Hotel groups have called for reporting tools for the conference sector as it currently relies on PCOs' feedback to judge the state of the MICE market.
Hotel bookings are monitored by groups such as STR Global, yet no similar reports are produced for the MICE sector in Australia.
“The MICE market needs a tangible reporting tool where we can see if we are gaining market share and judge how we are faring against our competitors,” Mantra Group MICE director Paul Wilson said.
Starwood regional sales and marketing director Daniella Tonetto agreed but flagged the difficulties.
“There’s a need for something but you wouldn’t get everyone to agree what data they would supply,” she said.
Major hotel groups such as Mantra, Accor and Starwood instead rely on feedback from PCOs to assess the MICE market.
Mantra monitors the market by contacting a stable of PCOs based in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria as well as running feedback forums with the PCOs that participate in Mantra’s annual mega-famils.
“At the end of the mega-famil we relax with champagne and ask the PCOs for brutal feedback,” Wilson said.
Accor's approach sees nine PCOs forming an advisory group that meets four times a year.
“The advisory board is driven by industry and they help shape the strategy for all the brands in our conference sector,” Accor Pacific chief operating officer Simon McGrath said.
“It’s probably been one of the most unique initiatives in the conference space and they help shape the direction of our marketing, our service, our product, how much we quote and our pricing,” McGrath added.
Starwood operates an Asia-Pacific MICE Advisory Board, with four members representing Australia.