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CEO Sébastien Tondeur’s Interview to Leading European M.I.C.E Outlet

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A major European MICE print & online outlet has recently published an in-depth interview with the MCI Group CEO, Sébastien TondeurConexo is the leading Spanish newspaper focused on key MICE industry issues, with a subscription base of more than 12.000, whereas its target audience consists of professionals within the corporate and institutional divisions.

In this interview, Sébastien Tondeur shares valuable information and figures relating to the continuous growth of MCI, as well as his thoughts on the trends affecting the industry in general:

  • What services does MCI Group offer?

MCI has divided its client value proposition in 4 key areas: (1) meetings, incentives and DMC (2) event marketing (3) conferences & exposition management (4) strategic event management.

  • Which of them are the most outstanding?

Clearly the most outstanding is the last one: Strategic Event Management. This is where clients use MCI to its fullest potential bringing together all our integrated competences such as creativity, content, digital, sustainability and analytics to create integrated communication programs that have business impact.

  • What is the presence of MCI Group around the world?

We are a privately held company headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and we have 60 offices in over 31 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East and Africa.

  • Which markets are the most important to the company?

At this time our four largest & most complete operations are in Geneva, Washington DC, Sao Paolo and Singapore.

  • What type of clients does MCI Group have?

Our client galaxy is quite broad, we work with professional societies, associations, federations; on the other hand, we have companies & brands, as well as various communities of interest or cause-based groups such as technology user groups. We have a very specific knowledge in the Healthcare sector which represents close to 50% of our revenues.

  • What volume of business does MCI Group have globally? How has it evolved in recent years?

MCI operates over 5’500 meetings, events and productions per year. We do this for about 1500 clients. In the past 3 years MCI has grown by 50%.

  • What forecasts do you have for the next few years?

The world is changing really fast and it is not very easy to predict the future. However, at MCI we believe that digital, virtual and physical experiences are merging into a continuous flow. As a result, we are expanding significantly our digital capabilities in areas of social media engagement and marketing, hybrid meetings, e-commerce and content broadcasting.

  • What are the current trends in Corporate Tourism?

I would identify 3 key topics when referring to trends in Corporate tourism: Design thinking – promoting and applying new methods and approaches to satisfy client needs, Digital presence – as technology advances rapidly it is crucial to keep up-to-date with new information, applications and tools that evidently add more value to the products and services offered to corporate clients, Sustainability – compliance with laws and industry codes of conduct through effective governance lie at the heart of good business practice and as we move forward the need for addressing the environmental and social challenges facing our planet will continue to grow.

  • What are the most powerful countries in corporate Tourism?

Based on facts and data like the latest rankings published by ICCA, I would have to identify the US, the country with the most meetings held in a year, followed by the big markets of the EU (Germany, UK, Spain, France, Italy) and the ever-growing Asian countries of China and Japan.

  • How important is associationism in the Sector? In what associations is MCI Group integrated?

Associations are vital for industry representation & bringing the community together (even competitors) around a common vision. Also associations provide an invaluable continuous education capability in our industry. MCI supports ICCA; IAPCO; SITE; MPI and ASAE just to name a few.

  • Technologies are becoming more important in the MICE Sector. Where is the market going in this direction?

We see 5 core technology development groups:

  1. Website and app used for registration, gamification and communication
  2. Event tech such as scanners, self-service kiosks, etc.
  3. Hybrid event tech for on & off-line meeting viewing
  4. E-learning tools that allows for on-demand content broadcasting
  5. Digital and social media marketing for audience generation or message amplification and participation

Nowadays, we like to say that it is not about who attends a meeting, it is about who engages.

  • Is sustainability in events a trend or is it already a factor in the sector?

Event sustainability is most definitely a factor in the sector. Brands have embraced the importance of maintaining and promoting a sustainable profile as they are viewed as positive forces for change as well as engines of growth. We at MCI have been promoting the importance and benefits of ‘responsible business’ and with more than 700 high-profile sustainability and energy related projects managed to date, we have received industry-wide recognition for our pioneering sustainability consulting, ISO certification and sustainability reporting. MCI is truly the world’s leading organiser of sustainable events and events about sustainability and energy, something that makes me particularly proud as we have set the bar for our industry.

Get a copy of the interview here (available in Spanish).

For more information about our work have a look at our success stories here or get in touch with us here.

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