Meeting clients’ needs
Chasing after MICE business requires a combination of high-touch and hi-tech skills and tools. While clients have their own needs and wants, preferring a human point of contact, some of the process has shifted online.
Clients have become more discerning, and time is critical for them,” says Roland Jegge, vice-president Asia-Pacific for WorldHotels.“The internet has made information more easily available and has allowed clients to access information quickly, and to do comparative shopping.”
WorldHotels has enhanced its MICE-specific portal, with feedback from clients. Some new features include the ability for clients to indicate their requirements and search by meeting type – from boardroom meetings, conferences and social gatherings to team-building.
Clients can search more than one destination for a single event. “Clients often want to look and compare two or three different destinations for their events and meetings before deciding,” Jegge says. Clients are able to specify their needs – just a meeting room, or meeting with accommodation, and indicate full- or half-day packages. The site will come up with only results that match their requirements. “This way, they need not filter through irrelevant information,” Jegge adds.
Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) has a MICE portal that it developed five years ago. It contains an online meeting planner that provides a 3D interactive view of the meeting and function space. “The meeting planner can search for hotels with the room and meeting space requirements and send in a request for a quotation,” says Philip Ho, vice-president Asia-Pacific, LHW.
Ho says LHW is revamping its site and will be reviewing how it can add value to meeting planners with new functionalities.
However, the high-touch aspect of the MICE business is still required. Jegge says: “MICE clients still want a point of contact to ensure that all requirements are met. We understand that and we still have a MICE support desk which clients can call in to communicate all their concerns and requirements.”