MICE Definitions and Incentive Travel.

According to Schlentrich (2008, cited Getz, 2012) MICE is an industry acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions.

Mair (2013, p7-14) explains, in more detail, the separate components of this part of the events industry.

Meetings:

According to Mair (2013, p7) across the industry there is very little agreement as to how a meeting should be defined. This is because meetings can fall anywhere on a scale, in terms of scale and whether they are international or domestic. Mair (2013) goes on to say that the term meeting is possibly the least specific term when discussing MICE due to the fact that meeting could “refer to almost any gathering of people for the purposes of discussing some matter of interest to the participants.”. However, the Convention Industry Council (2011, cited Mair, 2013) defines a meeting as 10 or more people gathering for at least 4 hours, within a contracted venue. Mair (2013) also points out that the Convention Industry Council (2011) also consider the term meeting to cover everything within the MICE sector.

Incentives:

Incentives, or incentive travel, is the least researched of the MICE industries, according to Mair (2012, cited Mair, 2013). This is due to the difficulty in being able to tell who is travelling for business and who is travelling on an incentive trip. SITE (2013, cited Mair, 2013) define incentive travel as “a global management tool that uses exceptional travel experience to motivate and/or recognise participants for increased levels of performance at work.”.

Fenich et al. (2015) undertook an exploratory study into incentive travel to look at how it is evolving and how valuable they are perceived to be by top executives. They conducted this study using interviews, as this would allow the executives to expand on answers with their own opinions. They conducted 50 telephone interviews, which totalled around 20 hours of interviewing. From the analysis of all responses it was deemed that the overall goals of the programme meant that the incentive travel programmes varied greatly. It was also determined that incentive travel programmes could be split into two categories, those that focus on the internal stakeholders and those that focus on any independent agents and distributors. Again, the purpose of the trip was another variable as some would be purely leisure and some would include business elements, but companies would fall under one or the other. Those that have the programmes for a leisure purpose, use it as a reward to allow the employee to relax without work crossing their minds, whereas those that use them for strengthening business links do usually provide a limited amount of free time. Of the respondents, when asked how long their programmes had been running, the answers ranged from 4-50 years, with the most common duration being 20-25 years. The majority of companies (80%) used group trips and the minority either used individual trips or a combination of both. Of all the respondents, none said that their programme was ineffective, and when asked to rate on a scale of 1-5, none rated it 3 or below.

We can assume from Fenich et al. (2015) that company executives view incentive travel as a valuable tool for motivating their employees, and will continue to build on the existing programmes.

Conferences:

Mair (2013) states that conventions also covers events such as conferences, symposiums, seminars and workshops. The defining of which part of the umbrella it falls, comes down to the size and scale. the conference will fall into one of three further categories; Corporate conferences, government conferences and association conferences.

Corporate conferences are generally made up of a small number of delegates, although this doesn’t mean that they don’t hold events of all sizes. The company that holds the event will generally cover the costs of the whole event, which often includes the attendance of any delegates on a compulsory basis (Mair, 2013).

Government conferences are a frequent occurrence, therefore they can be a huge source of income for conference venues. The purpose of meetings range from training for civil service departments to high profile international meetings. Government conferences are often the shortest in length and, will more often than not, be non residential (Mair, 2013).

Association conferences are related to trade associations, professional societies or academic institutions and are normally of a technical or practical nature. The attendees will all have similar interests or be part of similar businesses. International associations will often hold their conferences annually, or biannually, and may move their events around the world, almost like a tour. As most associations require members to pay a fee, and to attend events such as the annual conference, they have to ensure their event is attractive to the members. This makes the association part of the industry much more price sensitive than any other (Mair, 2013).

Exhibitions:

Confpeople.co.uk (2016) defines an exhibition as “An event (can be free or a chargeable event) where suppliers can showcase their products and services.”. These events can be business to business or business to customer. When attending exhibits, there will be a large retail element to the day.

 

References

Confpeople.co.uk. (2016). Glossary of Terms for Events – The Conference People – The Conference People. [online] Available at: http://www.confpeople.co.uk/about-us/glossary#e [Accessed 2 Oct. 2016].

Fenich, G., Vitiello, K., Lancaster, M. and Hashimoto, K. (2015). Incentive Travel: A View from the Top. Journal of Convention & Event Tourism, 16(2), pp.145-158.

Getz, D. (2012). Event studies. London: Routledge.

