Major corporates now have two primary goals; cost containment and policy compliance. As the MICE market re-opens here in South Africa, companies are no longer willing to spend huge budgets on lavish meetings & events. In a recent survey, 80% of travel managers agreed these two issues were now critical. 99% expected real challenges in implementing their new policy rules.
Meetings & Events Cost Containment
A term loosely associated with the MICE industry in the past, for several reasons:
- MICE spending is tough to track and reconcile; many companies are unsure who even spends money on MICE or its definition. Secretaries, PA’s, planners, execs and management all organise corporate events.
- Budget vs Actual is realised too late; usually, when the supplier invoices roll in post-event. Only then can the finance department reconcile the figures ultimately. It is too late for anyone to intervene and bring down the expenditure by this time.
- Staff love a great indaba, conference or incentive trip, and past theory were as long as everyone had a good time, job done. With retrenchments and economic strains, this is no longer the case.
- With traditional corporate travel (flights, hotels and car rentals), 94% of the world’s top companies use Online Booking Tools (OBTs) to create cost-saving opportunities.
In SA, many enterprise businesses do not have a MICE policy or filed in the procurement department, rarely seen.
- Communication of a MICE policy is difficult, especially when, as above, identifying the planners is a real challenge.
- Monitoring policy becomes a time consuming, if not impossible, task as most data, RFQs and supplier instructions sit in planners’ inboxes.
- So, MICE policy compliance has always been deficient in most organisations.
- Policy compliance also means that the company has a duty of care to ensure the safety of their people as events begin to take place.
The MICE industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events) is a $100 billion per annum total global industry. If OBTs for corporate travel can deliver cost-saving opportunities and drive policy compliance, maybe this is the kind of tool corporates need to control MICE.