HelmsBriscoe makes foray into the Philippines

US MEETINGS procurer firm HelmsBriscoe has entered the Philippine market, and is at work securing initial business with corporate accounts, religious events and product launches.

“It’s really a good time, as Asia-Pacific is no longer an emerging market,” said Marisa Crame, senior director for global accounts, HelmsBriscoe. Weddings, cruises and business seminars are some of the other events the company will pitch business for, she added.

HelmsBriscoe’s associates in the Philippines will cover any kind of event that guarantees at least 10 room nights of business for associations anywhere within the social, military, educational, religious and fraternal associations segments.

Butch Cabalu, manager for global accounts, HelmsBriscoe, predicts significant business in the Philippines from religious events, product launches within the entertainment segment, and corporate accounts. One of their biggest bookings so far is a 10,000-pax religious event in 2016, where 2,000 of the participants will be from overseas, he said.

The company will leverage partnerships with major international hotel chains and local boutique hotels as well those in major cities, starting with Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

It will not charge associations or groups contracting their services, but earns through standard industry placement fee of 10 per cent to partner hotels booking through them.

Associations are promised they will not receive higher quotes from hotels if they partner with HelmsBriscoe, while hotels partners will recover the investment they would have otherwise spent on marketing, Crame added.

Associations can also protect themselves from attrition – overbudgeting for events, coming short of room reservations – because HelmsBriscoe will tap its network of associates globally to fill in excess bookings, said Christopher Crame, manager for global accounts.

Lauding its partnership with HelmsBriscoe a “useful service to associations” in events organisation, Octavio Peralta, chair of board of trustees, Philippine Council for the Advancement of Association Executives, said that the tie-up will also be a key addition to the association’s ongoing activities including education, an awards programme recognising association activities and professionals, and formalising the curriculum behind the Philippines’ first professional associate certification system.

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