Greenfield Services is proud to announce that its co-founder Doreen Ashton Wagner has been named to the M&IT Magazine’s Hall of Fame in the Industry Innovator category. This award recognizes an individual planner or supplier who has implemented a service or product that has increased productivity and/or modernized our industry.
Below is the text of her nomination:
Doreen Ashton Wagner has been an innovator since she founded her company in 1998.
At first she saw a niche in offering outsourced, project-based, data cleansing and lead generation services to meetings industry suppliers. One of the firm's earliest clients was Rogers Media, then-owners of M&IT Magazine, after the company purchased the Executive Travel Show series in 2001. Greenfield was hired by the show producer to update a list of over 22,000 meeting and event professionals across Canada. The firm then employed just five people, and it took three months for the list to be cleansed according to a strict research protocol, supported by a proprietary database platform. This approach has since been formalized as The Greenfield Data Cleansing System™.
From those humble beginnings the firm gained more meetings industry clients, especially Hotels and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) looking for online and phone research to help identify new meetings and conventions business. The Greenfield LEAD Process™ was born of these efforts to produce timely, valuable meetings information on a consistent basis.
In 2008, Ashton Wagner started observing a shift in the nature of the business-to-business sales process. The recession, the increasing role of the internet in the purchasing cycle, and the commoditization of the site selection process was eroding the traditional relationships that existed between meeting venues and planners.
In 2009 she devised the Greenfield Funnel Activator™, a marketing system that helps meetings industry suppliers initiate and nurture new business relationships through a combination of personal outreach, data management, and permission-based email communication, supported by marketing automation software. This system has been further enhanced with the integration of social media management and content marketing, which help users attract more inbound leads.
Since 2010 Ashton Wagner has written extensively about these market shifts, starting with this blog and monthly e-newsletter (still published today), and her landmark webinar series in 2012.
Clients who have benefitted from Greenfield Services’ dedicated, proprietary approach include Fairmont, Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Cineplex Entertainment, AV Canada, and every major DMO in Canada.
Last but not least, this candidate was a key participant in the team that executed the landmark study of the economic impact of the meetings industry in Canada (CEIS). Her in-depth knowledge of the venue side of the meetings industry helped the research team navigate the complicated data gathering process which led to the successful completion of the study according to UNWTO guidelines. This study was the first of its kind in 2007 and it has since been duplicated in Mexico, the USA and the UK.
According to the then-CEIS Project Manager, Mitchell Beer, “When the project ran into serious difficulties with primary data gathering, Greenfield Services was just about heroic in deploying key expertise and staff hours to solve the problem. To this day, I believe that MPI Canada—and anyone else in the global meetings community who has since conducted a WTO‑based EIS—owes Greenfield a lifetime debt of gratitude for shepherding this first economic impact study to success at a critical point in its execution.”
The third iteration of the study is now taking place in Canada, with the candidate and her company’s involvement once again.
Doreen joins fellow inductees:
- Ralph Strachan, President & CEO, The Stronco Group of Companies (Industry Veteran);
- Bettyanne Sherrer, CMP, CMM, Principal, ProPlan Conference & Events (Planner);
- Trevor Lui, Director of Operations and Sustainability, The International Centre (Industry Builder);
- Sheila Wong, CEM, Partner and Vice-President, Business Development, BBW International Inc. (Industry Volunteer);
- Judy Healy, Hospitality and Tourism Management Department, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University (Industry Mentor);
- Danyelle MacCulloch, Base Consulting Inc. (Industry Rising Star)
Congratulations to all we’re so proud of you!