Event management can be difficult enough at the best of times, but it gets even more complicated for those who have relatively little experience. So spare a thought for all the travel managers around the world who have suddenly found themselves responsible for the destination as well as the journey.
A survey carried out by the Business Travel Show found that nearly six out of ten senior business travel managers are now also responsible for their company’s spending on meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) on top of their usual role. Although this is a fairly small jump from the 55 per cent who said the same last year, it’s considerably higher than in 2011, when just four out of ten reported these added responsibilities.
Even though business travel and MICE management are becoming increasingly intertwined, it seems there is currently little idea of how the two can work together to contribute to the overall goals of the business. More than four out of ten said they still did not have a strategic meeting management policy in place, even though in many firms business travel is limited according to how business critical that particular journey is.
Particularly in these early stages, when travel managers are struggling to adapt to managing MICE, it is likely they will find it difficult to spare the time and resources necessary to manage events as well as a number of journeys that are likely to send employees all over the world. In fact, it is hardly surprising the Business Travel Show poll found that meetings management is the biggest challenge travel buyers face in the next year.
In this respect, online event registration software can be a vital tool, reducing the administrative burden by cutting down on the need to manually enter and re-enter information to different systems, as well as processing payments immediately so event planners do not need to spend valuable time on chasing attendees for the cost of their places.
Seeking advice from suppliers can also be a useful way of staying on top of MICE management - venues and technical support often have plenty of valuable insight that can help to inform event planning decisions.