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17 MAR-APR 2020 MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS MCMAG-ASIA.COM Fond memories: The Q400 aircraft which Patee Sarasin introduced to Nok Air. • if there are issues that need to be resolved, deal with it as soon as possible and make tough decisions if necessary • keep all the staff informed as to what is happening so as to avoid gossip • be strategic and think of 'the end game', as to what you ultimately want to achieve, and then come up with a phased plan that will help you to achieve the end goal • always have a 'plan B' so you can deal with issues as they arise and don't put all your eggs in one basket • always strive for innovation, so you stay ahead of the competition • if you need to cut costs, cut where it counts and don't just cut where it is easiest to cut. In other words, don't necessarily cut marketing costs but seek to cut costs in areas that will really help the company improve its bottom line in the long run. • when working with other companies, tell them what the issues are and what you need to get done • and always behave in an ethical manner. No cutting corners. You need to maintain your good reputation. What advice can you impart to MICE planners who are seeking to negotiate good airfares? What drives the airlines is passenger volume. When you negotiate with the airlines, you need to show you understand their business and you need to give the airlines some yield. Corporations that contract MICE planners to do a large-scale event do have money, so no need to squeeze the airlines too much. It needs to be a 'win- win' for the MICE planner and the airline. What are the problems that confront the travel industry today and how are they different from one decade ago? The challenges facing the industry today are the same as a decade ago. It is things that you cannot control such as the coronavirus, geopolitical situations, extreme weather etc. The travel industry is usually at the forefront of any global crisis. It is situations we cannot control. Therefore, it is important to diversify and not be too dependent on one market. What should MICE Planners do to prepare themselves for the times ahead with so many disruptions? You need to make sure you have different options available. You need to do proper and detailed planning and that includes having contingency plans. I always like to plan in the fourth quarter for the year ahead . "Corporations that contract MICE planners to do a large-scale event do have money, so no need to squeeze the airlines too much. It needs to be a 'win-win' for the MICE planner and the airline." – PATEE SARASIN, CEO FOUNDER, REALLY REALLY COOL

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