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Celebrating a Decade of Global Partnerships

To mark the 10th anniversary of BCD M&E’s Partner Market Network, we chat with Jeroen Duiker, VP Global Network, whose extensive experience and leadership have been instrumental in shaping the success of our global partner markets. 


How many markets does BCD M&E currently operate in and how has this figure evolved over the years? 

We are currently in 40 markets, and we service several smaller markets within these, representing a total of 50 markets worldwide (see map). Our first official partnerships were established in Asia Pacific in 2015 and expanded into Europe and the Middle East soon after.  

When it comes to meetings and events, whatever the region, we know that our clients prefer to have a local presence. People buy from people, so relationships and collaboration remain the key to our network’s success. However, the decision to invest in any market has always been driven by the size and volume of business. We don’t just put a ‘flag in the sand’ and call it a BCD M&E market. We go where there is demand, but we’ve become increasingly more selective in recent years, focusing on long-term strategic viability. We evaluate new markets and explore alternative solutions for others. For example, in the Gulf region, we’ve opted for a hub approach where our UAE team extends their operations to Qatar, Oman and Bahrain – this allows us to leverage resources without compromising service standards.  

Our network’s fluidity means we can adapt to global business trends and client needs, and stay agile as we grow. It also gives us the freedom to partner with independent agencies and entrepreneurs, which has often resulted in more focus and greater ambition, as smaller entities take full advantage of growth opportunities


Can you truly guarantee that the same service is granted across wholly owned and partner markets?  

Each of our official markets adheres to BCD M&E’s procedures, systems, tools and service requirements. Put simply – no matter where we serve our clients, they experience the same output. They receive the same quality of service but in their own language, and with local and physical representation whilst getting the reliability and standards of our global operations.  

It all starts with training and education. We create a separate business division where employees are trained on all general procedures and, when relevant, client-specific requirements. From Cvent education to Pharma compliance training, we equip our partners with the necessary tools and knowledge to deliver consistent services. Our regional teams support the markets throughout the entire implementation, making sure everyone is tracking the same data and aligning with our strategic objectives whilst remaining responsive to local nuances and market maturity. This might require slight adjustments in delivery, but the service is the same.


How did you come to lead BCD M&E’s Global Network? 

I started in 2011 as a regional account manager, and have been with the business for 14 years. My career evolved with the company and with the broader industry challenges – namely, Covid. Before the pandemic, I had been heavily involved in integrating our EMEA operations, which laid a lot of the groundwork for the global network. Covid tested our resilience and adaptability and, more personally, my ability to hold meetings at 2 a.m. – But it also highlighted the strength of our partnerships, as we worked closely with our global clients to restart operations in various markets. They proved to be true partners, and I am proud of the work we achieved together. 

As travel reopened and business started to pick up again, I found myself traveling the world to assess various markets and support our partners. This was no easy feat but it reassured our partners of our commitment and it helped to stabilize our service levels back to, and in some cases beyond, pre-pandemic levels. By 2021, our EMEA operations had rebounded to pre-Covid numbers, and by 2023, APAC had achieved record-breaking performance. These experiences were all part of my transition to leading the network, and to developing an understanding of local service delivery requirements. 


What’s your favourite destination and why?  

I would say either Tokyo or Shanghai because, from a cultural perspective, they are so magnificently different to the world I grew up in. Both cities have an extraordinary energy, buzzing with people, traffic and entertainment, which I find exciting. Everything is constantly moving, yet wherever you are, there is a unique dynamic that provides structure and organization to ensure everything is still working together.  


What does the future look like for BCD M&E’s partner network? 

The footprint of our worldwide offering is not about to rise dramatically. We believe our current coverage effectively meets the needs of our clients, so our focus is on deepening our existing market relationships. Interestingly, our competitive set seems to be taking a different direction – with many offices closing to open centralized services from fewer locations. This strengthens our position in the market, making it all the more unique, as our local presence allows us to maintain close client relationships which, as we’ve said before, is absolutely crucial in this business. 

In the short term, besides the ongoing growth of markets and ensuring stability, my number one focus will be on strengthening our network in Latin America. We recognize the demand in the region and are working with local teams to execute a plan that will deliver the same service levels as those of our wholly-owned markets. So… Mira este espacio! 


Originally published Apr 30, 2024

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BCD Meetings & Events

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