In an industry with hospitality at its heart, it is easy to see why segments of the MICE business are keen to show off their prowess at wowing clients through their taste buds.
I think the “cake drop” is a characteristic peculiar to our own industry; however, I do not know if it is justified or whether it is purely a result of over exuberant appointment targets set by management.
My over-riding fear is that it has devalued the importance on true business meetings and that client’s valuable time is becoming unnecessarily pressured.
Face to face interaction is key in any sales led business and there is no substitute for close working partnerships between supplier and buyer.
However, I think it is getting harder for clients to spare time to the point where agencies now restrict client visits to a designated day within the calendar.
My fear is that genuine business meetings are now not happening because diaries are full and people have the preconceived perception that the appointment is not focussed on making their company thrive and improve.
You cannot point the finger at individual brands or groups, but I have worked alongside certain hotel groups that have winced when they have audited their annual cake expenses.
It is no surprise that these same groups are passing down unachievable appointment targets to their sales teams that seem only be achievable by driving around the country, delivering treats to agency staff and ticking the proverbial “appointment complete” box on their monthly MIS report.
In a bid to re-establish value in meetings, is it time to be realistic and strive for quality over quantity, to help our clients to run their businesses as well as having the available time to invest in their business partnerships, and more importantly, time to leave the “Krispy Kremes” out of the sales toolkit?
Account Director – Conferences and Live Events
NEC Conference & Live Events, The NEC, Birmingham, B40 1NT
T: 0121 767 2782