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Milligan Events, ECPAT-USA Partner to Fight Against Human Trafficking

Milligan Events owner, Janell McGill, signs The Code.

Last week, we took the next step in actively pledging to fight against human trafficking by signing The Code this week with ECPAT-USA at an industry-related seminar hosted by Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) Washington State Chapter in Bellevue, WA.

ECPAT-USA is a member of the internationally recognized ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) organization who developed the tourism child-protection code of conduct as set of business principles adopted by travel and tourism related companies to specifically combat child sex trafficking. This action is just one example of Milligan Events’ ongoing commitment to social responsibility.

Nearly 21 million people around the world are victims of modern day slavery. In the U.S. alone, at least 100,000 of those victims are American children. In the past, human trafficking took place primarily on the streets, but today, those operations have expanded with the use of technology and the internet.  Traffickers move across cities and countries using air and ground transportation companies, targeting events, hotels and other venues as places to abuse and sell their victims, without the knowledge of the companies hosting events or the respective hotels and venues. As more companies sign The Code, awareness is on the rise and local law enforcement agencies have learned the necessity of protecting these children, the real victims.

“Businesses can play an important role in this vital call to action by including a strong policy against sex trafficking of children in their employee code of conduct,” said Janell McGill, owner of Milligan Events.  “Statistics show many buyers initiate their transactions on company time and equipment or at company sponsored events, which creates legal risks as well as risks to reputation.  Discussing this growing problem and establishing more vigilant practices to detect it are paramount.” 

McGill further added, “As compassionate global citizens and a concerned partner in a targeted industry, we are committed to doing everything in our power to stop child sex trafficking.  It is closer to home than many realize and is a pandemic that needs to be eradicated.”

Photo of signing by Alabastro Photography (left to right: Michelle Guelbart, Janell McGill)

Success Story: Achieving Cost Efficiency through Strategic Planning

Milligan’s strategic planning and shared knowledge creates fiscal win for back-to-back events in New Orleans.

Milligan Events’ deep experience and keen understanding of all areas of event management gives us a unique perspective—an ability to see opportunities for cost savings and efficiencies that benefit our clients today and in the future. At recent back-to-back events in New Orleans, Su Stearns and the Milligan team achieved more than $98,000 in cost avoidance and savings. Working together with our Client and vendor partners, Milligan helped reach event goals within budget through strategic thinking, attention to detail and resourcefulness.

We Think “Big-Picture” in Detail

Achieving real savings takes innovative thinking and a holistic understanding of the event. Looking at each line item in the budget, the Milligan team was able to spot areas where we could take a different path to success and save our Client money. Milligan looked at year-over-year costs for scooters and negotiated a better rate using the same vendor. More than $10,000 was saved by sourcing boardroom tables from a local supplier, rather than the existing decorating company. By enhancing a side meeting with luncheon service, the team was able to negotiate better rates for the room based on the addition of catering, and deliver an elevated attendee experience at the same time. By making use of the latest communication technologies, we reduced the need for phone lines. Our proactive cost leadership resulted in considerable savings, and best practices that benefit other events Milligan supports.

We’re constantly evaluating how we’re using the space and what we can leverage to cut down on expenses. Our job is to understand how each decision impacts the budget and to think strategically to find savings for our clients.”  – Su Stearns, Event Lead

Leveraging Resources

With the Milligan team managing two events for our Client, held less than three months apart in the same venue, ideas and best practices developed at the first event could be carried through to achieve a consistent attendee experience and save money across both events. Working with our vendor partners, the Milligan team was strategic in finding practical solutions that made cost-effective use of combined resources to achieve our Client’s goals.

  • Site Visits: A single team traveling for site visits achieved cost savings and efficiencies for our Client and allowed the Milligan team to share information and ideas benefitting both events.
  • Party Venue Selection: Milligan leveraged the proposal process and venue negotiations for both attendee parties. Team collaboration and a streamlined process allowed us to help our Client make the best selection and negotiate the best contract for each event.
  • Attendee Game Zone: By purchasing games and hiring our own staff to assemble them, more than $9,800 was saved. The Milligan team negotiated free storage for the games, which were then used at the second event, resulting in further savings.
  • Signage and Branding: Milligan achieved consistency and savings by utilizing Expo Hall aisle signs across both events. Our overall strategic planning of signage design and production creates a consistent brand for our Client’s events in general.
  • Event Flow: Based on our experience at the initial event, the Milligan team evaluated movement throughout the building, ensuring there was enough directional signage (or staff) and the right entrances/exits—especially for Expo Hall access—were utilized for the second event.

Best Practice Implementation

The addition of roaming information staff throughout the venue, offering personal, immediate assistance to attendees—and utilizing Microsoft Surface technology—was a tremendous success and became a best practice for future events.

A Unique Knowledge Base

Through years of experience with our Client’s Tier One events, the Milligan team has gained a comprehensive understanding of their goals and initiatives. We understand the inner-workings of each venue, the strengths and opportunities our vendor partners offer, and how to get the most out of the budget. Our tightly-knit team of professionals regularly shares best practices, contacts and strategies—providing our Clients the means to elevate the attendee experience and exceed event objectives as well as achieve efficiencies and cost savings across all areas of the budget.

