient is the source for integrated meeting and event solutions. Experient offers a full menu of services including full-service meeting management including site research and selection, hotel contract analysis and negotiations, incentive meeting planning, international and meeting management; attendee management including full-service registration and housing including, on-site support, interactive show floor services, room block management, reservation assistance and online event services; and exhibitor lead management including ExpoCard lead retrieval and data list marketing. Experient also offers graphic design, marketing and promotional items, tradeshow sales and management and web-enabled meeting solutions.
Our team members hold a high penetration of memberships in industry associations including ASAE, AMPS, IAEE (US and Asia), ICCA, CAEM, MPI, GBTA and PCMA. We fill seats on industry advisory boards and hold numerous ambassadorships. We are annual presenting sponsors of the Tradeshow Week Fastest 50 and we have over 100 certified employees, holding certified meeting professionals (CMP), certified exhibition managers (CEM) and certified association executives (CAE) designations.