With Skype calls, video conferencing and online webinars all now part of an average day at the office, communicating with colleagues, employees and business partners has never been easier.
Technology enables us to be ‘on’ 24/7, regardless of where we are in the world but are these interactions always meaningful and beneficial? People do business with people, and there’s still no better way to genuinely engage with someone than face to face. Our time is precious. We have to make those conversations count, so creating the right environment for success is key. The MICE industry meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions/events experienced a general decline during the recession. With reduced budgets, organisations sought to bring meetings and smaller events in-house, making better use of existing office meeting space whilst employee incentive schemes were scaled back.
Today, whilst we may not have returned to the days of ‘money no object’ corporate budgets, organisations appreciate the benefits associated with the motivational buzz from an inspirational keynote speaker, networking with like-minded individuals and the impact of an ‘experiential’ reward on driving sales and behaviour, as well as employee attrition and retention. So, what are the ‘musts’ for any MICE planner – Understand your goals. What do you want to achieve? Is it to inspire and motivate your staff, build supplier relationships, close a new business deal or a thank you to employees and customers alike? Be clear about your goals and create the right environment to achieve them. Find the perfect venue. From a regional sales meeting to a team building session, from a new product launch to a multinational conference, find an inspiring space to create an impact from the moment your guests arrive.
Once you’ve found that perfect venue, consider the logistics insurance, transport links and arrangements, parking, accommodation, catering, entertainment, branding and equipment. Create a lasting impression. Be imaginative. Delivering the WOW factor will leave an impression long after the event is over. Money can’t buy experiences like having dinner with a duchess, a private museum viewing or even floating through a sea of candles on an exclusive river cruise are moments that are sure to impress, but don’t underestimate the power of the personal touch. Hand-written invitations, personalised welcomes or just offering a variety of dietary options will also leave a lasting impression. Seek expert help.
Working with a professional travel company can bring a fresh perspective and a wealth of expertise to your MICE planning. They can take care of the logistics leaving you to concentrate on delivering your business objectives. Specialists will often have greater buying power, securing you better rates and can consolidate billing, managing the overall cost more effectively. From enquiry to onsite assistance, decide what you need help with. Stick to your budget. It’s so easy to overspend. Consider sponsorship, delegate contribution and cost centre attribution.