With the recent MINT+ transformations and enhancements, we thought it would be helpful to hear from professionals in the meetings and events industry. Dasha Runyan and Vimal Vyas are members of the steering committee that helped set and guide the software updates.
Runyan is the vice president of destination sales at Richmond Region Tourism. Vyas is the director of information, security and digital innovation at the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
A joint venture between Destinations International and Simpleview, the Meetings Information Network (MINT+) database is the industry’s largest shared repository of information on organizations and their meetings and events.
There are a lot of new things happening with MINT+. What do you find most exciting?
I am excited about so many different things. The collaboration between Destination International, 2Synergize LLC, and Simpleview, working on this product, created a perfect trifecta effect.
These are the best partners you could hope for to work on the next evolution of MINT+. They understand the needs of large and small DMOs, the evolution of planners’ buying processes, and changes in the industry.
MINT+ has significantly enhanced the quality and the quantity of data. The business insights on planners’ day patterns and month preferences, the size of the meetings, and their past and future selections are invaluable. It allows us to create a more comprehensive, consultative client acquisition approach.
I am fascinated to witness the advancement of machine learning and leveraging recommendation algorithms in the future that could suggest new prospects for DMOs sales teams based on the pattern, size, spent, and other characteristics of actualized groups.
MINT+ has a bright future with the significant, strategic data engineering changes made to support business development for our DMO. The floodgates of data opened with MINT+ ”all in,” and this key strategy helped streamline the flow of data and the needed volume of all meeting, convention and sports data to query.
One of the most exciting changes is the alignment of market classifications with NAICS and NTEE. This universal standardization has provided much-needed and greater data accuracy and better search results for the sales, services and sports teams of a DMO. The ultimate gamechanger from my perspective is the Artificial Intelligence capability, where machine learning is being used to clean and shape the meetings data and soon help in suggesting better-fit meetings for our destination.
How has your destination benefited from using MINT+?
Having a strong understanding of clients’ needs even before the appointment elevates a sales process to a completely different level. We become business partners with our client when we can do a comprehensive research on their preferences and patterns prior to the appointment.
It also allows our team to access the ROI when we are hosting FAMs, site inspections or evaluating potential incentives.
Overall, the continued MINT+ updates and education resources made available have been very helpful. We have worked with MINT+ for many years, and our convention sales and sports teams have benefited with data mining and potential prospect conversions aligned to our Destination Strategic Plan guidelines. Our sales and sports teams regularly use this tool to identify prospects based on size and scope, market segments, specific industry and need months.
What advice do you have for someone considering MINT+ to assist in their sales efforts?
Business intelligence and data are the new currency.
Our clients are expecting us to assume a different role - the role of a business partner familiar with their needs from the inception of the sales process.
It is a collective data - the more DMOs support the MINT+ initiative, the better and richer the database becomes, and we can all benefit from that.
Layering MINT+ intelligence with need periods in your Region creates a smart, intentional approach that will produce great discussions and advocacy with hotels and stakeholders.
Get ready to immerse yourself into decades of organized, historical/future, and prospecting meetings data. This is truly a one-stop shop for learning about potential organizations, their meetings and preference behaviors, as aligned with other third-party resources like CBIS. Use this tool to build a comprehensive prospect list that is customized to your city, which will yield a better ROI for your sales leaders, venues, and your governmental stakeholders.
Learn more about the MINT+ transformation or schedule a virtual demonstration.