A Year of Significance
It is undeniable that the city of San Antonio achieved new levels of significance in 2023. From the arrival of the first-round NBA draft pick, French 19-year-old Victor Wembanyama; to the Condor announcement of the first direct international flight between San Antonio International Airport and Frankfurt, Germany; to the welcoming of JCB’s new manufacturing plant; to U.S. Travel Association’s IPW 2023, which brought over 5,000 travel professionals from 60+ countries to the Alamo City; the destination maintained its presence in international news throughout the year. Our small, but mighty experience marketing firm was at the center of each of these projects and many others; and our team is thrilled to be counting the year as one of our most successful to date.
Under the leadership of our President & CEO, Janet Holliday, the CE Group completed over 500 singular and multi-day projects for clients, including several for H-E-B, the Spurs, major financial institutions, and a multitude of convention groups. Our five services – Events, Destination Management, Communication, Creative, and Venue Consulting – were continuously called upon by leading organizations to position, plan, promote, and produce projects that will continue to have lasting impact on the city of San Antonio and the state of Texas for years to come.
One of the most notable projects was certainly IPW, the world’s leading inbound travel trade show. As the only accredited DMC in San Antonio, the CE Group was tasked by Visit San Antonio to plan and produce the special events, tours, and logistics of this five-day convention in downtown San Antonio and wow attendees from over 60 different countries as the conference was hosted by our destination for the first time in history. The CE Group and their plethora of partners delivered an experience that left international guests with a long lasting impression of what Texas has to offer as a global tourist destination and left a legacy impact on San Antonio’s hospitality industry and downtown landscape.
Other big wins for the CE Group in 2023 included achieving our highest revenue year, revealing the NCAA Final Four 2025 logo, the city’s 15th anniversary of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series; and the expansion of our charitable initiative, Champions of Experience. In 2023, we focused on a partnership with Communities in Schools of San Antonio, and funded “Peace Corners” in ten San Antonio elementary schools to improve students’ mental health. We ended the year with the launch of a new San Antonio holiday tradition, Holidays on Houston Street, a collaboration with COSA, VSA and Centro.
Want to know the secret sauce for producing large-scale events?
Building a successful event starts with a solid team. Our focus is two-fold: hiring people with passion for their work and creating an environment that fosters and develops that passion. Our office culture emphasizes work-life balance, flexibility and giving space for creativity. If an event is requiring above-average energy from our team, we follow it up with above-average recovery. For example, after IPW in 2023, our entire office enjoyed a week-long paid vacation and came back to the table rejuvenated and ready to take on the next big project.
An Abundance of Big Wins
While our work has historically gone under the radar due to the behind-the-scenes nature of our supporting role, we were astounded by the recognition that was so graciously given to us in the past year.
In 2023, CE received the following awards and accolades:
- Sieggy Lifetime Achievement Pineapple Award – Janet Holliday (San Antonio Hotel and Lodging Association)
- #8 Best Public Relations Firm (San Antonio Business Journal Book of Lists)
- #4 Best Women Owned Firm (San Antonio Business Journal Book of Lists)
- #6 Best Places to Work – Small Business (San Antonio Business Journal)
- Business of the Year Honoree (San Antonio Business Journal)
- ADMEI Finalist for Best Overall Program
- ADMEI Finalist for Best Decor/Design
- ADMEI Finalist for Best Destination Marketing
- ADMEI Finalist for Best Use of Technology
Our gratitude for these acknowledgments is immense, but our pride for our client successes is equally as important to our team. Our leadership attended the 2023 San Antonio Business Journal’s Business of the Year awards dinner, a reception to celebrate the top businesses in our city. While the CE Group was named an honoree, it was the success of our clients that our team celebrated. The overall winner of the night was San Antonio International Airport, whose press conference announcing their Condor flight was planned by the CE Group. EMBREY, another one of our clients, was also honored for their significant year, along with several other businesses who have contracted the CE Group over the years.
More success and significance.
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