“If you want to go fast, walk alone. If you want to go far, walk together.”

Independent venue finders Claire Schleicher and Jean-Christophe Chemin quickly realised that they would go further if they worked as a team, sharing best practices and pooling their knowledge and information about the hospitality industry.

Their plan to create an alliance began to take shape in 2010. Claire and Jean-Christophe were by then already sharing information and working together on an informal basis, although they were keen to remain independent.

Their first joint project was to develop a custom CRM database with qualified hospitality-industry contacts and first-hand information and feedback on the hotels and other vendors in the database. The shared CRM helped them to more effectively manage relationships with both customers and vendors and to share qualified contacts with other database users.

The next step was to launch the world’s first alliance of independent venue finding companies with the goal of expanding their businesses while retaining their independence and quality one-on-one relationships with their customers – the hallmark of MEG venue finders.

Claire and Jean-Christophe are now developing plans to bring in venue finders based in the countries most active in the MICE industry.