Japan News Updates

CWT partners with JTB to bring SMM to Japan

The partnership combines CWT’s expertise in strategic meetings management with JTB’s in-depth destination management skills.

CWT Meetings & Events has joined forces with JTB Communication Design (JCD), the meeting and events arm of the JTB Group, to provide strategic meetings management services to companies in Japan.

Strategic meetings management (SMM) provides greater transparency of spend, cost reductions, improved compliance, risk mitigation and improved effectiveness of a company’s meetings and events.

The implementation of SMM programmes by European and American companies with global operations in sectors such as IT, pharmaceutical, energy, and insurance has accelerated in recent years.

However, Asia Pacific remains among the least mature regions when it comes to SMM adoption, primarily because processes tend to be highly manual. This is a result of local market nuances which may not fit a global framework on which most technology is engineered. Nevertheless, Japan is one of the markets in the region where interest in SMM programmes is quickly gaining traction.

The collaboration brings together CWT’s global SMM expertise with JCD’s in-depth knowledge and understanding of Japan’s business events industry, to create solutions tailored to Japan’s unique transportation, accommodation, venue management and regulatory environment.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest from our clients to include their operations in Japan as part of their global strategic meetings management programmes,” Kari Wendel, vice president, global SMM strategy & solutions at CWT Meetings & Events, said. “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.”

He added: “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.”

JTB communication design director, Tadashi Machida, said: “In the future, we will continue to support the provision of SMM programmes. We aim to contribute to achieving companies’ visions, solving business problems, and further strengthening their competitiveness.”