Published On: 7. December 2023

Interview with Marcus Gottschlich, Head of Procurement & MICE Expert at HM Business Travel

The MICE industry is experiencing remarkable growth, with a projected market volume of 1.423 trillion US dollars by 2028, according to GlobeNewswire. HM Business Travel has been a long-standing partner in the planning and organization of business trips, positioning us at the forefront of this dynamic sector. In today’s interview, we have the privilege of gaining exclusive insights from our expert, Mr. Marcus Gottschlich, covering key areas such as current challenges, innovative technologies, and strategic approaches within the MICE sector.

  1. Marcus, can you share your background and qualifications as a purchasing manager and MICE expert?

    Certainly. Before joining HM Business Travel, I spent 32 years working in the MICE sector. I started gaining practical experience as a Food & Beverage Manager and later transitioned to become a General Manager at various hotel chains in Germany.

  2. What can clients expect in terms of collaboration with you and your team? Will they receive regular updates on the planning process?

    Our clients can count on receiving regular updates throughout the planning process. These updates are automatic, ensuring that you are always informed without the need for constant inquiries. Whether it’s via email or personal phone calls, we keep you in the loop. After booking, we also proactively inquire about any additional assistance required, such as detailed arrangements with the chosen hotel. This support continues through invoice checking and a post-event follow-up call.

  3. Could you share an example of a significant challenge you’ve faced while planning a MICE event and how you resolved it?

    Certainly. One notable challenge was the last-minute cancellation of a hotel that was booked for a symposium. In such cases, we leverage our extensive network and industry contacts, cultivated over my 32 years in the hotel industry. Collaborating closely with the organizer, we managed to find an alternative location that met all the event’s requirements. This ensured the symposium could proceed as planned.

  4. What are the primary challenges in the MICE business, and how do you address them?

    Challenges in the MICE business are part of our daily routine, and we tackle them with proven solutions:

    1. Timely feedback from hotels is essential for providing professional and qualified offers.
    2. Balancing the price-performance ratio while maintaining service quality and staff qualifications.
    3. Proactively approaching hotels and maintaining constant communication to ensure swift and qualified offers.
    4. Providing hotels with comprehensive event schedule information in advance, enabling seamless service quality.
  5. Do you secure special conditions with hotels and transport service providers at HM Business Travel?

    Yes, like most agencies, we often benefit from special conditions due to our longstanding, professional relationships in the industry.

  6. How do you handle last-minute changes in planning, ensuring minimal disruption to clients?

    We address sudden changes directly and communicate them promptly to the hotels. If the hotel cannot accommodate the changes, we actively seek alternative solutions in consultation with the client and the hotel.

  7. Have you observed any recent trends or innovative concepts in the MICE sector?

    The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a shift to hybrid solutions, with many organizations opting for online seminars over in-person events. However, there’s a slow but steady return to in-person events driven by increased demand for networking opportunities.

  8. What revolutionary technologies do you see making an impact in the MICE sector, and how are they transforming the industry?

    AI is gaining prominence in the hotel and MICE sector, serving as a response to the staffing challenges faced by the hospitality industry. While AI has its advantages, it may diminish the unique personal touch that was once a hallmark of the industry.

  9. Which key performance indicators (KPIs) or measurement methods do you find most valuable for assessing the success of a MICE event?

    In the MICE business, evaluations, and feedback from participants are vital indicators. They provide insights into event satisfaction, speaker effectiveness, service quality, and overall seminar outcomes. Popularity among attendees also serves as a gauge of trendiness and client appeal.

    In conclusion, Marcus Gottschlich, with his extensive experience and insights, sheds light on the inner workings of the MICE sector and the innovative approaches taken by HM Business Travel. The challenges faced are met with a commitment to excellence, ensuring successful and seamless events for our valued clients. As the MICE industry continues to evolve, the dedication of experts like Marcus remains a cornerstone of its success.