Advantage Travel Partnership is expanding its offering to members with the opening of a meeting and events division.

Andrew Winterburn and Ian Quartermaine have been recruited to launch Advantage Meetings and Events on June 12.

The business division will provide resources, expert knowledge, assistance and a white-labelled full-service event management offering for members.

Advantage Meetings and Events will be available to UK members before being expanded internationally next year to the WIN Global Travel Network.

With more than 25 years’ experience in the meetings and events industry, Winterburn was instrumental in building a global meetings and events business with offices in Europe, North America and Asia.

Quartermaine is an experienced meetings and events professional who was involved in the creation, implementation and management of the international division of venue finding service HelmsBriscoe.

The pair were appointed by Advantage to develop the meetings and events offering to expand Advantage’s portfolio of services for members.

Winterburn said: “There is major growth in the SME sector which is driving the need for small to mid-size meetings.

“The UK M&E market is estimated to be worth approximately £21 billion, so this new solution will provide members with the fantastic opportunity to grow their revenues within this sector, service the needs of their existing clients and pitch for new business.”

Quartermaine added, “Over the course of our careers, we’ve arranged everything from small meetings to corporate overseas events for hundreds of people.

“We’ll be able to share this experience with Advantage members to help them grow their own businesses by better serving their clients.”

Members will have access to a dedicated Advantage Meetings and Events team, who will act as a seamless extension of their own businesses and provide additional support across the diverse types of membership, from corporate travel management companies through to leisure agents.

Assistance will range from full service meetings management and marketing support, to venue finding as well as training and development.

Pre-negotiated hotel rates will be available plus the ability to request and book group rates with selected airlines, supplier agreements with DMCs as well as print and design providers.

Additional operational support such as budget and financial management, standard operating procedures and on-site event management staff will also be arranged by Advantage.

Global product director Neil Armorgie said: “We listened to our members and identified that more than two-thirds would like a meetings and events solution, with 88% already implementing meetings but requiring additional support.

“We are delighted to be launching a service that will support every member, whether they are established in the M&E sector, or just starting out.

“The meetings and events offering will help members add value to their services for existing customers, generate new business and increase their profit margins.”