Archive for Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

See the Impossible: Teneo

Diamond Sponsor Feature – Teneo

Have you ever had the opportunity to partner with a company who is all about breaking the boundaries of what is possible and raising the bar for what is typically expected of a Global Sales Office? Have you worked with a partner who is nimble and flexible, a company that is constantly innovating to deliver results to you? If not, you are going to want to partner with the Teneo Hospitality Group.

We sat down with Traci Baxter, the Director of Sales at Teneo to discuss this year’s M&IW Summit Theme and what it means to Teneo. “Seeing the Impossible means not taking no for an answer, helping hotels and clients come to creative solutions through imagination, and a customer first focus.”

How does Teneo Hospitality Group See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

Teneo Hospitality Group, as a relatively young company of five years, is all about breaking the boundaries of what is possible and raising the bar for what is typically expected of a Global Sales Office. We have shifted the focus from being a vendor to becoming a partner to embrace our client’s creative spirit and vision. As a smaller company, we can be nimble and flexible to customize solutions to ever-changing needs. Teneo relishes going beyond the sourcing and contracting. We are here to support and advocate for our clients and constantly innovate to deliver results.

What are some of the trends you are seeing related to your business? Or, do you have any new products or services that are creating waves?

This is an exciting time to partner with independent and smaller branded hotels for groups. As our event participants are changing generationally and expectations turn towards authentic, experiential and personalized immersive experiences, the amazing hotels in the Teneo portfolio are perfectly suited to fulfill these needs.

With much consolidation in the hotel world, and in some locations, it means less choice for a group outside of branded hotels. Iconic independent hotels and smaller experiential brands value their relationships with companies like Meetings & Incentives Worldwide so we can adjust to required contractual requirements, maintain flexibility, and have the ability to go ‘straight to the top’ when negotiating.

One of the trends that keep growing is sustainability and a focus on the environment. As an example, 1 Hotels, whose vision is that “the future of the world and the future of hospitality are one and the same. 1 Hotels believe that sustainability is the foundation on which they base all our design, construction, and operational decisions.”

Corporate social responsibility and giving back have been conversations we have all been having for many years. But, now and into the future, our partners, like M&IW, live and breathe this and have melded this focus into the DNA of their companies. In 2019, Teneo is supporting the Kids in Need Foundation and Society B for all of our networking events, continuing our give back efforts that began our very first year in 2014. Check out the video here for more information on both organizations! Clients who attend our hotel showcase events love that they while they are networking and learning, they are also contributing to a good cause!

What does Seeing the Impossible mean to you personally? In your role, how are how are you continuing to bring new, fresh and innovative ideas to forward.

I have the best job in the world! There are no processes or hoops for our customers to jump through to work with Teneo – no key accounts. As a GSO, I am the first and only go-to for any group from anywhere, for 10 rooms to 10,000 people, for any of our hotels or DMCs. For me personally, that means constantly educating myself on not only my portfolio of hotels and DMCs, but trends, destinations, renovations, technology, regulations, and anything that can impact a group’s experience. Because we can’t predict the next disruption, relationships can ensure you have a strong advocate to support your needs in the future. I strive to create an environment of trust through transparency, flexibility, and value by aligning what we can do with our clients’ business needs and their best interests.

To learn more about the mighty Teneo team we invite you to talk with them at this year’s M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase.

Posted in: Company News, Event Marketing & Communications, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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Benefits of a Small Meetings Program

Meeting Supplies Small Meetings

Written by Shauna McNaughton, HMCC | Sr. Director, Strategic Account Management

Small meetings are getting a lot more attention lately and for good reason. Many planners have known for some time that small meetings account for a lot of an organization’s overall meeting spend. But, it wasn’t until recently that they are starting to truly understand their impact.

A groundbreaking study by GBTA and MPI last year marked the first-ever joint survey from the two largest hospitality and travel professional organizations. The survey shines a bright light on sizable opportunities for progress in the management of small “simple” meetings.

The study gathered information regarding the percentage of simple meetings, location, small meeting booking process, and the use of KPI’s to measure their success. Another key component targeted the difference in approach for simple meetings versus traditional larger programs.

The findings were clear. Not surprising, the research revealed these smaller, easily-replicable meetings made up 50% of an average company’s meetings spend; the research details existing inefficiencies, as well as, the successes companies record when they adopt streamlined processes and efficient meeting planning technologies.

Small Simple Meetings DataNote: Study conducted by GBTA & MPI on Small and Simple Meetings

Even more startling was the fact that even though simple meetings are common, many companies do not manage them in a rigorous way.