Mair, J. (2013). Conferences and Conventions: A Research Perspective. Florence: Taylor and Francis, pp.7-14.

Almost over, for now at least!

The last few weeks have certainly seen the pressure mounting. We are quickly approaching the end of Year 1, and it’s getting a bit stressful!

In the next 11 days we have 7 assignments due, and once again I have been my own worst enemy by leaving a lot of it until last minute! Fingers crossed I remain as calm as I can, but this year has definitely taught me a lot in the sense of how poor my time management actually is. Certainly something to work on in year 2.

Along with deadlines, we are also feeling the pressure in the sense that Joel is wanting to move forward with our events, but seems to be giving us very little input as to what he actually wants. He’s requested a few changes to my part of his History Day event, but I feel like it’s quickly becoming completely different to what I actually wanted it to be. Hopefully I won’t have wasted half of my research already though.

Exciting Summer ahead with all the events, if they actually go ahead, and lots happening personally too! My baby is due at the end of August, so I’m getting prepared for an exciting, yet even more stressful second year!

 

The Making of Our Model Boxes.

On Thursday 11th February we started the production of our model box projects. We started by making some different box nets up, to help us decide on the best type of box to make. My group, Sophie R, Eleanor and myself, decided to go with a box that had three built sides and one open side. This would allow us to have full access to the “room” once we were ready to decorate.

It was decided that we would produce a replica of the Grotto we decorated at The Whitehouse Hotel, therefore the wall we chose not to put in place on the model, was the one which had the least decoration on the day.

Once we had decided on the box shape, we were tasked with creating a net to work from, out of paper. This proved difficult as the paper was flimsy and hard to work with, but we eventually got there. Once it had been constructed, we had to de-construct it into a net to produce the actual card box.

Once we had drawn around the net, and checked that all lines were the correct length and were straight, we had the task of cutting it out. This was difficult as the card was quite thick and took several cuts to get through. When we had finished cutting round the perimeter, we reinforced the back of the lines, which were to be scored, with masking tape to help prevent the card breaking apart.

We began the scoring of relevant lines, but ran out of lesson time before we could fully finish and assemble the box.

Pictures attached below show stages of the process so far, this will be updated as the project continues.

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Before we began scoring

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Drawing out the final net
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Our paper model

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My first practice
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Before we began

Understanding Event Experiences.

“Experiences remain extremely challenging occasions to envision” Berridge (p70;2007)

Berridge (p73;2007) states “…experience itself is a by-product of a conciously designed environment where clear decisions have been made.” which demonstrates that, ultimately, not everyone will have the same experience. Further to this, Berridge (2007) also states that events are either active or passive, but participants are also either visiting the event or are part of the content.

For an event to be passive, Berridge (2007) states that attendees are involved in the consumption of experiences, artefacts or goods but the performance is produced, with them in mind, by others. For an event to be active, Berridge (2007) notes that attendees have an involvement in the production of the whole experience, skills and performance.

Overall, leisure activities are difficult to understand as a self contained sector. This is due to many factors impacting on how people perceive experiences.

 

References:

Berridge, G. (2007). Events design and experience. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

 

Maslow’s Hierarchy

Maslow’s Heirarchy, pictured above, shows the psychological needs of human beings. It starts at the base, with basic human needs which, along with the safety level, are everything humans need for basic, physical survival.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (2015) the third level is psychological, and can only be reached with success of the first two levels. This is only possible because a person has become comfortable with themselves and feels they can share themselves with others.

Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs (2015) also states that level four is achieved when a person feels comfortable with all they have had success with. Known as the esteem level, it means the person feels the need to be recognised for their accomplishments, possibly through a status or level of their success.

“At the top of the pyramid, self-actualization occurs when individuals reach a state of harmony and understanding because they have achieved their full potential.” Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs (2015)

According to Deloitte.wsj.com (2016), Maslow’s Hierarchy applies to customer service because businesses need to meet the needs of their stakeholders. By applying basic customer service requirements, such as simple listening skills, you can meet many of a persons basic needs. Businesses are always developing new ways to enable consumers and customers, to voice their opinions. This helps the customers feel valued and listened to.

 

References:

Deloitte.wsj.com, (2016). What Businesses Can Learn from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – Deloitte CFO – WSJ. [online] Available at: http://deloitte.wsj.com/cfo/2014/10/07/what-businesses-can-learn-from-maslows-hierarchy-of-needs/ [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (2015). Boundless. [online] Available at: https://www.boundless.com/management/textbooks/boundless-management-textbook/organizational-behavior-5/employee-needs-and-motivation-46/maslow-s-hierarchy-of-needs-171-7621/ [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].

