by CHERYL-ANNE STURKEN | August 01, 2007

Fay BeauchineIn June, Fay Beauchine was named executive vice president, global meetings, incentives and events, at Minneapolis-based Carlson Marketing. M&C recently spoke with her about her plans and the industry.

What’s on tap for Carlson?

We have an ambitious plan to double our global meeting, incentive and event business, especially with large pharmaceutical, automotive, financial and technology companies -- all industry segments with plenty of room for growth.

Given the current struggles of the U.S. auto industry, what are your prospects for growing this segment of business?

When any industry is going through major changes, it is an opportunity to review all activities for their effectiveness. With our broad array of services, we have marketing approaches that some of our clients might not have thought of or seen at work.

Our CEO, Jim Schroer, a former marketing executive at Chrysler, often talks about the money he pulled from the advertising budget to conduct Camp Jeep [an incentive program]. He says the mistake he made was not pulling more ad dollars and doing more Camp Jeeps. The “return on event” proved it was a much better investment than just another ad.

We can review a client’s marketing spend, review the return on investment and recommend activities that boost that return. Will it always include incentive trips or events? No. Our recommendation will include what’s best for the client.

Are clients willing to expand or change their programs?

Clients want to do more things because their business models are changing. One company told us that half of their employees now work from home, which is a very different model than they had 10 years ago. To keep them engaged, you have to deliver an event to them over the Internet or by global marketing.