Power Panel: Should your TMC be booking your MICE?

6 Apr 2019 – by Sue van Winsen   Travel & Meetings Buyer

As an increasing number of corporates begin to consolidate their travel and meetings spend into one portfolio, it makes sense that they have responded by launching specialist divisions and, in some instances, even separate companies, that focus specifically on MICE.

Cost savings are undoubtedly the main driver behind this move and this trend is already deeply entrenched in Europe and North America. A recent survey by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and Cvent, polled 124 North American event planners and travel managers and found that the consolidation of travel, meetings and event programmes had grown 62% between 2015 and 2017, and by 2019, two-thirds of programmes would be fully consolidated if trends continued.

But to what extent has this trend taken hold in South Africa? We spoke to experts to find out.

The MICE expert’s perspective

Helen Brewer, director of the MICE Academy, says a major reason why SA corporates may be tempted to use their TMC is that the current situation of MICE handling by a PCO, or internally, is “usually a messy one with no clear communication or standard direction”.

She says this status quo can be seen clearly by the corporate proposals, or RFPs, she’s seen, which have shown a very limited understanding by corporates of how the MICE process operates. “From the very outset, the outcomes of the MICE undertaking are usually doomed,” says Brewer. “In this environment, while outsourcing to the corporate TMC is indeed possible, without clear guidance of due process there is a real possibility of the TMC being overwhelmed with the additional responsibility.”

To ensure this doesn’t happen, it’s crucial for corporates to ask their TMCs the right questions to ascertain whether they are up to the task. “The corporate should ask the TMC for an existing track record within various MICE subject matters, coupled with Continual Professional Development (CPD) programme credits and a scorecard provided by an independent source,” she says.

“For a successful MICE outcome between the corporate and the TMC, the bottom-line is to ensure there is two-way communication of the basic MICE elements in order to move forward confidently and successfully as a partnership in understanding the end goal.”

The complete article can be read here

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