If you look at where these meetings are taking place, the largest piece of the pie stays at corporate premises with 45%. However, hotel conference space and offsite venues without conference space make up 57%. That’s a lot of opportunity at risk.

For years, small meetings were considered too numerous and cumbersome to manage. However, new technologies and service providers are helping planners rethink their small meeting strategy. Some solutions allow controls and provide data which is essential for strategic meetings management programs.

So, while there is a rise in companies who are now effectively managing small meetings, only 22% of respondents indicated they use an eRFP platform. And, 52% said weren’t planning to move forward in the next twelve months. However, the encouraging news is that for organizations that have not stood still, an overwhelming percentage of respondents (72%) said the eRFP platform is their preferred method for simple meetings. We are excited to announce the formation of a partnership with the leading technology provider in this space, Bizly. Stay tuned for more information on this development.

Perhaps one of the more surprising findings in the study was around KPIs and spend. While most respondents indicated they track spending in some fashion or form, the vast majority have not established KPIs for both simple as well as high spend programs.

M&IW has implemented many successful small meetings programs over the past few years. Just as with the larger meeting programs, policy, training, technology and KPI’s are key components to these programs. When implemented correctly, the benefits of small meetings programs include the following:

  • Balanced workloads when resources are matched to events that need their level of expertise
  • Efficiency of process to get the meeting owner from A to Z quicker
  • Transparency into spending habits – monitor compliance on spend
  • Drive volume into preferred hotel and venue program and leverage spend for greater savings with hotel brands
  • Duty of Care more transparent for all attendees
  • Control contracting liability with hotels and venues

At the 2019 M&IW Summit, we will continue to explore the benefits of small meetings management during a deep dive panel discussion with industry thought leaders who have successfully implemented, leveraged technology, and measured the impact of a small meetings program. Interested in learning more and joining us, email marketing@meetings-incentives.com.

 

Posted in: Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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See the Impossible: Visit Orlando

M&IW Summit Sponsor Visit Orlando

Diamond Sponsor Feature – Visit Orlando

Have you had the opportunity to partner with a vendor who has worked hand-in-hand with you to create an unforgettable meeting? Do you know you don’t need to travel far to offer attendees an extraordinary experience? Orlando, Florida is the perfect event destination thanks to the incredible diversity filled with unique experiences for attendees. Visit Orlando ensure the creation of an unforgettable event!

We caught up with Susan Zeiri, National Accounts Director, with Visit Orlando to find out what See the Impossible means to her and her organization. Please continue reading to see what she had to say about Seeing the Impossible:

This year’s M&IW Summit Theme is See the Impossible. Our message is about going beyond what is possible to uncover solutions to challenges and explore new opportunities. How does Visit Orlando See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

From the initial site visit to the closing reception, our Visit Orlando team works hand-in-hand with groups to create unforgettable meeting experiences. Whether groups are searching for a nontraditional venue, new culinary experiences or world-class entertainment, planners can count on Visit Orlando as a strong partner and an extension of their team. Merging our destination expertise with the planner’s imagination, there are no limits to what groups can accomplish with their Orlando event.

What are some of the trends you are seeing related to your business? Or, do you have any new products or services that are creating waves?

Experiential meetings have become increasingly popular with clients in Orlando, as it allows planners to customize their event experience. Our destination is home to several unique venues that can serve as an incredible backdrop to create memorable events for attendees. Planners can have an event at the foot of a volcano at Universal’s Volcano Bay, enjoy a beachside reception with animal encounters at Discovery Cove or host an outdoor block party under a 400-foot lighted observation wheel at Icon Park. At Universal Orlando Resort, meetings can be kicked off with the help of a larger-than-life character from The Transformers movie franchise. At SeaWorld Orlando, groups can go behind the scenes and watch veterinarians nurse rescued sea cows back to health. The destination is constantly unveiling new event spaces, innovations and upgrades that will give planners great options and keep attendees excited about their next Orlando meeting.

What does Seeing the Impossible mean to you personally?

Working for such a dynamic city for 19 years I would say that I have firsthand experienced the impossible. When I first started with Visit Orlando there were just a handful of convention hotels and the OCCC only had 1.2 million square feet on the West side of the building. International Drive was considered “boring” with chain restaurant and tourist type of shopping.

