Doug Baarman

Hospitality Industry leader Doug Baarman is an experienced meeting planner affiliated with ConferenceDirect. Doug and his team are committed to providing their customers with the best services available in the industry:

  • Site Selection / Contract Negotiation
  • Registration
  • Housing
  • Conference Management
  • Attendee Marketing
  • Sponsorship Sales
  • Exhibit Sales

His team at ConferenceDirect has planned and negotiated domestic and international events for organizations with 10 to 25,000 attendees. We leverage ConferenceDirect’s strengths that begin with negotiating a contract with the best overall value while protecting the organization from any potential risk, and ending with measurement and reporting to give you a comprehensive analysis to help evaluate the total meeting ROI.

My Story:

I joined ConferenceDirect in July of 2007 to utilize my 25+ years of sales, marketing and meeting planning experience within the hospitality industry. I have worked on both sides of the industry giving me an insider’s perspective with experience from some of the largest hotel companies – Marriott International and Gaylord Hotels and from the buyer’s side – National Trade Productions. During my career with Marriott International, I led a Field Sales team focused on new business development with an independent structure and an alternative compensation model.This was an industry first within a chain’s national sales system. Prior to Field Sales, I was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Marriott ExecuStay which was an acquisition that needed to be integrated with their other brands. At Gaylord Hotels, I helped establish the pre-opening team for the largest hotel ever built in theWashington, DC area. At National Trade Productions, I did exhibit sales for shows targeting the government and government contractor markets. As an independent meeting planner with ConferenceDirect, I have built a team of over 35 active individuals that have placed over $300 million of revenue for our customers in hotels around the world.

  • In 2010, our team placed over $53 million in bookings for our clients making us the top producing ConferenceDirect team.
  • In 2011, our team placed over $56 million in bookings for our clients making us the top producing CD team for the second consecutive year.
  • In 2012, our team is on pace to place over $60 million in bookings for our clients making us the top producing ConferenceDirect team for the third consecutive year.
  • In 2013, our team placed over $72 million in bookings for our clients making us the top producing ConferenceDirect team for the fourth consecutive year.
  • In 2010 & 2011, 2012 and 2013, I was named ‘Team Director of the Year’ by my peers.


We run a 501C6 industry association and Doug helps us with our two major meetings each year. He is creative, hard working and keeps his eye on the objectives and the bottom line. It is like having another person on staff who understands what we need, how we like things done and who watches my back and delivers with excellence whenever we need him. I recommend Doug without reservation. He will make you money.”

Ben hired you as a Business Consultant in 2009 and hired you more than once

Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert

Ben Markens
Paperboard Packaging Council


What Can Doug and his ConferenceDirect Team Do For You?

Whether you are the meeting or event planner or the person that has been handed the event responsibility, Doug and his team can help you. They can pull even the most complex event together in the shortest amount of time to make you look GREAT and your event an absolute success.

With experience from some of the largest hospitality industry players -Doug and his team understands events and more importantly they understand what is important to you. They know what is needed to enhance your event and how to get it.

Having the buying and negotiating power of ConferenceDirect behind them (booking over 2 million room nights annually); Doug and his team can guarantee that he is going to get you the best value available with the most incentives while ensuring the protection needed in the contract.

Not sure where to hold your event? Doug and his team has the personal knowledge and assistance of over 350 ConferenceDirect associates that enables them to find the right fit for you. Whether your event is for 10 or 25,000; Doug’s team will get it done for you!

Doug is a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) but to him; it is far more important to be a member of YOUR team! He is on the Customer Advisory Board for the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. Doug is a graduate of Ferris State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management.


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