No sooner had the MICE and business travel industry survived one crisis – a pandemic – another began. In connection with the events on the world stage in 2022, for all business travel and MICE professionals, the established reputation has come to the fore in interaction with customers. Anna Oleheiko, MICE Director of IBC Corporate Travel, shared her opinion on current trends.
According to the expert, clients trust those companies with which they have already cooperated, who have “weight” in the industry and those who can recommend partners. Among the direct customers of IBC Corporate Travel, the following trends can be noted:
- Change in travel policy: limits on the costs of organizing business trips are increasing.
- Important the human factor again plays a role: being reinsured, some clients prefer to turn to consultants rather than independently arrange any travel services online.
- At the same time, when budgeting for business trips and MICE, client companies retain the cost-effective approach that they began to follow during the pandemic.
- In terms of MICE event formats: the number of orders for organizing internal events, in which employees of the client company are involved, has increased. And events aimed at external audiences, on the contrary, have declined against the backdrop of a global trend towards the cancellation or postponement of international congresses, exhibitions, sports and cultural events.
- The number of international bookings has dropped sharply, for obvious reasons. The entire remaining pool of “international” requires the search for non-standard solutions, increased control over the situation, as well as a quick response to any changes that arise in the legislation of a particular country.
“For 2020-2021. IBC Corporate Travel consistently implemented 200 MICE projects every month. Among our competitors, we were among the first to master online, then, on the contrary, we were among the first to start holding large-scale MICE events in person. Our regular customers have increased the volume of ordered events, as well as diversified their formats. In 2021, clients who were forced to take a break due to pandemic restrictions returned to the company, – comments Anna Oleheiko.
– As far as the MICE industry and business travel in general, there is no other option in 2022 but to exploit every crisis or simply a non-standard situation as a potential for developing competencies and expanding one's own capabilities. It is necessary to train all new personnel – MICE specialists and travel consultants, representatives of the host country, contractors and suppliers at all stages of the event organization process.