MICE: Create Seamless Relationships To Keep Your Destination on the Shortlist
Build relationships with MICE planners to bring in new travelers.
Companies around the world want to bring their teams together to foster relationships, create connections, and increase camaraderie, especially with so many remote workers. Meetings, incentives, conventions, and events (MICE) planners are always on the lookout for new destinations to host their next team trip or activity.
Destination marketers can build relationships with MICE planners to bring new travelers to your destination and increase economic impact. Attracting MICE planners is all about communication and consistency. With the right tools and tactics, you can create seamless relationships that keep their destinations on the shortlist in the MICE market.
Meeting and event planners have a number of pain points, most of which revolve around keeping multiple stakeholders happy. They’re always trying to deliver the best experience within their budget, which means they have to consider things like room drop-out charges, early-check-in charges for hotels, resort fees, and additional costs in venue bookings, as well as accommodation bookings for guests.
The best way to overcome these pain points is to communicate throughout the entire process, not just while securing the event. Currently, less than 22% of planners are “very or extremely satisfied” with the response they get from working with different hotels or venues. By proactively communicating before, during, and after the event, you can highlight the things that make your destination interesting and fun, earn their trust, and even secure repeat bookings.
They also have specific deadlines. Lead times can range anywhere from three months to two years, so it’s important to be clear about what you can accomplish. MICE planners will often communicate deadlines and specific needs during the RFP process, such as meeting spaces, quality hotels, and transportation. So make sure you meet their criteria when you submit.
MICE planners are looking to impress their often large groups of travelers, so they want a seamless experience. Transportation, such as direct flights to your destination, safe airport transit, and hotel proximity to the airport, is always important. It ensures safe and organized passage for guests traveling long distances.
Since so many employees are now digital nomads and can work from wherever they want, the pressure is high to give attendees an amazing experience they’ll remember. Even if the event is for work, it’s still a getaway. Because of this, MICE planners want attractive spaces that “wow” their guests throughout the entire experience. But it doesn’t stop there. Meeting packages are a key consideration when evaluating a destination. From food and beverage offerings to entertainment, they want special, tailored options as opposed to cookie-cutter options they could receive anywhere.
With Sojern’s custom audiences, you can use our parameters to find MICE planners throughout their planning process online. Once you know who you’re trying to reach you can start thinking about how you want to reach them. Targeting the right audience mix with your digital marketing, you'll have everything you need to make a connection with a planner using tailored ads and messaging.
At Sojern, we can work with destination marketers everywhere to go beyond demographic and geographic targeting and use niche segments that factor in behaviors and actions. This will help you find your ideal audience so you can deploy effective multichannel campaigns with ad creative and content that resonates. To learn more about what this looks like, check out our post MICE: Engage and Inspire Event Planners to Visit Your Destination, to learn how to take a conquest, context, and convert approach to your digital marketing.
Once you’ve created a connection with an event planner, it’s time to show off why your destination is a great place to visit. When an event planner shares what they need, ask clarifying questions, but don’t make them repeat themselves. This is the perfect time to share your hook—what makes you different from your competitors and how to make the most of it. This could look like a wide variety of tourist experiences including museums, amusement parks, outdoor activities, etc.
Use your follow-up questions to gain insight on things that might not be included in the RFP and highlight your attention to detail. You could create a questionnaire upfront of the key information you need to tailor your offerings or share an ancillary video of your meeting rooms, lounges, and event spaces. This gives them the inside look early into the process to ensure it’s the right fit.
Lastly, if you have tons of experience working with event planners, say that! A proven track record could be exactly what you need to seal the deal.
Even if your destination isn’t chosen for a particular event, MICE planners create a shortlist of destinations that they want to explore working with in the future. The key is to make that shortlist using consistent communication and coordination to create a smooth experience. Maybe your destination didn’t get chosen for a large trade show event, but it could be the perfect place for a smaller company offsite event. Be sure to give the planner everything they need to know to qualify your destination in the future.
If you want to stay ahead of travel trends and use custom audiences to connect with MICE planners, then look no further. To see how Sojern’s Travel Marketing Platform can work for your destination, reach out to one of our travel marketing experts today.
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