MCI launches its 2015 Annual Report: Uniting People to Harness the power of Community

MCI’s approach to business in 2015 was driven primarily by a sustainability mandate. Sustainability in both, achieving business goals and the planet’s survival.

Our innovative sustainable event strategies and consulting drove most of the 24% growth in the past year, making us a truly global organization, committed to sustainable development.

The group delivered memorable experiences across 80 countries, engaging with 1.5 million delegates via 5100 projects.

MCI’s annual growth exceeded the company’s expectation in 2015, where its three key drivers, Meetings & Events showed a growth of 21% and Professional Congress Organization (PCO) grew by 14%, while Association Management & Consulting (AM&C) grew organically following the acquisition of Coulter Companies.

2015 Annual Report_Blog Post

Here’s a snapshot of our proud milestones for the year 2015.

  • 7 new offices opened, bringing global presence to 60 offices in 31 countries
  • 5,100 projects delivered in 81 countries
  • 26 awards received
  • 21 hybrid events conducted
  • New partnerships explored with Expedia, Emirates and Higher Logic
  • Growing presence in the United Sates
  • 85 projects for Fortune 500 companies

Experience MCI’s growth through 2015 in a dynamic digital version here http://mciannualreport2015.com/

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Customer churn a big challenge for brands

Blog_Customer Churn a big challenge_16 Sep 15

Keeping customers is a big challenge for many businesses, whether they deal directly with the public or a range of channel partners. Often, firms will invest in processes to try and rescue unhappy customers, but these have very little impact on the business overall.

In fact, a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that these methods only work between 30 and 40 per cent of the time, making them quite ineffective at managing customer churn. So, if efforts to recapture customers’ attention before they leave is proving costly, how can your company address customer churn?

Many businesses are now trying to predict these events before they happen and take proactive steps to ensure that customers do not have a reason to leave. PwC suggest investing in the processes that go into understanding how your customers behave. Customer tracking software and similar technologies can help you make sure that you comprehend the trends affecting your customers, including factors like when and how much they spend with you.

Once you have this information, you will need to understand how you can address high levels of customer turnover. For example, investing in an incentives program can be essential for making sure that your most valuable customers are staying with your brand and have good reasons to remain loyal to your products and services.

At the same time, you will need to acknowledge that some customer churn is inevitable. No matter how tirelessly your company works to keep customers, there will always be some who have no intention of staying with your business. That being said, taking proactive steps to address issues of customer churn before they develop can be an easy way to ensure that clients have no reason to stop purchasing from your company.

How to (Effectively) Implement Employee-Driven Sustainability Programmes

Successfully implementing employee-driven sustainability programmes is a challenging endeavour, especially for a global organisation with a geographically dispersed talent pool.  However, it is also one of the most effective means of inciting behavioural change and increasing productivity within an organisation and its operating communities.

After all, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, employee morale is 55% higher in companies that have strong Sustainability Programmes than those with poor ones!

It’s for this reason that MCI – the world’s leading events management and association consultancy firm – launched the MCI Sustainability Awards in 2008.

Galvanizing our talents’ passion and competitive spirits, the awards – seized this year by MCI India and MCI China – recognize employee-driven initiatives that effectively raise awareness and implement sustainability into MCI’s operations as well as that of their clients and stakeholders.

This year alone the initiatives driven by the global MCI family raised almost €1.5 million directly and indirectly, with MCI staff donating an estimated 4,500 hours to community service projects worldwide. Additionally, our “sustainability champions” have worked with our clients and suppliers to deliver top-tier sustainable events, including Engineers Australia and the World Metropolis Congress in 2014, on top of 800 other events on sustainability since 2000!

But if the returns are so high, why aren’t all major organisations using engagement strategies to inspire their employees to act as crucibles of change?

Well, the short answer is that it can be incredibly daunting. However, with years of experience in doing just that, MCI’s Sustainability Services team has found that as a first step, it’s important to ensure the following:

  1. Strong Sense of Ownership

Placing the onus of organizing initiatives on your employees can result in successful sustainability programmes because it (1) requires a more long-term commitment, increasing the continuity of the project; (2) forces staff to assess if and how they are meeting the needs of the targeted community; and (3)Bee encourages input from people closest to the problems.

Creating a small task force with representatives from different functional areas is often an effective way of creating this sense of ownership while promoting cross departmental collaboration and synergies. MCI China for instance – who received the 2014 Innovation in Sustainability Award – did just that. They have even created a logo for their team – a bee, as the word in Mandarin has the same pronunciation as “Pioneer”.

  1. Employees Must Feel Engaged

An organisation could have an incredible initiative plan, but if no one knows about it or is interested in joining, it will lose much of its impact. As such, it is crucial that organisations both communicate the benefits of their sustainability initiatives and select programs that other employees can identify with and rally behind. What more, a recent study by PwC found that 56% of recent college graduates would consider leaving a company that didn’t have sustainability values that aligned with their own.

India Blood DriveThis is an element the overall winner and recipient of the 2014 Leadership in Sustainability Award – MCI India – was incredibly successful at. Not only did MCI India organize over 25 different community projects across the subcontinent and dedicate 565 hours towards them, it was also able to engage over 2,000 people in the MCI building complex to spread awareness and dispel myths related to blood donation. As a result, enough blood was donated to save 260 lives!

