Armenia is extensively developing as a popular destination for tourism. The number of interested tourists and those who have already visited the country significantly increases every year. Thus, during the first quarter of 2018, over 346 458 tourists visited Armenia, which is 6.1% higher for the same period of 2017.
In line with various types of tourism such as gastronomic, extreme, wellness etc. the direction of business tourism (MICE) also fills the niche.
It is worth to mention, that the organization of business tourism is recognized as one of the most difficult tasks of the industry as a whole. And the consequences, of course, are not long in coming. The mistakes made by the agencies are obvious and numerous from the selection of contractors, to the organization of the entire visit process.
Go2Armenia, which has been engaged in organization of business tourism in Armenia for more than 10 years, analyzed the market of international MICE agencies and composed the list of frequently made mistakes that should be avoided while choosing a local partner.
1. Let’s start by choosing a contractor. The desire to decrease the expenses is planted in the hearts of all agencies, which is normal. But when picking out a contractor, agencies sometimes prefer the most low-cost options, even if you decide to try your fate and cooperate with a very cheap contractor, our advice to you is to double-check everything: ask for menus, photos of hotels, vehicles and all the rest. And if this is your first order, double-check it again on-the-spot. The success of a business trip is in details, whereupon not always possible and necessary to save money.
It is worth to pay a special attention to dingy contractors, who often give "loud" promises. Our advice to you to request a portfolio and letters of recommendations / feedbacks. And the surest-fire way is to ask partners and friends on the market, whether anyone has worked with that company before. The experience has proven that the testimonials and portfolio might be fake, in contrast to the real testimonials of the real people from the industry. As a matter of fact, all the major players of the industry know each other and share the information gladly.
The important factor for every company which is involved in tourism is participation in specialized international exhibitions. It is perfectly clear to everyone that the participation in international exhibitions requires investment, and mediocre companies can hardly afford it with their "loud" promises.
And, of course, the matter of personalities. In any worthy company there are representatives who are always in the public eye, always open to dialogue and those the industry knows. You work with people - get their support and personal involvement in your project. If possible :)
2. Some agencies prefer to share one project among several contractions. But it is impossible to guarantee quality when dividing the main components of the project into different contractors. Eventually, you will have an event where no one is responsible for anything. Our advice: hand the responsibility to a single trusted partner.
3. Let’s talk about the finance. Do not hesitate to discuss the prices with a partner. If you think that the prices for the certain services in the budget are not justified and set to high, or the consumer does not need a service of this level – tell the partner about it. A proper partner is always ready and even waiting for a dialogue. Eventually, you are in the same boat and are working over the tender for the customer you know, but the partner does not.
4. Where is the best way to conduct activities and what is important to consider while choosing a location? Is it worth to take as a basis the testimonial and recommendations, which you stumble upon the Internet?
Large amount of information can be found on the Internet, and the testimonial are mainly written by locals or tourists. A rare corporate client advertises himself, leave a feedback, meanwhile, such a client stands apart for its specificity. It should be kept in mind that not every traditional Armenian restaurant is ready to host a group of discerning bankers from Moscow, New York or Dubai, but, for example, it will be perfect for a birthday party with an Armenian charm.
5. The choice of location rest upon the advises of locals. There is a huge Armenian diaspora and we are everywhere. Virtually, there are Armenians in every large corporation, and definitely, each of them makes a matter of conscience to participate in the developing of the program of visit. Of course, this is great, and we also welcome such involvement.
And yet, we advise you to keep your ears upon your partner: after all, one’s personal assessment of a particular issue is not always objective. For example, whether the standard sound system on this venue is suitable for a high-quality ethno-band or not. Not always what one person likes is suitable for the whole group; not always what works for the locals - works for foreigners too; not always a restaurant of someone’s friend is really so good.
6. Another disbelief of the agencies in our opinion is the invitation of the hosts and artists from their native countries. Some agencies are quite sure that in this way they will save money and avoid the risks. Nonetheless, dear colleagues, due to the invitation of a host or music-bands, you lose the local charm, the reason why guests have traveled to another country. The leading toastmaster from your country would not raise the same Armenian welcome toast or a toast for Khorovats (Armenian barbecue). Your guests traveled to Armenia, so let them enjoy the local flavor. A proven partner will always be able to offer you 3-5 alternatives for hosts and bands suited to every fancy and budget.
7. Rejection from the escort of the group by a DMC representative. According to our opinion, if you have a large and complex group than the escort by DMC representative for 24/7 is mandatory. An experienced employee is able to solve all kinds of issues, wishes and whims of the guests. In such a manner, Go2Armenia team has organized the delivery of bicycles, guitars, home care items, cosmetics as well as ordered the helicopters within 10-15 min. after receiving the request from the client. Whatever the client can think of.
8. А hard-driving or empty program. Yes, it might be happening. Armenia is a small and compact country, so you can see and visit many places in about 3-4 days. But because of the mountainous landscape, it is necessary to get to many sights by serpentines. Do not fag your guests out with overloaded program by sending them from one end of the country to another, without the opportunity to feel deeply the whole beauty of a certain location. And vice versa: in case you have free time in your program, offer your guests to conduct one of the fascinating excursions accompanied by a professional guide or an interactive quest.
Business tourism is a specific and responsible sphere of activity, which requires special preparation, control, experience and individual approach to each client. All these qualities are the key to our success. We are Go2Armenia team, who stood at the origins of the formation of the business tourism industry in Armenia and for more than 10 years we hold leading market positions as well as having in our portfolio events for the largest Russian and international companies. We provide our partners and customers a wide range of turnkey services, ready to find a solution to any, even the most unusual task.
Our profile is business events of any complexity, including corporate departures, team buildings, seminars and conferences, incentive trips for employees and clients, VIP and group tours and much more. Over the years of our activity, we have organized trips for thousands of guests and earned the trust of dozens of large companies from all over the world.