• etouches and Meeting Planners Unite Partner to Support Independent and Third-Party Planners

    POSTED July 31, 2018

    Game Changer

etouches and Meeting Planners Unite have recently joined forces to better support third-party and independent planners.

The partnership between the event management and venue sourcing solutions company and new association for independent planners will assist in supporting the event’s entire lifecycle. "The goal is to empower them to be more successful. I believe independent planning is a growing market," Brad Langley, vice president – Third Party Markets, etouches. 

etouches will provide the technology to power Meeting Planners Unite’s first annual conference in 2019, and association members will receive discounts on etouches technology, including the Essentials Platform (event website, email marketing, registration and surveys); Venue Sourcing solution (providing tools for sourcing, negotiating and booking venues); and LOOPD PRO Container Mobile App (to boost event engagement, networking and event ROI). Members will have no limits on user licenses, number of meetings, reporting and training, and will have 24/7/365 access to etouches’ customer service team.

The CDC defines close contact as within six feet or less, for 15 minutes or more with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. At gatherings of many kinds, contact tracing is used to trace the people that someone has come into contact with, before they learn that they have tested positive. This allows the people that the sick person came into contact with to be aware of the situation, and to make health-informed choices. 


In 2020, Houston First Corp. (HFC) reported that the city was slated to host 252 meetings and 611,000 room nights. By March 14, the Bayou City had already hosted 115 conventions and 137,400 room nights. Then the pandemic hit, and meetings and events across the country came to a screeching halt.

We asked Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corp. (HFC) how the health crisis has influenced the organization’s business model moving forward.


Chances are, you won’t know you’re living through history until it’s too late. It’s already happening. A chain reaction has been set in motion and the ground has begun to slide beneath your feet.

This past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. As a global pandemic sent the world reeling, planners were left grasping for footholds as the event industry was brought to a standstill, and many of the most fundamental elements of live meetings and events were cast in a new light.