In my 19 years, I have witnessed the impossible! The addition of the North/South Building of the OCCC adding an additional 1.2 million square feet; the construction of Rosen Shingle Creek, The JW/Ritz Grande Lakes, the Hilton/Waldorf Bonnet Creek, the Hilton Orlando and the expansion of the Peabody to the Hyatt Regency Orlando. These are the significant changes that have occurred over the past 19 years, but that doesn’t even include the Impossible of turning Orlando from a ho-hum food city to one of the Nation’s best cities for fine dining!

As a salesperson for this great city, I have witnessed the impossible when it comes to growth and development, and I have also had to ride the wave of “the Impossible” by meeting as many customers as possible within my market and introducing them to the Orlando as a top business destination as opposed to just a place for families to connect. I also had to work diligently and effortlessly to educate our customers on the value of a CVB. This has come a long way since I started with Visit Orlando and I am so thrilled to have been a part and perhaps made my mark and contribution to the CVB world which at times seemed impossible. I have learned to never use the word “Impossible”, but rather, “Anything is possible”. That is my personal motto.

We invite you to talk with the Visit Orlando expert team at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase coming up in August of 2019.

Posted in: Company News, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting, Upcoming Events

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See the Impossible: Hyatt Hotels

M&IW Summit Sponsor Hyatt Hotels

Diamond Sponsor Feature – Hyatt Hotels

Teaming up with the right strategic partners who understand you and your client’s goals can make all the difference. Partners that just get it; think the way you think; and mirror your organizational values and culture. These types of relationships are invaluable. They not only make work fun; they drive better results. Hyatt Hotels is one of those partners. So, it wasn’t surprising when we caught up with Katie Cassidy, the Global Director for the Americas Hyatt Sales Force to find out what See the Impossible means to her and her organization, we couldn’t get enough of what she had to say. Read below to learn how Hyatt Hotels Sees the Impossible:

This year’s M&IW Summit Theme is See the Impossible. Our message is about going beyond what is possible to uncover solutions to challenges and explore new opportunities. How does Hyatt Hotels See the Impossible and raise the bar for your clients?

As we continue to grow, we don’t lose sight of what’s most important, people. Hyatt is a company that was family built. Every day we care for our guests. Care is at the heart of our business, and it’s this distinct guest experience that makes Hyatt one of the world’s best hospitality brands.

At Hyatt, we see wellbeing as the ultimate realization of our purpose, and caring for the wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and guests are at the heart of our purpose-driven work. Together, focusing on wellbeing creates deeper personal connections and experiences, and can be an encompassing effort that benefits everyone. For this reason, we are not only focused on bringing wellbeing to life for our guests and customers both in- and outside of hotel stays, but for our colleagues as well.

Hyatt has committed to a multi-million-dollar investment to inform offerings, programs and services that positively impact the wellbeing of Hyatt colleagues around the globe. We are also collaborating with thoughts-leaders to gain insight and incorporate best practices into our colleague programming because when our colleagues are at their best, they can better care for all of you and your guests and customers.

What are some of the trends you are seeing related to your business? Or, do you have any new products or services that are creating waves?

We are recognized globally by meeting planners for our responsiveness and flexibility. We have the tools and resources to alleviate the pressures of your role and address your most pressing pain points. From our RFP submission process to the Hyatt Event Concierge App and Group Bill, to our exceptional event service teams, we are known by meeting planners for being easy to work with and our timely execution.

The World of Hyatt loyalty program gives you and your organization access to rewards like upgrades and credits to enhance the experiences of both you and your attendees. New this year, we have launched a loyalty collaboration with American Airlines in which World of Hyatt and AAdvantage elite members can link their loyalty accounts in order to earn miles, points, and status when flying with American or staying at Hyatt.

What does Seeing the Impossible mean to you personally? In your role, how are you continuing to bring new, fresh and innovative ideas to forward?

What “Seeing the Impossible” means to me is being committed to my clients by really listening to them, connecting, showing empathy, and by doing so we will make a difference together. I am focused on delivering customized offerings, seamless events that provide meaningful experiences, value for your organization, and support to achieve your goals.

My commitment to Hyatt’s purpose of care allows us to provide a consultative approach so that our team acts as an extension of yours. You can count on us a partner who proactively communicates, stays connected and flexes to execute flawlessly, no matter what comes your way.

We invite you to talk with Katie Cassidy at the M&IW Summit Supplier Showcase.

