Mastering Excellence in the Meetings Industry: A Holistic Approach to Thriving in Today’s Competitive Landscape

organisational-excellence

In the present landscape of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE), thriving requires more than just survival instincts. In a world driven by fierce competition, we must navigate the industry, meticulously optimizing every facet of our organization to ensure maximum efficiency and impact.

After many years of exploring various approaches to improve performance in the meetings sector and bring about organisational excellence, we have come to realise that there are 6 key elements that need to be managed. These elements are not standalone entities but rather interconnected gears that must be synchronized to propel the organization forward. We have identified these 6 elements as the following:

  1. Process: Streamlining operations and workflows to eliminate inefficiencies and enhance productivity.

  2. Project Management: Implementing robust project management strategies to ensure seamless execution and delivery of objectives.

  3. Culture: Nurturing a positive organizational culture that aligns with the company’s values, fostering collaboration, innovation, and employee engagement.

  4. Change: Embracing adaptability and managing change effectively to stay ahead in the ever-evolving MICE landscape.

  5. Knowledge: Continuously acquiring, sharing, and applying relevant knowledge to remain at the forefront of industry advancements.

  6. People: Investing in the development and well-being of the workforce, recognizing that a motivated and skilled team is the backbone of organizational success.

By effectively managing these 6 key elements and leveraging their interdependencies and reactions, a company can bring about tremendous positive change and to the outputs of the meeting. On the softer side of organisational excellence, there must be desire, drive and passion to be the very best you can be. An ability to look inward and carry out self-assessment and continuous improvement and implementation creates the base for organisational excellence, sustainability and future success.

PROCESS

The success of a conference or meeting hinges on how well a company’s operations are structured, forming the bedrock for seamless delivery. Managing these processes involves establishing clear communication between the process owner and the client. This entails collaboratively defining meeting objectives and output requirements, setting expectations, and determining the desired results within a specified timeframe. To maintain transparency and measure progress, it’s essential to implement a feedback system that allows for ongoing evaluation of the end results.

Effective process management operates on two levels: the micro-level, involving teams or departments, and the macro-level, addressing cross-departmental processes within the company. Continuous refinement of these processes is crucial, ensuring alignment with both the company’s core objectives and the client’s expectations. This ongoing commitment to improvement guarantees that the company consistently meets the needs of both internal and external stakeholders.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

If processes serve as the foundation of how a company operates, projects represent the avenue through which companies refine and enhance those processes. It’s crucial to consistently evaluate and measure the outcomes of our meetings, assess the individuals overseeing them, and ensure a consistent standard of quality in our meetings and conferences.

Projects can’t be managed on an individual case by case bases. In today’s busy MICE environment, companies are concurrently juggling multiple event projects, many of which are interconnected and reliant on one another. Their requirements and schedules are continuously changing, setting off a chain reaction across the company. Collaboration among departments is essential, with each team staying informed about all ongoing projects to prevent overburdening any one team at a given moment. Coordinating project timelines is vital for optimizing departmental efficiency and ensuring a cohesive and streamlined workflow.

CULTURE

There is a need for an appropriate culture to support achieving organizational excellence. This involves emphasizing client focus, adopting a systems approach, promoting teamwork, nurturing creativity, engaging management, and fostering a commitment to continuous improvement. It is crucial to supplement process and project management with innovation, ensuring the successful implementation of new ideas. To encourage innovation, a company’s culture must be open to new ideas and trailing new ways of approaching meeting planning. This starts with employees feeling supported and encouraged to think outside the box. The outcomes can yield substantial improvements within the company, coupled with an elevated level of creativity in delivering clients’ meetings.

CHANGE

We must embrace change if we are to be successful in our challenging world of meetings. Change management systems are made up of three distinct elements:

  • Defining what will be changed
  • Defining how to change
  • Making change happen

An effective change management system requires us to step back and define what will be changed. Which of the key business drivers needs to be changed. This applies to the overall company and to each meeting/project it takes on to ensure that we are meeting the demands of our clients and their client – the delegate.

KNOWLEDGE

In today’s tech-driven era, knowledge plays a crucial role in achieving organizational excellence. However, the sheer volume of information often leaves us feeling overwhelmed, making it challenging to absorb it all. The key to effective knowledge management lies in documenting what matters most. With our computers, desks, and minds brimming with endless information, it’s vital to tailor a knowledge management system around the company’s core capabilities and competencies.

Documenting knowledge not only enhances efficiency in realizing meeting goals and optimizing resource effectiveness but also serves as a compass for achieving the desired Return on Investment (ROI). The true measure of success in knowledge management lies in the number of individuals accessing and implementing ideas from the company’s knowledge network. The primary hurdle is shifting the company culture from hoarding knowledge to sharing it openly.

To tackle this challenge, it’s crucial to invest time not only in documenting knowledge but also in fostering a culture of sharing. By dedicating ample time to sharing insights and ensuring that knowledge residing in individual minds is shared across the entire company, we can collectively pave the way for a more collaborative and informed workplace.

PEOPLE

Meetings are fundamentally about people. They are at the core of everything we do. When we say “people” in the meetings sector, we mean everyone involved – employees, management, suppliers, partners, clients, and the knowledge they bring. Building connections and relationships among all these resources is essential for mastering excellence. To get the best from our most valuable asset in a service industry – our talent, our people, our knowledge bank – we rely on simple yet vital elements like communication, training, teamwork, empowerment, respect, honesty, leadership, quality, and fairness.

In conclusion, clients won’t accept second best. To succeed in the competitive environment of the meetings marketplace, we need to excel in all parts of the business. The internet allows our clients to shop globally, so it’s easy for them to get the best quality, reliability and value. Clients are concerned about service and quality, but they are also about dealing with companies who care, are quick to respond, will listen, will bring innovative ideas and processes to their meeting, and react to their unique requirements.

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