Welcome to GCA

Global Congress Accommodations

The Premier International Housing Services Provider

Your Premiere Housing Service

GCA specializes in management of hotel room blocks for global meetings and events

With A Global Presence

Where are here to meet your needs no matter where your event may be

About

Global Congress Accommodations (GCA) was formed in 2016 as a partnership between two of the meetings and conventions industry’s leading housing management companies – SPARGO, Inc. and FHTdirect.com.

 

FHTdirect.com (FHT), a leader for over 20 years in the management of international group housing services for global groups attending medical conventions, was founded by Candice Steckler in 1996 after years of experience working with some of the top hotel companies in the US, Europe and Asia.  FHT specializes in working with international groups attending global medical meetings, securing the best possible housing options for international pharma companies attending these events.  In 2015, FHT was acquired by Atlas Travel Solutions UK, a leading destination and MICE management company based in London, with offices in Edinburgh, Dublin and Fort Lauderdale (FL, USA).  Through this acquisition, FHT has been growing its portfolio of services, adding on full service meetings management in addition to its housing solutions.  FHT is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida (USA), with its European head office in Monte Carlo, Monaco, sales and operations in London, and additional satellite offices in Miami, FL (USA), New York and Milan, Italy.

SPARGO was founded in 1973 by John W. Spargo. When established, the primary focus of the organization was tradeshow sales and management. In the early 1980s, SPARGO began a carefully orchestrated expansion program to diversify its customer base. The expansion program included the addition of other complementary services including housing, registration, meeting logistics and exhibitor lead management services. By the mid 1990s, the company employed 75 employees and had diversified its customer base. Today SPARGO employs 180 full time professionals, servicing nearly 120 events annually. SPARGO remains a privately owned company providing services to more than 50 different association and corporate customers. The company provides superior customer service and utilizes the most advanced technologies available in the industry. Technologies employed by SPARGO include the enterprise version of A2Z (Exposition Management Software) and proprietary software designed exclusively for SPARGO use. The SPARGO Registration and Housing System combines secure e-commerce solutions, advanced data management features and robust marketing and reporting tools.

Team

Susan Bracken

Susan Bracken

President & CEO
SPARGO, Inc.
Washington, D.C. (USA)

Susan brought association and show contractor experience to SPARGO when she joined the company more than 25 years ago.  Susan successfully launched programs to diversify the company’s service portfolio to include exposition space sales and management, registration services, exhibitor lead management services, housing and meeting logistics.   Under her leadership the company has become the nation’s largest privately held Exposition and Conference Management firm employing 185 employees who service 150 events annually.  As President and CEO, Susan focuses on the implementation of new technologies, client relations and overseeing day to day operations.

Gildo Plate

Gildo Plate

Managing Director, ATS UK
Co-President, FHTdirect
Monte Carlo, Monaco

Gildo brings over 25 years’ experience working in global meetings & events, having overseen the growth of leading M&E organizations in London and New York. Gildo took the helm at ATS in the UK in 2011, leading the growth of its MICE department.

Laura Graeber

Laura Graeber

Sr. Vice President – Housing Services
SPARGO, Inc.
Washington, D.C. (USA)

Laura joined the SPARGO team in 1994, as the Director of Housing.  In 1999, Laura was promoted to Vice President of Housing Services.  Laura was promoted in 2003 to her current position as Senior Vice President of Housing Services. During her tenure at SPARGO, the Housing Department has grown significantly Ms. Graeber oversees the management of a diverse client base from large medical meetings and high profile Board of Directors meetings to military and government meetings.

Laura is responsible for the overall management and development of the housing department.   Ms. Graeber manages a full time staff of 24 Account Managers and Coordinators.  In addition, Laura plays a significant role in obtaining new clients for SPARGO as well as retaining long-term clients.

Ms. Graeber brings over 28 years of experience in the industry to her position.  Throughout her career, Laura has handled the housing needs of numerous complicated, high profile events using upwards of 23,000 rooms on peak night.

Prior to joining SPARGO, she was employed with Billcom Conference and Exposition Company where she was the Director of Registration & Housing , overseeing the registration and housing of many large conferences/expos including National Governors Association, National League of Cities and United Way of America.

Candice Steckler

Candice Steckler

Co-President & Founder
FHTdirect
Sarasota, Florida (USA)

A 30 year career veteran in the hotel and conventions industry working in Management, Sales and Marketing in the USA and Asia with leading companies including Hyatt, Mandarin, Oberoi and Doral, Candice is the founder of Far Horizons Tourism Inc.

Luca Plate

Luca Plate

Managing Director
ATS UK / FHTdirect UK
London, England (UK)

Luca’s extensive career in the travel industry has specialized in purchasing and contracting all over Europe for over 15 years in several multinational organisations, including as head direct buyer for Gulliver Travel (GTA) in the UK and Europe with over £300,000,000 in annual purchasing. Since 2013 he has managed the growth and diversification of ATS, helping it become one of the leading DMCs in the UK.

Eli Gorin, CMP, CMM

Eli Gorin, CMP, CMM

Chief Operating Officer
FHTdirect
Miami, Florida (USA)

Eli has worked in international meetings management for over 15 years, with extensive experience in the Latin America region.  Prior to FHT, Eli oversaw global client relations for international groups as part of the official housing for multiple US medical association meetings.

Services

Client Consult

Client Consult

We take our time with you to assess the details of your needs, going over all the services options to make your event a complete success

Hotel Block Contracting/Negotiation

Hotel Block Contracting/Negotiation

Our years of expertise in the global meetings industry gives us the opportunity to source, negotiate and contract the best possible rates, terms and conditions for hotel blocks needed for your meetings.  No matter the location, we understand the way the hotel business works where your program is going to be held.

Online Booking Tools

Online Booking Tools

Our proprietary online booking tools have been developed over years to streamline the process and experience of your guests booking rooms at your events.  Whether as individual rooms or group blocks, our system is designed to make the booking process as user friendly as possible.

Onsite Management

Onsite Management

We don’t just block the hotels and sell the rooms… we show up onsite to make sure that everything is running smoothly.  Our team will be there to support your needs during your program and if needed, be there to provide support for those looking to book at your next event as well!

Rate Tracking

Rate Tracking

One of the most important things is ensuring that our clients get the best rates possible.  We contract with specific terms and conditions that ensure your guests will get the lowest rate at the hotels in your block.  We monitor other sites to make sure that our rates are the best your participants can get.

Customer/Client Service

Customer/Client Service

We support you and your clients at all times, from the moment we first meet until the last folio is reconciled.  Our team is here to support you to make sure everything is done within your timeline.  We are also here to support your guests to ensure their bookings are done right and are secure.

Data Analysis

Data Analysis

Our service is not just about contracting a block of rooms and selling them.  It’s about constant data analysis to ensure that the blocks reserved are on track to be sold, monitoring slippage and minimizing attrition, and preparing for future programs by using the data collected from attendee booking patterns to negotiate future room blocks.  A lot goes on behind the scenes to make sure you only get the best.

Ancillary Services

Ancillary Services

Many times our clients need the support with more than just the hotel rooms.  We can also help manage meeting space usage in contracted hotels, shuttle bus service between hotels and your meeting/event venue, offsite events and so much more.

Demo

Our system is designed with the end user in mind to have the most seamless and user-friendly experience possible.
Below feel free to try out our demo sites to see what your attendees and groups can experience in booking at your event.

        

 

Our Offices

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