Posted in: Company News, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting, Upcoming Events

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Recap of the 15th Annual Pharma Forum 2019

Written by Marie Johnson, CMP | Director, Marketing & Strategy

Last month, six of our medical meeting masters headed to New York City to attend the 15th Annual Pharma Forum 2019 with 700 other industry professionals. The conference is presented by CBI, the health and life sciences industry leader in providing thought leadership, actionable data, benchmarking, case studies and regulatory information through a dynamic conference platform that facilitates innovation, collaboration and elevation across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and healthcare industries. In attendance from M&IW, we had representation from Sales & Marketing, Strategic Account Management, and Global Procurement.

Since healthcare is the largest segment of the meetings industry and a significant volume of business for M&IW, there is a lot to cover with medical and pharmaceutical meetings management as well as enterprise strategy. So, we caught up with our conference-goers to find out what were some of the hottest discussion topics, key learnings, and their personal highlights.

Building Relationships and Driving Business

For our global procurement team, opportunities to attend events are imperative to make new connections and deepen relationships with hoteliers and suppliers who understand the nuances and needs of healthcare meetings. “We were able to connect not only on behalf of ourselves and our accounts; but also the entire M&IW sourcing team. It can be convenient to conduct business behind a screen, but it’s another thing to shake hands and look the person in the eye, especially when you’re negotiating over several years on a large complex program” said Rachel Egan, Buyer, Hotel Procurement.

HMCC Designation and Compliance Issues

A highlight for both Peggy Weil, CMP and Rachel Egan, CMP is that they earned their Healthcare Meetings Compliance Certificate (HMCC) offered in partnership with CBI, MeetingsNet and the MPI Academy. “During our HMCC class we were able to network and discuss current issues with HCP meetings and meal caps which for some have not been raised since 2002,” said Peggy Weil, CMP, Buyer, Hotel Procurement. “We learned some companies are setting a meal cap per day no matter the country attending and during the invitation or RSVP process disclosing the caps with three options to attend without a compliance issue.” See the example below.

Dear Attendee,

Our meal cap is $150 USD inclusive per day. If you cannot meet this cap, you have three options:

  • You may opt out
  • Cover the difference personally between meal cap set and your country’s meal cap
  • Receive a meal voucher for your allotted meal cap to use in the hotel restaurant

Client Connections and Conversations

For our Global Enterprise Services team, it is an excellent opportunity for our account management team to connect with our valued clients. “A few of the hot topics were; 1)  the consequences of not continually improving your strategic meetings management program (SMMP), 2) discussing the data story – many people wanted to know what to do now that everyone has their data, and 3) best practices in contracting medical meetings such as navigating first option holds, how to adjust meal caps for global attendees and collaborating with hotels,” said Naomi Tucker, CMP, HMCC, Account Director, Global Enterprise Services. Additionally, an insight for Michael Garcia, CMP, Director, Strategic Account Management, was the level of turnover on the client side due to mergers and acquisitions and its impact on the industry.

Continuing Education and Content

Laura Coler, Account Lead, said her favorite takeaway was a comment during the presentation by David Wolfe with Merck to “work in collaboration and cooperation NOT competition.” Laura felt that one of the items missing from Pharma Forum is peer-to-peer discussions. When asked about widely discussed topics, she called out eRFPs, GDPR/HCP Compliance, Global Governance/SMMP Implementation and Event Technology.

The Pharma Forum packs a lot of content for newcomers as well as veteran attendees. One of the personal highlights for Dan Tarpey, HMCC, VP of Sales & Marketing was hearing from one of the industry’s most respected leaders on the importance of bringing the needs of the patient to the forefront of the drug development and delivery process presented by Jim Robinson, President and CEO, Alkermes. “M&IW had the privilege of working with Jim when he was with Astellas and it is impressive to see his focus on the need for improved collaboration and ongoing innovation to address real-world issues continue,” said Dan Tarpey.

In every meeting where HCPs are attendance, event management professionals have the daunting task of balancing the needs of the attendees, meeting owner and stakeholders all while remaining in compliance with regulatory standards. Our industry leaders will continue to stay ahead of the curve on the Changing Landscape of Healthcare Meetings and ensure we deliver the best solutions for our clients.

 

Posted in: Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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Colombia, The Tipping Point of Change

Colombia Old City Cartagena

Written by: Nicole Raudabaugh, CMP | Sr. Account Lead, Incentive Services

I had the opportunity to join Hyatt Hotels and a group of fellow MICE travel professionals on a tour to Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia. I returned excited to see that a country which has had so much negative publicity over the past several decades is, in my opinion, at the tipping point of change. There is great optimism among the native Colombians that Colombia has a bright future ahead of them. Tourism is a key component of that and everyone I met was anxious to make this growing industry viable. It was evident throughout my trip that the Colombian people have natural hospitality about their culture and the authentic nature of these cities makes the country a wonderful new destination for all types of travelers.

