This blog strives to echoe the voice of the experiential planner’s community in India, essentially the experts creating trends in the Indian MICE industry. In my role as Head-Brand & Content of two of the most active and updated media / marketing platforms of the MICE industry in India — tmf India and EVENTFAQS, my advantage is the ease in access and the constant updates I receive from the MICE industry in India. I look to do justice in compiling and relating back to the MICE industry at large the true pulse of the market in India. Many of these being an outcome of our own efforts in engaging this community.

Who is the Decision-Maker?

An extremely pertinent question, boggling the minds of most of the service and destination promoters in the MICE industry… And us! Our businesses jointly depend on reaching out to the right potential organisation / individual that takes that all-important-call of what destination to take their next programme to (and what services / hotels / venues to use)? But is it really just one individual? Is it really a decision that’s made one fine day, given the influences of only this one person? Of course not! The fact is, that even within the corporation, there is a team, there’s a whole bunch of participants. And even though one person is at the helm of this, actually driving a decision, the influencers are many!

So that leads us to the next pertinent question. Do we promote / market to this driver alone or to the influencers as well? Any established organisation in business for a considerable number of years, has a fair understanding of the aspirations of the participants in a MICE programme. Not to mention, also has what they term as “a trusted event partner” (the words of the corporate spokesperson, not me!). So of course they are influenced! They are even inviting these opinions, not just subjected to them.

We’ve qualified this group of ‘drivers’ and ‘influencers’ as the Experiential Planner! A community that is described by its name, consisting of individuals that are planning experiential MICE programmes, the one’s that are looking to push the bar, take advantage of the uniqueness of each destination, take up the innovative activities, engage at out-of-the-box venues. And since this community has been built through profiling individuals that have been key either in influencing or deciding on the aspects of the MICE programme, they include corporate division heads, sales / R&R heads, Marketing heads, heads of agencies both event and MICE specialising and of course heads of Incentive houses.

In the ongoing engagement (yes, we chat often!) with the community, the most valuable outcome for us is feedback. We’ve learnt about the kind of information these individuals seek when planning a MICE programme, what works as far as the communication / marketing material to them goes and most importantly what they want, but aren’t getting! Of course we’re not letting this information go to waste… We’re using it to design our products and services. We’re researching these products back with the community and fine-tuning them. We’re delivering more value back to our clients, while actually just satisfying the community with the information / knowledge they want! There’s something exciting in the pipe-line, a ready-reckoner so to say, a tool to aid decision making. We’re calling the Experiential Planner’s HANDBOOK. Watch this space for more details shortly!