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Published on : Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The number of business travel managers now responsible for the MICE function has risen for the third consecutive year according to the annual business travel buyer survey carried out by the Business Travel Show.
Of the 183 senior business travel managers who took part in the survey, 58 per cent now manage meetings spend. This compares to 55 per cent in 2012 and 40 per cent in 2011. Of this 58 per cent, 42 per cent still do not have a strategic meetings management policy (SMMP) in place. However, this is an encouraging improvement on the last two years when 59 per cent of managers were not operating an SMMP.
Meetings management and virtual meetings were also voted by buyers as two of the biggest issues that will impact them and the business travel industry over the next 12 months.
Carole Poillerat is president of GBTA France and is moderating a masterclass at the Business Travel Show called ‘Am I ready to integrate my travel and meetings programmes?’
“I am glad to see that the Business Travel Show is continuing to help corporate buyers to understand the benefits of converging travel and meeting spend and optimise savings and processes,” she said.
“Based on my experience this year as president of GBTA France, we still have a long way to go but there are already some key initiatives from buyers and suppliers that we can share and learn from. The willingness of suppliers to help buyers in this way is there, and we have to now help increase the collaboration of procurement teams internally. Travel buyers who suddenly inherit the meeting category need to better understand the similarities and differences with travel.”
The Business Travel Show, which celebrates its 20th anniversary next year, takes place on 4-5 February 2014 in London. Many of the 200 suppliers exhibiting at the event service the meetings market, including meeting management companies, hotels, hotel booking agents and technology suppliers such as BCD Travel, Capita Travel and Events, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Choice Hotels, Cvent, Danubius Hotel, Frasers Hospitality, Hillgate Travel, Hilton, HRG, Jury’s Inn, Lanyon, Luxe Worldwide, Malmaison, Melia Hotels, The Doyle Collection, Venue Directory and Wyndham Hotel Group.
This year’s Business Travel Show conference programme (sponsored by by Amadeus, Egencia, Travelodge and Bank of America Merrill Lynch) also features sessions on meetings management, including ‘How do I create a strategic meetings management programme?’ and ‘ Am I ready to integrate my travel and meetings programmes?’