The first two nights I had the pleasure of staying at the Grand Hyatt Bogota; which opened in November of 2018. This stunning new build hotel is located only 15 minutes from the airport in a newly developed area of Bogota. Beyond the sleek and thoughtful design, you’ll also find immense and versatile function space coupled with spot-on customer service. The hotel’s location is important because, as I learned, Bogota is a very spread out city with a still maturing infrastructure, so being close to where you are coming and going from is important. The hotel also offers a top floor (and top-flight) restaurant, Ushin, with views of the mountains that ring this capital city. It also has a perfectly appointed fitness center, indoor swimming pool with hydrotherapy circuit and a quiet, dark and peaceful getaway in their spa.

While in Bogota I participated in a Weaving Peace City Tour where I visited two local shops run by indigenous tribe members. For decades the rural, indigenous tribes of Colombia became one of the biggest victims of the country’s notorious drug trade. Their land was the farm that grew an illegal crop and their communities were the unwilling processors. Fast forward and many of those communities have taken a stand and moved from a cash crop to a sustainable crop often in the form of cacao and coffee beans. Through small business funding and grants, these new crops have turned into a new business model including small storefronts in the urban center of Bogota. Wuasikamas Coffee and Distrito Chocolate are two examples of these tribes transforming their future and great stops to purchase gifts to take home.

I also had the opportunity to visit the incredible Catedral de Sal (salt cathedral) in Zipaquira. Carved out of an immense, working salt mine this man-made wonder is available for private corporate events and is very popular with locals for Sunday mass. The venue is located 1.5 hours outside of Bogota and day trip can be combined with lunch or dinner and local market shopping in the small towns along the way.

From Bogota it was an easy one-hour flight to our next destination in Cartagena, a city steeped in history along Colombia’s Caribbean coastline. We arrived just as the sun was setting adding even more magic to this unique location. Founded in 1553, the city hosts the largest walled city built by the Spanish in the Caribbean. But it also has a “modern” peninsula directly beyond the city walls that features a mile of glass and steel skyscrapers. My first impression was that the city was a great mix between a San Juan “esque” colonial architecture and a Miami Beach “ish” cosmopolitan style.

The Hyatt Regency Cartagena was our host hotel for the next three nights. This beautiful hotel opened its doors in December of 2016 and starts on the 14th floor of the building. Every room has floor to ceiling windows facing the bay or the ocean, including the restaurants and fitness center! There are several infinity pools with views to the sea including a family and adults-only pool. The pool decks transform into great group function spaces at night and the hotel has easily accessible indoor ballroom space and a full-service spa. Groups looking for lots of function space can check out the Cartagena Convention Center located downtown with 215,000 sq. ft of flexible space.

On our first full day in Cartagena we took a city tour and visited the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. This fortress built by the Spanish includes a foundation built of the coral rocks that surround the city and bricks manufactured in Spain and were used for ballast on the ocean-faring ships. The ships then left the bricks behind in Cartagena and headed home with their cargo holds full of gold from the Americas. We also walked through the main corridors of the old city. Around every corner was a new Instagram-worthy picture featuring brightly colored buildings, huge wooden doors, wrought iron door knockers and beautiful bougainvillea overflowing from the balconies. Cartagena combines quaint plazas and church steeples with high-end and local shops along cobblestone streets, offering visitors a perfect combination of old and new that meld together in harmony.

The beaches right outside the high-rise hotels and condos on the modern peninsula are carved from coral rock and therefore aren’t the white sand and aquamarine waters one might expect in the Caribbean. To find that, many travelers charter a boat for the day to the Rosario Islands.  This archipelago, located approximately 1 hour off the coast, features a variety of boutique hotels and day clubs on individual islands with beautiful beaches. We visited Isla Grande and the day club at Gente del Mar.  We were treated to a freshly caught lobster lunch and comfortable day beds under the palm trees.  It was a memorable way to spend the afternoon.

Watching the sunset is an unofficial sport in Cartagena. Our group was able to capture an especially beautiful one during a sunset bay cruise on the Sibarita Del Mar cruiser. While talking with the captain and owner of this company, he shared that six new bay cruise companies have opened in the past 2 months in Cartagena. This is a prime example of how the tourism market in Colombia in general, but specifically in Cartagena, is growing.

