Micebook.com. Yes, that is its name, and for those of you snickering about it, MICE stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events. At least that is what I think it stands for since everyone seems to have a different answer for the C and E… but close enough for jazz.
The site is positioned as a “Supplier Relationship Management” tool (SRM). Now when someone says SRM you can nod like you know what they are talking about in the same way I nod when someone says CRM and I have no idea what they are talking about. The good news is this is a tool to manage the supply base, except Micebook keeps the contact details up to date for everyone. And the site is FREE to Meeting Planners.
Event planners can use MICEBOOK to search for CVBs, hotels, venues, DMCs, airlines, representation companies and an ever-growing database of other Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exposition suppliers. At the moment there are about 4000 global suppliers. It keeps growing.
I asked CEO Chetan Shah how positioning is determined when a planner does a broad search for a supplier in a particular destination. Do the highest paying vendors get the best positions? The answer… No. The order they appear is related to how many event planners have saved them as a “favourite” (and I spelled favorite with a “u” because the company is HQ’d in London and for some reason they put an extra “u” in for no apparent reason).
When I was in graduate school (impressed?), they made us read a small book called How to Lie with Statistics. Besides making me never trust anything anyone says, ever, it taught me how data can be skewed in just about any direction one wants. The point being, if you have a small sample of planners choosing favorites, the positioning near the top may not mean that they are the best supplier, only that the limited universe choosing favorites knows about them (or are their cousins).
At the moment there are only about 1000 planners registered (the site is new), but Mr. Shah says they expect that number to grow exponentially. Presumably the positioning of suppliers will change as more planners enter the system and will eventually become broad enough to eliminate the “relatives” factor.