  1. Recognition

Recognition can be an incredibly powerful motivator. As such, when teams produce tangible results which bring value to the targeted beneficiaries those responsible deserve to be recognized – hence the MCI Sustainability Awards! Additionally, employees should be encouraged to share their successes with their co-workers via internal communications channels as it helps weave employee involvement into the organisational culture.

At this juncture it is important to note that though employee involvement programs can be spearheaded by anyone in an organisation, it is crucial that employees receive support from the organisations’ leadership.

“Sustainability is part of our core identity, and the MCI Dream is about a desire to build a company with a culture of care and responsibility,” comments MCI CEO Sébastien Tondeur. “If we didn’t have the talent we do in our organisation, and management as supportive as it is, any sustainability initiative would be destined to crumble and fail. But thankfully, this is not the reality of MCI. Because of the dedicated individuals who make this organisation great, instead of being disheartened and cynical, I stand in front of you proud.”

Events as a bridge to better brands- The Evidence

We have been asked on more than one occasion (can you imagine!), does running a sustainable event have any real benefits?

Well to put it bluntly, yes.

Not only can incorporating sustainability into an event’s operation and planning promote environmental innovation and social benefits (by providing jobs, creating better working conditions and promoting creative solutions to help us use resources more efficiently), it also has the potential to increase the financial viability of the event and enhance brand reputation.

In essence, once organisations understand that a sustainable event is a bridge to better brands it will become an integral part of the marketing mix, utilized to better engage customers, employees & stakeholders.

So what’s happening in the event’s world now?Low_Res_Product_Launch

Actually quite a lot.

A small yet passionate group of folks have been trying to transform the industry – most formally gathered under the auspices of the “Green Meeting Industry Council”, if you haven’t come across them- check out www.gmicglobal.org

MCI Group just released our 2014 Sustainability Report: Building Possibilities, and we are incredibly proud of what we have both found and achieved supporting our clients and teams across the world.

Our report highlights that we have actually witnessed a startling transition in the procurement process of fortune 500 brands.  In 2011 only 25% of MCIs clients asked their suppliers to comply with a sustainability policy and evaluate it – a figure which rose to 51% in 2013 and an impressive 68% in 2014.

What does this mean? Brands are increasingly seeing events and their accompanying supply chain as an important component and tangible demonstration of a brands sustainability commitment – and that is a very good thing.

MCI’s Chief Executive Officer, Sébastien Tondeur, states “With the evolution of MCI, I am excited to see a developing greater purpose in our work. We are bringing people together to build communities, and these communities are building new possibilities for our planet, for its people, and local and global markets.“

To learn more about and discover the evidence, MCI’s 2014 Sustainability Report: Building Possibilities can be accessed at www.mcisustainability.com
The report highlights the following key achievements in 2014:

  • Clients: MCI organised 107 events about sustainability and energy issues. The company also delivered 25 sustainability consulting projects for corporate and institutional clients including Engineers Australia, Symantec, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau and Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
  • Community: MCI talents volunteered a total number of 5,409 hours, raising over €284,790 and supporting 68 charity projects around the globe.
  • Ethics: MCI’s Sustainability, HR and Finance teams developed a new MCI Ethics Programme to promote transparency, good governance and ethical business in the industry.
  • Talent: MCI’s learning and development institute delivered over 11,000 hours of training, a 3% increase over 2013.
  • Supplier Chain: 100% of MCI’s preferred global suppliers and 33% of the company’s entire supply chain are compliant

Your Channel Partner is also your CONSUMER

While many companies would like to view their channel partners as stakeholders, it is important to realise that they are in fact consumers too. Channel partner relationships tend to go the transactional way and it is important to have a holistic approach, packaging the tangible and intangible for them to identify with the brand.

A Gallup study found that 21% companies with high engagement scores grew by 20%, whereas 60% companies with low engagement scores declined by 20% or more.

The engagement should be a catalyst to bolster the transactional relationship to drive business objectives. A balanced approach, marrying incentivised push with a pull strategy should be explored, such that it inspires loyalty.

Borrowing from the above, a measured approach balancing the tangible with the intangible should be initiated.

  • Innovative & Flexible Programs: ‘One size fits all’ strategy is passé. Innovation and freshness needs to be brought in –
    1. Sales Incentive Programs – Ensure targets are achievable and incentivised keeping in mind business goals of the partner.
    2. Loyalty Programs – Inculcate loyalty in partners through various loyalty programs
  • Learning Partner: Become the channel partner’s learning division and organise training sessions and keep them updated with upcoming trends, new technologies and changes in demand, so that they can align their strategies accordingly.

Transparent communication, mutual trust and support are qualitative aspects that cannot be measured but are key contributors that should be built on your highly professional, completely ethical and respectful attitude.

Extend a helping hand in your partner’s cost structure perhaps through more effective supply chain management, inventory control or process improvement plans.

This goes a long way in developing a mutually beneficial ecosystem.

Want to drive an engagement process that delivers business results?

Write to anuj.wadhwa@mci-group.com

IMAGE OF THE WEEK: Taking Product Launches to the Next Level

From creative meeting design to the latest in production and 3D mapping techniques, our comprehensive event solutions turn product launches into unforgettable experiences. And we don’t stop there! Tailoring all of our solutions to your unique audience engagement needs, we’ll create a completely original environment to inspire your attendees…and take your launches to the next level.

Contact us on solutions@mci-group.com to find out more.