Significant Facts and Figures Relating to Social Media.

All of the following facts and figures have been pulled from the article “48 Significant Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics Plus 7 Infographics” from http://www.jeffbullas.com and relate to 2011/2012.

The first fact that struck me from this article is not directly related to social media. Bullas (2012) states that, in the world, there are 600 million more mobile phone users, than people who own a toothbrush.

Facebook:

  • Around 850 million monthly active users.
  • 250 million pictures were uploaded daily
  • 20% of all web page views were Facebook
  • 50% of users were on mobile devices
  • 100 billion connections
  • Zynga games were approximately 12% of Facebook’s total revenue
  • 57% of users were female
  • On average, users spent 20 minutes per visit on the site
    (Bullas, 2012)

Twitter:

  • 465 million accounts
  • 175 million tweets were sent per day
  • 1 million accounts were created per day
  • The US, in 2012, had 107.7 million accounts
    (Bullas, 2012)

LinkedIn:

  • Was attracting 2 new members per second, in 2012
  • Over 135 million users, in over 200 countries
  • 2116 employees by 2012, compared to 500 in 2010
  • 36th most visited site worldwide
  • The fastest growing demographics it attracts are students and college graduates
    (Bullas, 2012)

YouTube:

  • In 2012, YouTube was responsible for 10% of internet traffic
  • Had around 2 billion views per day
  • 829,000 videos were being uploaded per day
  • It would have taken 1700 years to watch all content that had been uploaded to that point
    (Bullas, 2012)

Instagram:

  • In 2011, 150 million pictures were uploaded
  • 30 million users in April 2012
    (Bullas, 2012)

Pintrest:

  • In 2011 Pintrest had 11 million visits per week
  • Had 10.4 million registered users
  • The fastest site to break 10 million unique visitors
    (Bullas, 2012)

 

References: 

Bullas, J. (2012). 48 Significant Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics – Plus 7 Infographics. [online] Jeffbullas’s Blog. Available at: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/04/23/48-significant-social-media-facts-figures-and-statistics-plus-7-infographics/ [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].

 

Listen up!

Listening is a key part of customer service, without this skill you could miss vital information. There are many different aspects that make up effective listening,  Stevens (2010) states these as “Reflecting…Summarising…Paraphrasing…and Linear Probing…” and that by practising these skills can lead to some excellent customer service.  

Reflecting is understanding their emotion and why they are feeling that way.

Summarising is repeating back, in short, the main points of their issue.

Paraphrasing is the skill of repeating back key parts of a conversation, while it is still on going.

Linear Probing is the use of open questions, rather than closed ones, to obtain further information from the customer.

Stevens (2010) also recommends using the LISTEN acronym, as stated below:

– Look interested. This can be achieved through maintaining a good level of eye contact, keeping body language open, keeping relaxed and facing the speaker.

– Inquire with questions. This will enable you to use the various techniques of questioning to clarify the speakers meaning and to find out all relevant facts.

– Stay on target. Always remember what you are trying to achieve, listen for the complete message, don’t prejudge what they are trying to convey and don’t interrupt unless it is to bring them back to point.

T – Test your understanding. Check that you understand their request. Use your own words, and paraphrasing to clarify anything you are unsure of.

E – Evaluate the message. Identify the purpose of the customer, analyse what is being said and how they are portraying their feelings through body language and tone of voice.

N – Neutralise your feelings. Do not react adversely to what is being said, avoid becoming emotional or heated, keep your mind open and show a genuine interest.

 

It is well known across customer service industries that listening is made up of three aspects, these aspects are given a percentage of how they contribute to communication overall. The aspects of communication are words, tone and body language.

Words, so what is being said, contribute to 7% of communication.

Tone, how it is being said, contribute to 38% of communication.

Body language, how you are standing and facial expressions, contributes to 55% of communication.

These aspects and figures were noted by Albert Mehrabain, in 1981, in his research topic called “Silent Messages”.

 

Reference list:

Kaaj.com, (2016). “Silent Messages” — Description and Ordering Information. [online] Available at: http://www.kaaj.com/psych/smorder.html [Accessed 18 Jan. 2016].

Stevens, D. (2010). Brilliant customer service. Harlow, England: Prentice Hall.