#13: 'MICE Conversations' - Caroline Phelan, VisitBritain Meetings and Incentive Senior Manager Europe


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'MICE Conversations'. In this episode, we talk with Caroline Phelan, VisitBritain Meetings and Incentive Senior Manager Europe (Paris). VisitBritain (www.visitbritain.org) is the national tourism agency, a nondepartmental public body, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), responsible for promoting Britain worldwide and developing its visitor economy. VisitBritain's mission is to grow the value of inbound tourism to Britain, working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas. Through their global reach, the agency aims to increase visitor spend to all parts of Britain and improve Britain’s ranking in the eyes of international visitors.
More about VisitBritain and Caroline Phelan
VisitBritain Corporate Web site (for industry): https://www.visitbritain.org/business-events-0
VisitBritain Business Events (for buyers): https://www.eventsaregreat.com
Recorded Friday 13th October 2021.
'MICE Conversations' is also available as a YouTube video.
Topics and questions, timeline or video chapters.
00:00 - Intro and welcome.
00:22 - How has Britain opening up ahead of other countries translated into the MICE market?
02:40 - Learning from reopening with new protocols to be ready to welcome international visitors
04:13 - How does the change to the COVID19 traffic light system impact the UK market long term? Are people more confident that those restrictions are as good as gone?
05:20 - Current booking trends & cvent platform
06:35 - What are the practicalities in terms of standards? Are there UK wide standards or does each organisation decide on what standards are appropriate?
08:20 - Have costs increased for events due to the staffing and labour in the UK?
11:00 - Has the industry in the UK used the opportunity for a strategic reboot? What changes can people expect?
13:20 - Any trends for 2022 in terms of different types of bookings?
14:40 - Are there any bottlenecks in the industry in terms of availability being an issue?
16:15 - Other challenges
16:55 - What is the role of VisitBritain within the MICE industry?
18:40 - Where can people find out more?
19:15 - Examples of sectors with supports available
20:35 - MICE MeetUp Dublin
20:48 - Closing & Outro
Video transcript:
- So hello and welcome to another MICE conversations the YouTube series and podcast. Today I'm delighted to be talking to Caroline Phelan, who is Meetings and Incentive Senior Manager Europe at Visit Britain and based in Paris. Caroline you're very welcome. Thank you for joining us.
- Thank you Michael, It's lovely to be here.
- So the obvious question with the UK with with Visit Britain is how are you getting on? I mean, from a European perspective, obviously you're based in Paris, I'm based in Ireland. We've all been watching since the start of the year as Britain, I suppose, has been ahead of the rest of us in terms of opening up. How has that translated into the MICE market, or has it?
- Well, I suppose, Michael, before 2019 the value of business events was 19.4 billion to the UK and that just plummeted like, like all destinations.
- Yeah
- So I, but on a positive side, I was reading the, I don't know if you've heard of the group, the Cities We Start group?
- No
- It's a group of industry around the UK and they requested a study by tourism economics, which commenced in September, So it's hot off the press really and well worth the read. They were predicting, business to b

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