HRG Hong Kong, which bought out minority joint-venture partner Westminster Travel two weeks ago to become wholly owned, has set up a MICE team to target local clients, serve recently signed global MICE business that is coming on stream in 2014, and its existing clients.
Tim Hannan, general manager, HRG Hong Kong, told TTGmice e-Weekly: “HRG Hong Kong’s Meetings, Groups and Events (MGE) business is very strong and forms part of our growing presence in Asia Pacific. A global team supports the local team for MNC and international work.”
Hannan said HRG recently signed global MICE agreements with Thomson Reuters and Vodafone, both of which would begin trading in the first half of 2014.
“HRG Hong Kong has a strong and established client base for transient travel and the majority of them have ongoing MICE requirements. HRG Hong Kong has provided support assistance to clients in the past. However it is now able to offer a full end-to-end MICE service in-house.”
Businesses are globalising their strategic meetings management programmes (SMMP) and the trend is to move from local, to consolidated, to fully optimised, according to Hannan.
“Companies have discovered real challenges to creating a global SMMP. Often the challenge is one of perception with many businesses not quite where they thought they were. More often than not, the programme will be localised, whereas the business might assume it is more consolidated. HRG can work to help them collect the knowledge and data they need, to ensure their business is ready for the phases of going global.”
HRG, he said, would be able to devise and implement cost effective solutions using its expertise in corporate travel to deliver a range of services including venue finding, ground arrangements, delegate management and event support.
As to what clients were looking for in 2014, Hannan observed: “Gaining visibility of meetings spend is the most urgent priority for clients in 2014. Clients have quickly realised there is great potential for savings, and recognised the need for greater control, compliance and risk mitigation across their SMMP.
“There has also been an increase in the number of clients consolidating their transient travel and MGE business, increasing their cost saving potential as well as benefitting from reduced risk and increased safety and security measures.”