An often-asked question is about safety. I can personally say that I felt very safe during my travels. However, as with any destination, I encourage everyone to use common sense and caution when traveling and be aware of your surroundings. English is spoken readily in the hotels, but if you are not a fluent Spanish speaker yourself, I would recommend being accompanied by a Spanish speaking guide or partner when heading out to see the sights in Bogota as all transportation, communication, and signage are in Spanish. In Cartagena, you’ll find more multi-lingual residents because the city has developed as a melting pot of tourism and international sea trade over the years.

Currently, Bogota is a relatively inexpensive city. Cartagena, on the other hand, is more well known as a vacation destination on the international scene and more expensive.

I realized I’ve only scratched the surface of all this country has to offer. Because of its diverse topography with mountain ranges slicing through the country, each of the regions of Colombia has developed their own micro-culture with foods and attractions that are special to them. The Colombian Tourism Bureau is currently working to meld and market itself as one unified, yet diverse destination, for all types of travelers.

I look forward to seeing what progress the future will bring to Colombia and to the opportunity to share all its exciting possibilities with M&IW’s incentive, meeting and convention clients in the future!  If you are interested in learning more about these or other amazing destinations, please email us at marketing@meetings-incentives.com.

Posted in: Conferences & Tradeshows, Event Marketing & Communications, Group Air Travel Management, Incentive Travel Programs, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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Engaging your Workforce through Corporate Responsibility

corporate giving, charity, causes, CSR, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Written by Staci Simmons | Manager, Marketing Communications and Creative Services

Over the last ten years, corporate responsibility has transformed from a single act of charity, such as sponsorships, volunteerism and community involvement to complete, brand-centric philanthropy. If done well, modern corporate social responsibility practices engrain themselves into the culture of an organization impacting employees, customers, suppliers, and even communities.

Social impact has expanded into every part of the business, by function, unit, and even geography. CSR programs can no longer afford to simply be charitable — social impact needs to be ‘built into’ a company’s strategy showcased across many aspects of operations.

Transform Your Business

  • Consider B-Corp Strategies – B Corporations build their companies around social impact
  • Encourage Influencers – Offer individual incentives for executives and employees who take social responsibility personally and mentor others
  • Create a Portfolio – Outline a portfolio of outreach programs at each level of your organization
  • Think Locally – Choose local or brand-centric activities and interest that align with corporate goals and interests
  • Promote Thoughtfully – Use consideration when sharing your CSR endeavors without diluting your message

Engage Your Workforce

The more aligned your CSR activities are with the company’s culture and values, the more they will resonate with the employees. Attendees who are personally invested will leave your meeting, conference, tradeshow or event with a sense of purpose and satisfaction. For maximum impact, we recommend starting your CSR activity in advance with some friendly competition — it is a great way to raise both awareness and funds early. Be sure to recognize top achievers and high performing teams during your event and continue to support the cause in other ways throughout the year.

Select a CSR Activity

Our clients often ask us what are the most popular CSR programs? It is a hard question to answer as the options are endless and each program is unique and customized for your group based on your objectives, attendees, location, and budget. However, below are some programs that have been a hit with our clients over the years:

  • Arrange a Scavenger Hunt
  • Build a Beehive
  • Host a Game Show
  • Run a Race for a Cure
  • Create a Charity Match
  • Build a Playground for Kids
  • Host Fitness Challenges
  • Clean the Local Ecosystem
  • Adopt a Local or International School
  • Host a Clean Water Challenge
  • Provide Packages for Rescue Animals
  • Build a Home with Habitat for Humanity
  • Pack STEM Education Kits
  • Build a Wheelchair
  • Pack Food/Medicine bags for Project Open Hand
  • Paint Shoes with Soles for Souls
  • Register for Pledge It Forward
  • Build Bikes or Red Wagons for Children

Create a Culture of Giving

As part of our corporate Global Giveback, every year we select a different charity to support and theme our CSR activity. This year we are supporting the fight against hunger. At our annual company event, our employees packed more 26,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. Each month, we designate specific food items which makes it easy for individuals to participate and we track our collective impact. Additionally, our M&IW family is supporting a local pantry through monetary donations, food and hygiene items, and volunteering our time.

Corporations with sound CSR practices have access to many benefits — intrinsic and extrinsic. This incentive drives the implementation of corporate programs at meetings and conferences and events. More so, event marketers see that initiatives are good for business and good for the connectivity of their shareholders.

For more information about best practices in selecting, designing and executing a CSR program for your next event, contact us at marketing@meetings-incentives.com.

