Events in the post pandemic era: The market demands companies with greater support
During IMEX America we have been able to interview Gerardo Tejado, SVP Global Value Development and General Manager for Meetings & Events at American Express Global Business Travel, who shares his valuable perspective on the present and future of the MICE segment
There is no doubt that tourism has changed forever in the reopening and of course the MICE segment as well. During IMEX America, we were able to interview Gerardo Tejado, SVP Global Value Development and General Manager for Meetings & Events at American Express Global Business Travel. We share their responses below:
How does American Express Global Business Travel operate and what services does it provide?
We are an independent company with American Express as one of its shareholders. We focus 100% on the corporate travel business.
What are your expectations for the short and medium term?
We make a forecast every year and this year we noticed a lot of optimism about the future of the industry. 2/3 of the more than 500 people we interviewed around the world think there is going to be a return to 2019 levels in the next few years. The expectations are also that by next year 80% of the meetings will have some component in person, be it hybrid or totally in person and only 20% will be totally virtual and that has to do with the fact that the importance of meeting in person has been revalued.
What is your view on the different regions?
Latin America is where we notice that there is greater optimism. Business volumes will grow and return to pre-2019 levels in the next 2 years. Another issue that has happened is that in the last 2 years, some importance may have been taken away from the internal meetings of the companies, but these events have been considered again to create that new company culture because there is also a competition for talents .
On the other hand, companies are planning to have more budget to invest next year in meetings and conventions, the costs of carrying it out will go up because there is an additional requirement for more space due to the protocols and if they also do a hybrid event, it must be invested in technology and in suitable personnel.
What customer profiles do you currently have?
We have clients from all segments, but we have a very important group of global companies with a strong focus on pharmaceuticals, technology companies and professional services.
Which countries in the region do you see with better prospects?
The study we did reveals that where we are having the greatest demand for events is in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Sao Paulo, Bogotá, and in Mexico City.
Mexico never closed its borders and that allowed it to have gained markets, even SECTUR announced that they reached levels of foreign visitors similar to those they had in 2019.
In recent months, what has happened is that the planning time for events has been reduced because demand has reactivated strongly and they may run out of space.
In the last 8 months we have noticed a reassessment of having the services of a company with proven experience. We offer "turnkey" events and give the client peace of mind that they can be responsible for any eventuality that may arise. What we have seen is that there are clients changing their vision and migrating to more recognized suppliers because they are concerned about all your employees when traveling.
In which countries do you have offices?
We have a worldwide presence, we operate in Latin America with our own offices in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia and with partner franchises in the rest of the region.