PCMA Quashes ACTE "Strategic Alliance"

The Professional Convention Management Association has pulled the plug on the "strategic alliance" it formed in June with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives. The decision follows ACTE's announcement last week that its board agreed to reopen merger talks with the National Business Travel Association.

In a message sent last Wednesday to the PCMA board of directors, PCMA chairman John Folks said "some additional financial challenges surfaced" following the resignation of ACTE director of global finance Cynthia Godes.

ACTE president Richard Crum last week said Godes' departure was "more a personnel matter than anything else," and an ACTE spokesperson said a replacement already has been selected, though no announcement has been made.

Crum said, "We let them know about our intention to reengage with NBTA, and they made the decision that they no longer wanted to continue in the pursuit of the alliance we were working on."

In discussions with PCMA, Crum said ACTE was pursuing a "shared services arrangement where some of the non-member-facing activities-finance, IT-can be outsourced to either party, so that one group can take it over and the other one pay a fee."

ACTE and PCMA in June announced the formation of a strategic alliance, though officials at the time stressed each association would remain independent entities with separate boards and staffs, but would cooperate on joint member benefits, education, research and collocation of events.

Folks in the memo last week said, "As we proceeded with discussions regarding education and collocation options, ACTE continued to receive communications from their major sponsors urging a merger with NBTA to better centralize their marketing activities and spend."

Citing ACTE's overture to merge with NBTA, Folks said, "Based on this decision, PCMA has ceased its due diligence process and will no longer pursue an alliance with ACTE. PCMA still believes in the convergence of both business travel and meetings and will continue to create education that will address this for our members and others in the industry that may benefit from it."

Source: Business Travel News