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Sofitel Frankfurt Opera
Monday, 13th May
, 2024

The aim of the roundtable was to identify MICE data needs and establish a starting point for developing pan-industry standards, unifying MICE data and knowledge across the European hotel market.

More than 25 senior hotel industry leaders representing sales, marketing, revenue management and distribution (a split of around 70% sales, 30% revenue); Katie Moro, Vice President, Data Partnerships at Amadeus Hospitality and the driving force behind Demand360; Tobias Tegetmeyer, Managing Partner and Founder, MICEview, who is also an HSMAI Europe DACH Advisory Board member; and the company’s Head of Sales and Product, Oliver Hidalgo.

The MICE industry continues to evolve at pace, as does travel technology, the distribution landscape, and the customer. While most hotel companies have systems in place to analyse market data related to MICE and MICE revenue, there is no unified industry standard or benchmarking tool providing complete/accurate market analysis to support more effective commercial planning for MICE business. HSMAI Europe’s Future of MICE Data roundtable aimed to kick-start the conversation on what steps should be taken to create a MICE data tool for the region’s hotel industry, forging a collaboration with Amadeus Hospitality (and its Demand360 solution) and MICE analytics company MICEview to brainstorm ideas. Crucially, any tool created should include future data, as well as historical data, roundtable participants representing the market agreed. This is currently available for transient bookings but not for MICE. “It’s about using data to understand MICE customer behaviours and using it to make decisions,” said one industry leader.


The complex nature of MICE bookings, described by one leader as an “emotional purchase” involving many elements, was identified by all roundtable participants. From how a MICE booking is defined and differentiated to the channel it is booked through, its many nuances muddies the waters as far as data collection is concerned. At present, from a data collection/data available perspective, there is no way of determining if a booking is group only, group and meeting, or just a meeting/meeting room. Hotels said it was difficult to future plan without knowing the exact composition of a MICE booking in this respect and therefore identified differentiation as a top priority when creating a data analytics tool for MICE. 

To better understand the booking patterns of clients, it needs work from both sides, including how groups are defined, roundtable participants stressed; for example, making it possible to report on room-only groups, so that data is included in this category, because at present, a meeting room must  be attached to the booking for it qualify as a group booking. 

In terms of channels, while knowing the breakdown of sources and booking channels is useful, many emphasised that in terms of complex MICE bookings, the goal was not necessarily to up direct channels. They explained how third parties were required in the MICE planning process because hotels did not have the resources to plan intricate and/or large-scale, multi-faceted events, and did not want the financial risk either. However, for simple and room-only bookings, channel breakdowns are desired and useful.

Data collection
If an industry standard for MICE data is to be created, it requires hotel buy in. Delegates stressed this was problematic in Europe where independent hotel chains dominate (around 75% of the market). While larger hotel chains are accustomed to providing data on transient bookings and would be willing to comply for groups data, the smaller groups or independents may not come on board. A tool would therefore be “incomplete” in terms of data provided. Another issue identified was the time-consuming nature of inputting data – hotels would need to dedicate resources to this unless an AI solution was introduced at a later stage. And, of course, data input leaves room for human error, all agreed.

Client profile breakdowns
When Katie from Amadeus asked if hotels would find a detailed breakdown of key corporate client MICE activity useful, most said no, because those clients may not be relevant to them or were often handled by a third party. It was decided that a high-level overview of major corporates and their MICE booking and spending patterns would be sufficient at this stage. Industry leaders concurred that understanding delegate spend – how much and from who and where – was important. 

Conversion ratios
Roundtable participants said they wanted data differentiating between RFPs versus what’s on the books, as well as conversion rates/ratios. They would also like to compare their performance versus the market. “Why are they not booking with my property? Where are accounts going to and why?” said one. Leaders said it would be useful to break down data by definite bookings, bookings offered and bookings lost, noting that “hotels capturing requests received but not offering them was a massive blind spot”. A challenge related to this was how to navigate duplication, because often, the same business is pitched to a hotel by five different agencies, or one request is pitched to multiple hotels within the same group.


When compiling their MICE data wish list, participants also discussed:

  • Market trends: Industry leaders would like market trends to include city and destination performance and trend patterns and competitive set analysis to be broken down further into sub-markets (areas of cities, for example).
  • Number of events by size: would be very beneficial said roundtable participants, especially by market. This gives hotels an indication of what’s moving (actualised sqm share) in the market.
  • Lead times: by group size, to improve the revenue management analysis process.
  • Future bookings data: Where are bookings going to in the future? 
  • Pricing: Hotels would like “some indication” of average pricing – not just the room rate, but the group rate and a destination ADR by competitive set. Rate and occupancy per sqm are also desired, as well as bid size and bid rate (according to size).
  • Number of RFPs: to provide a snapshot of market activity, breaking these down by rooms only, rooms and meeting space, and meeting space only.
  • Source market information: to help determine where to commit marketing spend.


As the roundtable concluded, all agreed the best place to start when creating a MICE data tool was to provide broad market trends, identifying demand and spend. This should be collated in one aggregated source, with a dashboard-style format suggested by some. All agreed that from the inception of such a tool, expectations would need to be managed, because achieving 100% completeness (every hotel in Europe participating) was not possible. “We must accept it won’t be a tool you can make huge strategic decisions on, but it will offer broad market indications,” said one industry leader. “In essence, we want to know how to capture more MICE business and a tool like this will help us.”

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