By Anne Bromley – Joint Managing Director Travel Bureau
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.
So, if Carlsberg did MICE… what would it look like?
Incentive travel is a powerful inducement to boost sales and drive behaviour and it is totally scalable to complement any budget. With a universal appeal and the opportunity to create a memorable lifetime experience, what would be the ultimate prize?
Imagine life onboard a luxury 5-star cruise liner – exotic destinations, carefully crafted shore excursions, sumptuously appointed suites, personalised butler service, exquisite gourmet dining and all-inclusive amenities. An individual suite or an exclusive full-ship charter?
Or, for those active adventurers, how about an all-inclusive trip to spectacular winter wonderland Whistler? Ideal for winter sports lovers and adrenaline seekers, your top performers could experience skiing and snowboarding at its very best, hike the many trails on offer and gaze at the stunning landscape. And, when the sun goes down, there’s always après-ski! Throw in business class flights and 5-star accommodation
Be it for an individual or an entire team, such rewards are guaranteed to inspire and incentivise your employees, think of the buzz upon their return as they share their experiences, their increased sense of loyalty, re-energised and raring to go.
If you’ve an inkling of an idea or need some inspiration, why not give us a call on 0191 285 0346 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and start a conversation.