 

 

Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Group Air Travel Management, Incentive Travel Programs, Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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2019 Meeting Industry Trends to Watch

Whats Trending in Event Management

Written by Anne Zambrano | Marketing Project Lead

With 2019 upon us, and to help you prepare you for an amazing year of change, transition and growth–we’ve gathered meeting and conference trends from across the industry we feel are notable and that we will continue to track through 2019. (1)  

Below are a few of our favorites and insights:

  • Global Outlook – Although there is conflicting information in recent reports, there are indications of a global slowdown that will likely be triggered by what is going on in the EU concerning some of the unknowns with Brexit. This will likely not impact the US market immediately but may have effects on our industry because of the strength of the dollar making it more difficult for international travels coming to the US.
  • Top News in Hotels – Rates are going to continue to run high globally because of demand. Revenue per Available Room, also known as RevPar, is increasing globally and across the US. Some of the hottest cities for 2019 in North America are Las Vegas, New York, and Orlando. Additional US locations to watch this year include San Diego, Toronto, and Nashville. Globally, high demand cities for the upcoming year include São Paulo, Mexico City, London, Shanghai, Singapore, and finally, Moscow made the list because of their competitive rates based on the inventory from the Olympics.
  • Air Booking & Group Travel – Airline ticket costs are on the rise because of fuel costs. The trend to allow individual mileage rewards toward a company’s airline fulfillment is emerging. Group online booking tools are gaining popularity for their ability to connect ground transportation to ticketing and group air travel making managing air travel and ground transportation for attendees seamless. More and more meetings and conference locations are being decided on based on an air cost analysis. Finally, airline capacity is increasing to meet the increase in traveler demand.
  • Technology –There is a 60% increase in technology growth within the meeting and conferences space. Phy-digital is the future where the physical and the digital world collide. Live meetings with the integration of digital technology are far outperforming traditional virtual technologies. It is estimated that 75% of meetings planners will have some sort of phy-digital technology in their meetings. Finally, more event technologies on the horizon include event bots, facial recognition, voice-activated apps, go-pro robots and much more.
  • Mobile Apps – Mobile apps are getting increasingly sophisticated with features such as facial recognition. Areas of anticipated growth within mobile apps include the agenda, pre- and post-attendee engagement, attendee behavior tracking, networking capabilities, and safety features.
  • Meeting and Event Management – Some of the tried and true trends of the past remain constant including unique venues, local product sourcing, sustainable food and beverage options, unique room sets and innovative seating environments. Two of the newest trends are the personalization of the experience regardless of the size and localization; meaning bringing the local culture into the event and embracing the surroundings outside the hotels four walls as part of the attendee experience.
  • Safety and Security Practices – California is releasing new and updated digital privacy laws coming in January 2020. GDPR is still trending with new countries being added and the Brexit implications. As it relates to event-level emergency policies and procedures, “duty of care” is still top of the list. The Exhibits and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI) continues to evolve and release industry-wide guidance for the cyber safety and physical safety of the meetings industry.
  • Business Intelligence (BI) – BI and data analytics is still king. The rise of data scientists as a role within the industry is the newest emerging trend. It is no longer enough to collect and analyze data. This new role of data scientist will take the way the meetings industry utilizes data to help make smarter, more informed decisions to a whole new level.

If you would like to learn more about these topics and trends as well as others not mentioned here, you can watch the replay of Shauna McNaughton, HMCC, Sr. Director, Strategic Account Management, presenting Powerful Trends that will Impact Your 2019 Strategy.

 

(1) Sources used for M&IW Insights Report include BTN Articles, MGM’s Michael Dominiquez, CWT Annual Report, AMEX Annual Report, SmartMeetings, MeetingNet

Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Group Air Travel Management, Incentive Travel Programs, Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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Two Weeks in Thailand — The 2019 SITE Global Conference

SITE Classic Incentive Travel Thailand

Written by Staci Simmons | Manager, Marketing Communications & Creative Services

This month, M&IW Director of Incentive Services, Tracy Norum, CMP, CIS, had the pleasure of attending the 2019 SITE Global Conference in Bangkok, Thailand where more than 375 industry professionals from around the world met to discuss current and forecasted trends in incentive travel. 

The biggest takeaway from the conference was how successful incentive programs integrate into an organizations structure and align with overall business and sales objectives. Travel programs make sense from a business perspective; measuring organizational effectiveness and combining continuing education and professional development, while increasing operational sales and performer loyalty.

SITE Classic 2019 - Bangkok Here we Come!

