The MICE market

Corpobids operates on the global MICE market (meeting, incentive, convention, and exhibition) whose turnover was estimated at 752 billion dollars in 2016 and is expected to reach 1,245 billion dollars in 2023, with an expected growth rate of 7.5% between 2017 and 2023 according to a an article from Travel Daily News (Rokou, 2018). It is a very competitive market with many significant players such as CVENT, the world leader in event management, as well as luxury retreats and meetingbooker, to name only a few.

The MICE market is segmented according to the type of event and geographical location. We distinguish 3 distinct regions:
• North America
• Europe
• Asia Pacific

In Canada, Corpobids\’ main market, the forecast for 2019 is as follows according to a research made by American Express Meetings & Events in 2018:
– A larger number devoted to conferences and trade fairs.
– A slight decrease in training and product launch meetings

The number of nights as well as food and beverages would be the options that would be most likely to be reduced in the future according to a study led by American Express Meetings & Events. On the other hand, the study from American Express Meetings & Events (2018, p.72) revealed that communication, audio-visual and registration represent the budgets that should be maintained by companies, which shows their importance for “the success of meetings and events”.

1.2 PESTEL analysis

We will study the macro-environment of Corpobids though a PESTEL Analysis to apprehend for each aspect opportunities and threats that Corpobids has to deal with.

– The Political aspect

Threat
– Corpobids is present all over the world. The company is strongly influenced by the political and legislative conditions of these countries. In Canada, only hotel rooms are commissionable, while in Europe meeting rooms are.
This constraint may generate a risk of significant variations in revenue, depending on geographical areas and the implementation of so-called \”free\” services.

– The Economical aspect

Opportunities:
– The MICE market should continue to grow in the coming years
– Asia-Pacific is expected to have the highest growth rate between 2017 and 2023. (Rokou, 2018)
– The meetings sector produced the highest revenue in 2016 and is forecast to grow at a rate of 7.5% according to the article from Travel Daily News. (Rokou, 2018)
– The incentive segment is expected to experience the strongest growth on the world market.
– It is expected that hotel rates in Canada will increase significantly because there are too few suppliers for a continuously increasing demand. Today, as I saw during my internship, the rates displayed by hotels are steadily increasing.
– A recent study revealed (American Express Meetings & Events, 2018) “that meetings and events are the key to the success and sustainability of hotels”. Corporate groups are an important contributor to the hotel industry and are gradually gaining in importance. Each hotel depends to some extent on groups and meetings. In this context, suppliers are more open to negotiate on room rates and facilities. Several other categories are often subject to negotiation, including free meeting rooms, “attrition clauses and cancellation fees”.

 Increase in demand and turnover
 Significant negotiation possible, therefore business opportunities

Threats:
– The level of commission charged by Corpobids inevitably falls under the pressure of hotels. For example, the commission rate rose from 10% to 7% last March.
– It is also a niche market corresponding to a very specialized service.
– New competitors are emerging following the emergence of new technologies. Example: breather, a website specialising in conference rooms rental, and Airbnb, which offers private accommodations to professionals.
– According to some analyses, (see American Express Meetings & Events p.70) the number of meetings in Canada is expected to decrease slightly by 1 to 2% and expenses. This decrease is due to an increasing demand for shorter meetings and the desire to reduce the cost per participant

Loss of customers and long-term profitability

– The Social aspect

Opportunities
– Customers are more concerned about saving time and money.
Trends in this sector of activity are structured around the following points:

– Tendency towards the intensification of requirements for meeting planners.
Nowadays, the job of meeting planners goes far beyond meeting logistics.
Indeed, they put a greater emphasis on the quality of meetings and therefore on attendee experience. They strive to find creative ways to enrich the guest experience by integrating, for example, pre- and post-meeting checks rather than extending the duration of the event or looking for a non-traditional venue according to a study (American Express Meetings & Events p12)

– Need to adapt to the new workforce: Millennials.
Moreover, by 2020, half of the world\’s workforce will be composed of millennials. Consequently, it is necessary to adapt to their habits, which are more focused on technological innovations and business travel.
– The Technological aspect

Opportunities
– New technologies play an increasingly important role in the choice of meeting rooms. Indeed, more and more companies are choosing online conferences as a substitute for \”face-to-face\” meetings.
– We also notice a new trend related to virtual reality and artificial intelligence (example: meeting with holograms). Mobile applications are becoming more and more common for all types of meetings. In addition, analysts (American Express Meetings & Events, 2018, p.18) predict an increase of around 4% for the demand for non-traditional meeting rooms.

