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MICE sector 'feeling more confident'


Jul 22, 2010 | Editors

The last two years haven't been the easiest for any industry and in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) sector, things were no different.

Although figures from the International Congress and Convention Association in 2009 found that international associations were less likely to cancel both small and large meetings and events, recent research by the Unique Venues of London (UVL) and The Westminster Collection (TWC) found that 55 per cent of venues recorded a reduction in corporate bookings in 2009.

But things are looking much better now, according to Givanny Madsen, meetings and events administrator at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel and Conference Centre and Millennium Bailey's Hotel.

Although the two hotels found that demand for bedroom and function space fell during the economic downturn, Millennium and its staff are now feeling more confident about the future and have been working hard to bring more business to the hotels.

"As we are slowly coming out of recession, we have seen a strong pickup in business, from both existing and new clients." she said.

At the Millennium Gloucester Hotel and Conference Centre, event organisers will find 1,600 sq m of meeting and event space, including 25 function rooms, which have the capacity to hold between two and 500 delegates.

There is also adaptable advanced lighting, and audio-visual and presentation technology to ensure that meetings and conferences can go off without a hitch.

Accommodation has become an important part of event planning, Ms Madsen noted, particularly when it comes down to organising large events such as conferences.

"Delegates can retire to one of the hotel's 610, deluxe bedrooms after their event. We have three bedroom styles, which range from standard, club rooms and suites," she noted.

" Although Millennium Bailey's Hotel only has one function room, which can cater for up to 12 delegates, guests often opt for the Olives Restaurant and Bar as an alternative venue option ," she said.

"It provides for a different setting, with an innovative menu and eclectic selection of wines."

For now, Ms Madsen believes it is important that the MICE sector aims to provide the best service to clients.

This is something the two hotels have aimed to do, she said.

"We aim to provide better quality service, to increase our efficiency and delivery, and always target to go beyond the expectations of all our guests."

Because of fierce competition within the MICE sector, the Millennium Gloucester and Millennium Bailey's hotels are hoping to "certify that our foot in the market is concrete, and that we can and will deliver consistent, quality service, with friendly faces and welcoming attitudes", she added.

"We have managed to pull through the recession wiser and more determined," she said, adding that overall there was a "strong feeling" of optimism.

The survey by the UVL and the TWC also found that venues are hopeful for 2011.

UVL chairman Lisa Hatswell said: "Whilst it is undeniable that the recent recession has seen some venues struggle in the marketplace, this survey does highlight the confidence in the corporate market moving forwards."

Ms Madsen added: "As the dinner and drinks receptions increase and the social aspects of each function rise, we are hopeful that the strong growth we are now seeing will continue."ADNFCR-1752-ID-19903709-ADNFCR

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