Regardless of the challenges that Covid threw up, SOTC Journey Restricted kicked off 2021 with a big win because it efficiently delivered a global MICE Group of 750 delegates to Dubai in January 2021. Having spent the Covid downtime to reimagine its MICE enterprise, SOTC has been participating with its clients by means of sustained company engagement and its MICE Survey had additionally revealed that 25 per cent of its corporates have been open to worldwide journey. In an interplay with ETTravelWorld, SD Nandakumar, President & Nation Head, B2B & Overseas Trade, SOTC Journey, shares extra concerning the motion and the MICE market typically. Excerpts from an interview:
ETTravelWorld (ETTW): Congratulations on finishing up a profitable MICE motion, apart from the plain operational challenges, how tough is it to handle an occasion of this type, which concerned a crowd as giant as 750, within the present instances?
SD Nandakumar (SDN): It was an distinctive achievement by SOTC MICE to organise a flawless MICE tour for 750 delegates throughout the Covid period. Within the present state of affairs, the most important problem is to rebuild confidence. Managing delegates from a single hub and guaranteeing seamless preparations of logistics (India to Dubai and again) could possibly be a problem throughout these unsure instances. The staff efficiently delivered on these and ensured that nice care was taken in each planning and on-ground administration of the group, with an absolute concentrate on hygiene and security. As delegates look in the direction of better reassurance on the usual of hygiene in journey, our MICE propositions include our Assured Protected Journey Program in affiliation with Apollo Clinics. This ensured meticulous well being and security measures, at each stage of their journey throughout each journey touch-point from airports, airways, native transportation, lodges, eating places and points of interest in Dubai. All security protocols of the vacation spot and points of interest have been adopted throughout the motion. To keep up social distancing artistic itineraries and sub itineraries have been designed for every day to make sure that the group is staggered.
ETTW: What are a few of your learnings from this MICE motion?
SDN: A number of the key learnings that now we have from this group are that delegates cooperate in response to the communication and bulletins on security and safety protocols and procedures to be adopted and so they clearly perceive their significance. At each step of the journey, our provide chain facilitated the providing of a variety of high-quality services with seamless operations. Following the native security, well being and hygiene protocols of the vacation spot can definitely guarantee a MICE expertise just like the pre-Covid period.
ETTW: What sort of overhauling of the system has SOTC undergone to rethink and reimagine its providing to clients?
SDN: The Covid-19 period has initiated numerous fast-changing developments. New applied sciences will profit and enhance general resilience. With a chance to rethink and reimagine choices to corporates, SOTC MICE gives contactless and seamless help to purchasers with real-time data of all travel-related processes resembling visa utility and insurance coverage, a user-friendly cellular app for delegates to get updates and contests, expertise instruments to minimise human interface, suggestions and networking platform.
ETTW: How have you ever married expertise along with your merchandise to make experiences extra seamless?
SDN: The expertise of journey can’t be recreated by expertise alone. The necessity for bodily conferences and occasions to interact in particular person is irreplaceable. Know-how performs a key position in offering a seamless and contactless pre-tour expertise and now we have invested to make sure that the half which dominates journey brokers thoughts house is digitized.
ETTW: In your opinion, how will the MICE market fare within the present state of affairs, with a selected concentrate on the potential of the Indian market?
SDN: The basic alternative that exists and the demand that we fulfil is the interplay between the company and their companions (staff/ sellers/ suppliers/ clients). There’s a want for customized face-face enterprise interactions, product launch occasions, provider/ buyer meets to generate suggestions. To cater to this rising demand MICE occasions will likely be organised. The primary part was digital occasions throughout the lockdown and we performed digital MICE and phygital occasions that have been a most well-liked occasion format and obtained sturdy appreciation from our corporates. As locations ease restrictions and with constructive information of the vaccine, there was renewed confidence amongst corporates to renew MICE occasions. We look ahead to the restart of business flights and the reopening of elevated worldwide borders to offer a fillip to MICE demand. The MICE motion has begun efficiently with smaller teams and fewer delegates travelling inside India and to worldwide destination-Dubai. As the brand new regular slowly units in, the MICE phase will emerge stronger than earlier than.
ETTW: What are among the different MICE actions that you’re wanting ahead to?
SDN: We now have obtained an encouraging response from most of our corporates. Along with corporates in India, there was a requirement for digital occasions from corporates based mostly within the ASEAN nations. We now have efficiently performed a lot of digital occasions for corporates based mostly within the ASEAN nations. We’re additionally witnessing an enormous demand for home MICE and now we have organised MICE teams to Goa, Jaipur, Kashmir and key metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru.