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Venues & Destinations
Experience Maine Plans to Expand Maine’s Corporate Meeting & Events Market
Experience Maine, a new full-service travel concierge and event planning company, will attract experience seekers to the state and expand Maine’s corporate meeting and events market. Responding to a need to retool tourism marketing and grow business-related travel, Experience Maine Founder Rachel Sagiroglu will curate, design, and plan unique travel experiences for both corporate and individual clients.
According to 2017 statistics from the Maine Office of Tourism, tourism is Maine’s largest industry, supporting “nearly 107,000 jobs in Maine, roughly 16 percent of employment in the state and greater than the populations of Portland and Augusta combined. Household income generated through jobs supported by tourism was more than $2.5 billion.” But the rate of growth of tourist visits slowed to 1% in 2018 from 2017, and the corporate meetings and events segment of the industry in the state has only grown by 50,000 business-related travelers in the last three years.
“I was inspired to start my business after learning that growth in the tourism industry has slowed and that there are opportunities to expand existing markets for corporate meetings, retreats, and the incentive travel industry,” said Rachel Sagiroglu.
Rachel Sagiroglu has more than 20 years of experience planning meetings, events, and experiential marketing campaigns. Over the years, Sagiroglu has built a global network of connections from Hosts Global Destination Services to Maritz Global Events. “One of my first orders of business will be to leverage my valuable network of meeting planners to host a familiarization visit for key buyers,” said Sagiroglu.
President of Maritz Global Events David Peckinpaugh said, “As a past client, Rachel understands what our teams are looking for in a destination and we have no doubt that Experience Maine will be a great asset for any meeting, convention or exhibition professional.”
Complimenting the corporate event planning and travel concierge segments of the company will be the Experience Maine website, which will promote hospitality and tourism businesses in Maine from hotels and attractions to private charters and guided experiences. For a monthly membership fee, businesses can join the site and benefit from the marketing Sagiroglu will do in Maine’s key tourism markets. Founding members of Experience Maine include Sugarloaf Inn, Inn on Peaks Island, Three Rivers Whitewater Rafting, Old Port Sea Grill, and Shipyard Brewing Company.
About Rachel Sagiroglu
Rachel Sagiroglu, Founder & CEO of Experience Maine, is a Certified Meeting Professional, an internationally recognized certification designated by the Events Industry Council. In 2015, Sagiroglu was asked to join the Customer Advisory Board for Maritz Global Events. She has been an active member of the New England chapter of Meeting Planners International for the past 10 years. Sagiroglu’s professional background includes 20 years working in various marketing and event planning roles. For seven years, she managed marketing and events for Clean Harbors in Norwell, Massachusetts, a $3.5 billion environmental, energy, and industrial services company, where she planned and executed more 50 corporate meetings, trade shows, experiential marketing campaigns and customer events annually. Prior to Clean Harbors, she was Director of Sales & Marketing at 33 Management Group in Boston; Promotions Manager for Time Warner Cable in Portland; Marketing & Events Coordinator for Vreeland Marketing & Design in Yarmouth; and most recently a marketing manager at WEX in Portland.
A resident of Cumberland, Sagiroglu has lived in and “experienced” Maine for most of her life. She grew up on Great Pond in the picturesque Belgrade Lakes region, where she mastered boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and hiking. She lived for 10 years in Portland’s Old Port, where she discovered her love for food and wine, live music, and the working waterfront. Sagiroglu most recently lived in Boston for 10 years but moved her family home in 2018 . . . back to the way life should be!
For more information, visit www.experiencemaine.com.
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