21st Century
The Future
World Travel
Books & Film
Original Fiction
Opinion & Lifestyle
Politics & Living
Film Space
Movies in depth
Kid's Books
Reviews & stories

The International Writers Magazine

Meet Mr MICE
Marwan Asmar

Meet Mr MICE, the shaker and maker of business conferencing and events in Jordan. He has been doing it for so long, he can’t remember ever carrying on business without it. It is the adrenalin when preparing and planning for a conference that becomes so exciting.

Roman Amphitheatre in Amman
MICE in tourism stand for meetings, incentives, conferences and events. It is a big flourishing industry in the world, Jordan has its fair share and growing and the case is true for the Petra Events Management, the division of the Petra Travel and Tourism Company that is directed by Mazen Kawar.

Its division keeps rolling through out the year because of the long stretches of time needed for preparing for events. Mr MICE, alias Mazen Kawar is happy with the running of his division. He says it’s prosperous, efficient and it has very important clients which are regulars such as the Rebuild Iraq venue, the World Economic Forum and the Chinese Products Exhibition.

MICE tourism is business tourism of the highest quality demanded by businessmen looking for opportunities and profit. The global MICE industry is so tough and competitive that you need a special division to cater for the needs of the business client, the corporate executive and those coming to Jordan to attend a conference.

Mr MICE, doesn’t leave anything to chance. He is the kind of man who takes a hands-on, hands-off approach to the preparation of the event. His style of management is neither nor. When preparing for any event in Jordan, he and his staff make sure that everything goes to a T. They leave no room for mistakes and they are not expected to for the client is very fussy, but they recognize it is his right to be so.

Everything at the division is handled from A to Z, Mazen Kawar and his staff say. When preparing for a big conference, especially in the last days, the division is turned upside down, a war zone of telephone calls about logistics, transport and accommodation. Anyone of the team would be handling two or three telephone calls at the same time to deal with arrivals, hotel arrangements, or taking clients down to their venues.

The final rush for a conference or an expo becomes pressing because they are dealing with the nuts and bolts of bringing business guests to Jordan and in the logistics side of making sure guests travel to the Kingdom with ease, they handle visas, book their flights, and providing them with the accommodation, make sure their cargo arrives on time and in the end leave safely.

"You have to go the extra mile," he says. "It’s for the sake of the clients, for the sake of your business to make sure that there is repeat business to Jordan, and not go any where else, this is a very competitive business," he adds.
Mr MICE is an old-hand in Jordanian tourism. He joined the family firm in 1986 as a managing partner, and together with his two other brothers, and his father, Nasser Kawar who established the company in 1965, run the business as a collective concern run on modern lines as they all like to say.

His love for his division which was created in 2002 emanates from the fact that he is also a great marketer, he likes talking to people, rubbing shoulders with colleagues and establishing contacts with different parties and clients.
"This is the sum total of our business, we have to go out and bring the business clients, sitting behind our desks, in front of the computer just will not do."

Such a view harks back to the founder of Petra Tours who firmly believes that in order to attract international business you have to go out and get it as it will not come to you.

It is from this philosophy that the Petra Events Management division emanated from because MICE goes at the heart of business growth not just for your company but for its ripple effects on the other sectors of the economy, says Mazen Kawar.

When there are increasing MICE events held in the Kingdom, it means the economy is thriving, every one works and the activity and consumption increases in hotels, transport and in the rest of the economy because these clients tend to be high spenders, and not your average tourists, he continues.

Whether on meeting, are holding their exhibitions in Jordan or on incentive travel, these corporate tourists have their mind on completing their event, do some sightseeing tours and are not too fussy about the amount of spending they make in the country.

And with the short time they have, we Jordanians have to show them the best of our hospitality because they become our ambassadors to the world, and they go back to their country, and talk about their trip to their families, colleagues and acquaintances, says Mr MICE, whose Petra Events Division staff go out of their way to introduce special custom-made itinerary trips to clients attending conferences.

Kawar says these trips are very popular with the spouses who frequently accompany their husbands to Jordan. They leave their husbands grueling at the conference while they go on happy sightseeing trips, Mr MICE says mischievously.
But it’s a fact, even for the husbands, special sightseeing tours around the Kingdom or even innovative packages like bicycle trips which are very popular in different parts of the world, especially Europe and America, are added as a combination between business and pleasure.

"When you are at a high-powered conference, there is nothing better than to put your skates on and go on a sightseeing tour for a couple of hours and what better way to do that than on a bicycle to drain off sweat and energy and vent off steam. You come back to the conference, event, expo, refreshed and rejuvenated with plenty of more ideas to throw, and mentally exited of what is to come," argues Mr MICE, who personally likes to get involved in conference preparations.

Through its tourism infrastructure, Jordan is clearly building itself as a MICE destination in the region through the work of such local companies as Petra Tours. "It is statistically proven that 40 percent and sometimes more of clients actually keep coming back for business, but that doesn’t mean we remain sanguine, but have to make sure that they keep coming," ends Mr MICE.

Mice link

© marwan asmar June 18th 2007

More Destinations


© Hackwriters 1999-2007 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy - no liability accepted by or affiliates.