Fast Facts

Event:  Conference targeting client’s customers and their partner business community

Held:  March 2013

Venue(s):  New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center / Hilton Riverside / Woldenberg Riverfront Park

Attendees: 11,000

Content: 489 Sessions in 37 Breakout Rooms and Theater; 2 Keynote Presentations

Speakers: 440+

Auxiliary Events: 100+ Side Meetings; numerous Executive Meetings

Expo Hall: 100+ Sponsors and 280+ Exhibitors; Product Pavilions

Special Events: Attendee Party at Woldenberg Riverfront Park, attendance 7,500; Welcome Reception at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center; Partner Reception at Hilton Riverside.

Logistics Elements Managed: Ancillary Events, Boardrooms, Budget Support, Breakout Sessions, Customer Advisory Board Meetings, Collateral, Convergence Experience Center, Crew, Environmental Sustainability, Evaluations, Executive Meeting Schedule Management, Giveaways, Keynotes, MPOs, Photography, Press, Radios/Nextels, Shipping Coordination, Side Meetings, Signage, Temporary Staffing, Transportation, and Venue.

Contact Janell McGill at 208.387.0770 or janell.mcgill@milliganevents.com to find out how Milligan can achieve efficiency and cost savings for your next event.


Success Story: Responding with Agility

Milligan team relocates international event last-minute and delivers a flawless attendee experience.

Milligan Events has the expertise and experience to respond with agility to the unexpected, and provide thoughtful, cost-effective solutions—in the U.S. and around the world.

Event Manager Jeanie Thomas and the Milligan team met the challenge of relocating a global education conference for 1,000 attendees from Athens to Prague, less than four months from load-in, with professionalism and flair. Starting over from scratch with venue selection and strategy, they led an international team to create an amazing event experience for attendees and the Client.

Faced with budget constraints, vendor limitations and language barriers, the Milligan team took on leadership roles where needed, to provide seamless management. When it became clear that the general services contractor didn’t understand the style guide, just four weeks out from the event, Creative Strategist Sara Hinnenkamp stepped in to interpret the style guide and design event graphics. The Milligan team also on-boarded local vendors and got them up to speed quickly—in many cases rolling up our sleeves to help get the work done.

“With so little time, budget constraints, and the challenge of finding space and making it work for the event…we had to lead our client through the process of making decisions that would impact the event execution and budget,” says Jeanie. “We didn’t have an event producer and in additional we had several new international vendors to onboard in a limited time. Our experience allowed us to take the lead in giving direction to the vendor team, which was essential to our success.”

Resources typically available to us—such as a producer—were not within the budget. In order to realize our clients’ vision for the event, Milligan experts stepped in and provided strategic leadership. In spite of cancellation fees, we were able to achieve our target budget while creating a memorable experience for attendees. The event hosted attendees from more than 87 countries, and over 83% of those who responded were satisfied or very satisfied with the event experience.

Fast Facts

Client: Fortune 500 Technology Corporation

Audience: Educators including government and school leaders from over 80 countries

City/Venue: Relocates annually, held most recently at: Hilton Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic

Attendees: 1,000 +

Content: Breakout Sessions (4 tracks), Keynote, Executive Meetings, Side Meetings

Expo Hall: Technical Showcase (10), Teacher Exhibitors (110)

Special Events: Opening Reception; Judges Dinner; Gala Dinner with 1,000 in attendance

Logistics Elements Managed: Ancillary Event Coordination, Branding and Creative, Breakout Sessions, Budget Administration, Collateral, Crew and Vendor Team, Event Strategy Executive Boardroom/Meeting Space, Exhibits, Food & Beverage, Giveaways, Partners in Learning Leadership Meetings, Registration, Security, Shipping, Side Meetings/VIP Meetings, Signage, Speakers, Sponsorship Deliverables, Technical Showcase, Temporary Staffing, Transportation, Vendor Management and Venue.

To find out how Milligan can bring your event vision to life, contact Janell McGill at 208.387.0770 or janell.mcgill@milliganevents.com

New Year, New Brand for Milligan Events

Milligan Events reveals fresh new brand, and exciting new service offerings designed to provide clients with strategic, start-to-finish event solutions.

Over the past five years, we’ve tackled new challenges, honed our expertise and expanded our service offerings—and we’re excited to unveil an all-new Milligan Events brand that truly represents Milligan today. 

The product of months of thoughtful discussion and development, our new brand reflects the evolution of Milligan Events and who we’ve become. It represents our depth of experience and comprehensive range of services, our corporate culture, as well as our goals and aspirations for the future.

Developing a new corporate identity is a journey that begins with the question “Who are we?” Seems fairly simple, right? But the answers can be surprising, and lead to revelations overdue. The result? Well, we’ll let our new brand speak for itself. Let us know what you think! We look forward to your feedback.