 Possibility for Corpobids to \”stand out\” from the competition

– The Legal aspect

Threats
– There is no legislation concerning the commission rate to be attributed to travel agencies. The commission rate is not a law under any circumstances, but an implicit regulation.
Corpobids has no income guarantee except concluded contracts with each hotel. Faced with this threat, Corpobids has decided to review its revenue model and established several offers for travel agencies, hotels and meeting planners to involve them financially in the use of the website.

1.3 Competitive analysis

Corpobids\’ main competitors are:

– CVENT: based in the USA, this company has a global presence. Its turnover is $57 million. It has specialized in cutting-edge technologies for corporate event management
– Meeting booker, based in Dublin, allows companies to book meeting spaces in a few minutes. The company has more than 125,000 locations in its database

These two competitors do not offer transparent pricing and are not buyer-oriented. They do not offer a filtered catalogue or access for master users. They are much bigger and are only for planners.

– Bizly based in the USA (created in 2014) is also specialized in the search for restaurant rooms, conference rooms and hotel rooms
– AirBnb, based in the USA, which is increasingly aimed at professionals
– Breather, based in Canada, is a company dedicated in the search for meeting places. The company is present in 10 major cities around the world with 500 spaces.

Generally, all these competitors offer a homogeneous and very international offer. Corpobids, on the other hand, has a very different approach based on its unique reverse auction system.
In this context, it is difficult to say that Corpobids has a lot of competition. In reality, the company has positioned itself differently with a specific offer on a market held by very large international companies.

Competitive Mapping Matrix

By conducting the Competitive Mapping Matrix analysis, we can observe that Corpobids remains the best in terms of client expectations (see Appendix 5). For meeting planners looking to save time and money, Corpobids is an online platform that allows them to compare rates offered by hotels very easily, quickly and with discounts compared to the offers provided by competitors.
Cvent, through its market leadership, has partnered with hotels to obtain discounts. These discounts are already established in advance while at Corpobids the negotiations are done instantly and are specific to each request. On average, Corpobids offers a 17% discount on hotel rooms and sometimes free access to meeting rooms. However, Corpobids suffers from a lack of communication compared to its competitors who have many more followers on all social networks.

Porter’s 5 forces

We will draw up a Porter’s Five forces analysis to analyse the competitive environment of Corpobids. The analysis of the MICE industry allows us to highlight the following points:

– The bargaining power of customers is rather high because the cost of transfer (the cost incurred by customers to change suppliers) is low. There is also a threat of upstream integration, customers can themselves book rooms and conference rooms directly with hotels and obtain discounts depending on the size of their business.

– The bargaining power of suppliers is very high because Corpobids is a small company that works with large hotel chains. For example, some hotel chains have reduced the commission rate for travel agencies (including Corpobids)

– The threat of substitutes is rather high. For example, AirBnb is a substitute product that has introduced a new way of booking and designing business trips for companies at a much lower price than hotels, but with a lower service offer

– The threat of new entrants is low because the products are well differentiated and accessibility to suppliers is difficult. Generally, the economy of scale in this sector is the key to profitability.

– Industry rivalry is moderate. The Corpobids’ market is a very competitive market but destined to grow over the years, as stated above. In addition, the services offered on this market are highly differentiated. Indeed, Corpobids has a unique system in the world and is therefore strategically positioned differently from its competitors.

 Planners will be able to call upon Corpobids to assist them
 Millennials will be a stronger engine of growth for Corpobids in the coming years

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