While in Thailand, Tracy had the opportunity to connect with peers at all levels of the industry. This included tourist boards, airlines, cruise companies, hotels and convention centers, global DMCs, transportation companies, inspirational industry speakers and educators to discuss some of the most significant topics in incentive travel.

Core Incentive Travel Topics Included:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Incentive Program Design
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Human Resources
  • Managing Incentive Travel Programs
  • Financial Management
  • Marketing Communications
  • Risk & Crisis Management
  • Site Management
  • CSR & Sustainability

Breakout session and talk tracks at the SITE Global Conference dug deep into each of these topics followed by peer discussions and one-on-one networking. From these immersive meetings, Tracy had some key takeaways for our clients and community:

Develop a Balanced Scorecard—Build a holistic way to measure your operational effectiveness at all levels of your organization.

Leverage Big Data—Security, safety and technology integration is leading to more metrics than ever, use this data to create a more impactful corporate culture and segment the types of incentive programs your company offers.

Embrace Authenticity—The definition of luxury is changing. The era of big brand logos is now far less impactful than authentic, unique and personal experiences.

Adopt Inclusivity—Inclusivity is a critical concept for incentive programs. Incentive travel changes behavior and builds motivation at all levels of an organization.

Incentivize Diversity—In today’s markets, businesses who wholeheartedly embrace diversity and corporate responsibility continue to see economic growth.

Make Your Own Trends—Rather than choosing between the latest “hot-spots” in travel, consider an out-of-the-box adventure for your team that immerses travelers in localism and culture.

Incentive travel contributes significantly to economic growth and partnerships within and between organizations. Organizations must think globally both internally and externally. It is no longer enough to ‘gift’ your top performers with high-end travel—inspire the rest of your team to reach higher, offer unique experiences and create realistic metrics at each level of your business to properly create stakeholder benchmarks.

Click here to learn more about the SITE Global Conference in Bangkok. For more information about incentive travel programs, visit meetings-incentives.com or call 1+ 262.835.3553 to speak to a Meetings & Incentives Worldwide team member.

 

Posted in: Company News, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Incentive Travel Programs, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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Lighting a New Fire: Finding Vision and Strategy (Part 3 of 3)

WBENC Tuck Executive Course

Written by Tina Madden, CPA | Co-CEO and Chief Customer Officer

When I reflect on this history of M&IW, I think about my father and grandfather—their courage and perseverance to start a family business more than 50 years ago. I think about their unwavering principles and values that have stood the test of time and continue, to this day, to run deep through our employees and our company’s culture. However, there is one attribute that particularly stands out and that is grit.

Grit is a character trait that is deeply ingrained in our family, and also one that we strongly value at M&IW. To us, grit is the courage to go first, the resolve to always do the right thing by our clients even if it is difficult, and the strength of character to admit we may not have all the answers, but you have our promise that we will work together in partnership and figure it out. It is having the perseverance to fail, pick yourself back up and keep going.

After completing the Tuck-WBENC Executive Program, I had a realization that while our company has continued to grow and innovate, we have reached an inflection point with a unique opportunity to shape our future. I asked our executive team to redefine the objectives that will drive future strategies, create more alignment across teams and departments, as well as provide us with a means to track our performance and ongoing success. Through this exercise, we came up with three focus areas: GRowth, Innovation, and Talent. And, guess what? There you have it—our new meaning of Gr.I.T.

As M&IW evolves, apparently so does our definition of grit. Our goal over the next few months is for our leaders to continue to define and refine. We will put objectives in place to grow our business and build relationships, lead the industry in innovation, and recruit/retain the best talent that aligns with our culture and values.

It amazes me as we begin this journey of mapping out our future success how transformative it is! Even in the early stages. Which is the reason I share this with you now even before we have it all defined, because we realize it is not our final destination that matters most, it is the journey and learnings along the way.

And while we are at the beginning of refining these objectives; our mindset is solid. We are focused on putting the practices in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of M&IW for the next 50 years.

So, what does our GRIT mean for you?

Through this exercise into 2019, we are going to get really clear on how to best serve you. This will result in more innovative service offerings, enhanced customer service, and streamlined operations all with the goal in mind to help you grow your business. Because, we firmly believe in our vision to transform organizations through the power of human energy, one event at a time. And, because we believe in our mission to focus on aligning enterprise and event customers while designing and executing innovative solutions to drive continuous improvement and deliver exceptional experiences. We are excited to continue to partner with our clients in the year ahead and deliver amazing outcomes.

Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Group Air Travel Management, Incentive Travel Programs, Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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