Business tourists are just beginning to be recognized in the field of tourism, even though official statistics still find it hard to distinguish between business and other types of tourism. Despite that, available data demonstrates business tourism holds an important place within the tourist industry. Also, many studies have demonstrated business tourists are the most wanted segment of tourist, since their daily consumption is the highest on average. On the other hand this signifies the group is fairly demanding and wants to receive a wholesome, unique and proper experience on their business travels, be it a fully business oriented or a business-leisure package.
A strong brand of a business experience, which sticks into the minds of tourists, requires proper and harmonized action of several actors in the field, which contribute their strengths and philosophies to ensuring a unique experience for the client. It is important each of the actors know their part and the rules of cooperation and that they all work along the lines of a common philosophy in presenting a basic story a brand is trying to introduce.
The story of a business experience needs to be shaped as a result of common cooperation of all actors. It also needs to be clear, which actors play the key role in checking and monitoring individual steps. This article uses the term “business experience” in its widest sense – all kinds of business events (congresses, seminars, meetings, etc), therefore the providers of services are also a mixed group. In general it is about the cooperation among convention bureaus, professional meeting organizers, DMC and other agencies, convention and exhibition centres, hotels, other convention services providers and venues. Who and how contributes most to the creation of the full business experience depends on the event type. Despite the number of service providers, it needs to be clear which the basic story or the basic identity idea of the event is, and who is the key actor in planning, monitoring and checking the agreed obligations of each actor. In most cases it makes sense the convention bureaus or professional meetings organizers take this role and monitor the event planning and take care of the marketing of the event.
Along with cooperation of the abovementioned actors, the brand of a business experience needs to be exposed as well as the brand of the meeting destination. Through the eyes of a business tourist (many times the individuals who decide where an event will be held), the destination plays a significant role – on the level of continent, country, city and region. A proper destination is chosen by numerous criteria but always with a focus group of business tourist in mind. In this aspect countries traditionally thought of as good destinations for business tourism (USA, Singapore, Japan, Germany, and Canada) are at an advantage. On the other hand the countries where business tourism doesn’t have a long term tradition are at a disadvantage, and have to invest much more to attract new clients.
And when will the tourists designate a business experience as perfect or unique? The comprehension of a business meeting is subjective for each participant, yet some basic rules, separating the successful business experience provider from the less successful ones, still apply. Harmony, consistency, professionalism along with a pleasant feeling of a connection to the local community are just a few characteristics of well thought of business events. In the case of business tourism we need to be even more aware of the consequences of unprofessionally carried out services, which can significantly damage the entire experience for the business traveller.
To make the business experience truly unique we have to make sure the service providers are able to carry out the story adding their personal touch, which needs to be taken into account with marketing and in the execution of the event. Clearly all characteristics/benefits and connected promises need to be founded on solid ground and connected with the services of all service providers and the destination , which can create a strong brand in the eyes of the guest.