by Lisa A. Grimaldi | April 04, 2012

Maritz Travel, the meeting, event and incentive travel firm, has acquired Experient, a major provider of meeting and event services to associations, trade shows, corporations and the U.S. government. "As a result of this deal, Maritz Travel will lead the industry in four key areas – corporate, association, tradeshow and strategic meetings management. Coming together this way will fuel our shared objective to grow in the markets we serve," said David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel, in a statement released to the press. "By combining, we will expand the capabilities we bring to clients beyond what either of us might offer independently… [Over the last few years] the event industry has had to evolve as a result of a volatile business environment. Spend is returning to pre-recession levels, and together Maritz Travel and Experient are leading the market in delivering the flexibility and range of services organizations need to achieve growing and increasingly aggressive business results." According to Maritz, the combined impact of the two firms represented more than $2 billion in industry volume spend and nearly 3 million travelers served in 2011. As a result of the merger, Experient will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Maritz Travel and its CEO, Jeff Price, will be stepping down. Maritz Travel now will have more than 12 locations and a network of sales offices across the US.