David Peckinpaugh: Unleashing Human Potential

Skift Take

The importance of company culture continues to grow, even more so when you are in the process of integrating multiple entities with their own cultures into one brand.

David Peckinpaugh is the president & CEO of Maritz. He joined the organization in 2011 after working for a number of leading hotel brands. He was also previously the president and CEO of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau and vice president of business development at HelmsBriscoe.

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The Challenges of Reorganizing into One Company

Whilst evolving and innovating over its history, until recently, Maritz had operated as a holdings company with different business units, including Maritz Global Events, Maritz Motivation, and Maritz Automotive. The company is now becoming one brand. One of the biggest challenges is integrating the technological infrastructure that serves the different business units. Another is the different cultures that are part of each business unit. Whilst all operate under the Maritz brand, and many cultural elements run throughout, others are specific to each unit. Ensuring positive and valuable cultural elements don’t get lost during the integration process is important.

What Does it Mean to Unleash Human Potential?

The concept of unleashing human potential is one of Maritz’s core values, as a way to empower and inspire people, who in turn help drive better business outcomes. This concept can be applied to all opportunities where interaction with others takes place. Everyone is unique, so tapping into that potential will be different. When applied to events and event design, there is an element of mass customization. This is how to help event participants unleash their potential, whatever that may be.

Managing a Remote and Hybrid Workforce

Maritz has had a remote workforce since before the pandemic. However, post-pandemic, the workforce has become more decentralized away from their main office locations. This development has opened the company up to engaging with a wider talent pool of potential employees. The company doesn’t have a mandate for employees to visit an office space. However, it has various programs in place to attract employees to commute versus making it a requirement. They also work with external clients facing similar challenges, and so Maritz is supporting and leading them through a design process to help them engage and encourage employees to be on campus and engaging face-to-face where possible.

The Role of Innovation and Design

The concepts of innovation and design are an integral part of the work Martiz does with its clients. The organization’s design practice has been around since 2011 and is one which constantly evolves. Based on iterative design, their innovation practices inform the design practice, which then feeds into the overall evolution. Working together to find new and innovative ways to keep the attendee at the heart of an event, and ensuring that what is being developed can only be conveyed via in-person attendance, is a key element of Martiz’s work with clients and for its own events. 

Airlines and the Meeting Industry

One of the main challenges attendees have with attending events relates to airlines, whether that be scheduling, ticket prices, or the overall travel experience. Whilst airlines predominantly don’t consider themselves to be part of the meeting and events industry, they are an integral component of getting attendees to the event destination. Airlines have begun to realize that meetings result in business. Some have embraced the group travel that comes with an event, focusing their attention on this area. Recognizing the power of group travel and the business advantages it provides, as well as engaging with the meeting and events industry via association organizations, is a step in both industries working more closely together for the benefit of travelers and attendees.

We will continue the conversation with David Peckinpaugh at the exhilarating Skift Meetings Forum on September 27, set against the vibrant backdrop of New York City! Secure your spot now to ensure you seize the chance to connect with vital players in the meetings industry. Don’t miss this sensational event!

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