Brightspot is honored to be recognized as a top meeting & incentive travel company on the MeetingsNet 2022 CMI 25 list. The annual ranking highlights the top independent meeting-planning companies in North America based on their meeting business volume, including the number of corporate in-person meetings and incentive-travel programs planned, guest rooms booked in conjunction with those meetings and incentives, and staff size.
“It’s a momentous occasion for Brightspot. This is our first year to break into the Top 25, so we feel the same excitement as seeing our college football team being ranked for the first time. An industry observer said, ‘Brightspot is one of those up-and-coming, mid-tier brands.’ Our team is working hard every single day to make our clients’ events better and their jobs easier.”
– Mike May, President
This top meeting planner list from MeetingsNet is a leading resource for businesses to find experienced event-planning services. In researching for the 2022 CMI list, it found that these companies executed 56,000 corporate meetings and almost 500 incentive travel programs in 2021.
“Of course, 2021 was a difficult year for these leading experts to bring corporate groups together for training and education, recognition, and networking. Yet, those numbers are impressive for a year when meetings, when they happened at all, were often virtual or severely scaled back. The grit and innovation of these companies during difficult times is impressive and will serve their clients well during the fast-paced return to face-to-face events we see for 2022, 2023, and beyond.”
– Sue Hatch, Content Director for MeetingsNet
The MeetingsNet review noted several recent accomplishments.
- In June 2022, Brightspot completed its acquisition of the corporate-event management operations of EventLink International. This is the company’s third acquisition in recent years, expanding its client base in the real estate, landscaping, wholesale, and home-services industries.
- Michael Butler was promoted to Vice President of Sales and has expanded the sales team, adding three more industry veterans.
- After being solely owned by Mike May for 20 years, the company became management-owned with nine veteran employees becoming shareholders.
- A long-time supporter of the Incentive Research Foundation, Brightspot sponsored the IRF Incentive Travel Toolkit released in fall 2021.
In their interview, MeetingsNet asked, “What was the biggest change to your organization as a result of the pandemic?” Mike May commented, “Even more flexibility! We thought we were flexible before, but the pandemic has challenged us to face each opportunity with a fresh perspective and agility to exceed our clients’ expectations.”
When the pandemic first occurred in 2020, government lockdowns severely impacted all meeting and incentive travel companies. Brightspot leadership made an important decision with a long-term view – no employees would be laid off during the pandemic. Mike May explained, “We had an outstanding team of meeting planners and incentive professionals who had at least 5 years tenure and even more years of industry knowledge. We did not want to lose that expertise and try to rebuild it later. Plus, we did not want to disrupt our valued client relationships with turnover. These people-commitments allowed us to bounce back quickly to meet customer demands.”
Brightspot has made great strides in recent years to upgrade its consultative approach, embrace thought leadership, and share its insightful knowledge. They hosted numerous webinars and developed how-to guides for incentive trips (How to Start an Incentive Travel Program) and motivational rewards (Channel Partner Rewards: The Complete How-To Guide) to share their insights. Eager to drive the industry forward, the industry leader will continue to innovate and set standards.
Mike May concluded his comments with:
“Our team has always strived to embody our brand – as the ‘brightest’ in professional expertise and personal attitude. Now, we are grateful that an industry publication recognizes us as one of the biggest and best meeting planning and incentive travel companies in the USA.”
The MeetingsNet editors selected the 2022 CMI 25 companies based on several factors, including the number of meetings and incentive travel programs managed in 2021 and the total number of room nights represented by those events. For the first time, MeetingsNet also collected data on the number of virtual and hybrid meetings executed and considered it, along with the number of full-time employees at each company, the percentage of the company’s 2021 revenues from organizing corporate meetings and incentives, and other data.
A recent program in Crete, Greece, encouraged attendees to indulge in the local customs with a Plaka welcome celebration, with plate smashing, traditional music, and Grecian dancers.
For a farewell dinner, guests were greeted by a Gregorian choir in the idyllic former palace on the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton, Penha Longa in Sintra, Portugal.
Brightspot’s on-site staff manage a client’s global team meeting in Miami, Fla.