MICE: facing the new challenges

Kicking off the MICE Show yesterday at ITB Asia was Cecilia Tee, Managing Director of HelmsBriscoe, a leading actor in meetings procurement and site selection, a look at the industry’s “biggest challenges”. Being the first Asia Associate in a strategic leadership position for the company, Cecilia’s responsibilities include creating awareness of the HelmsBriscoe brand, enhancing the global hotel partnerships in the region, educating and promoting the HelmsBriscoe global value proposition and increasing the regional market share. We asked her to tell us a little more about her work.

In 2018, we booked over 51,000 programmes worldwide, to the tune of around US$1.4bn. We help clients track cost savings, providing them with analytical reports. Asia is very new for us, but slowly and surely, we are building our footprint here.


You were talking at the conference about challenges facing the industry. Can you recap what you would describe as the key challenges going into the next few years?

We can always talk about challenges, whether we are talking about the shift in generations Y and Z, if we are talking about digitalisation, and so on. Of course, with the mergers and acquisitions of hotels, there will be a number of brands that will be cutting or lowering commissions, but at the end of the day we must face reality, and obviously the clients will come first. People are looking for experiential meetings these days. As far as we are concerned, we need to focus on what we do best, and that’s to serve our customers. Clearly, we have to embrace change, because change is the only constant. Whether it’s responsible business, environmental, economic or social sustainability, at the end of the day, it’s all about providing the experiential journey to delegates attending MICE.

What are your thoughts about the initiative of ITB Asia to create this new MICE show?

Everybody wants to profit from the MICE market, but the secret is really getting the right people involved in the event, whether they be the suppliers or buyers. I am happy ITB Asia has spun this programme out and I wish them all the best.

Photo: Cecilia Tee, Managing Director, HelmsBriscoe