In recent years, MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conventions and Exhibitions) has come of age as a tourism segment. Originally present only in large economic centres, MICE are now considered a key driver to the tourism sector’s overall development.
MICE require specific infrastructures – convention centres, exhibition halls but also public transport and road infrastructures. While most large tourism destinations have all the necessary facilities, the hotel industry is a key element for secondary destinations as more hotels are turning into respectable meeting alternatives. Among the 25 top meeting cities listed by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) for 2017, cities such as Lisbon, Dublin or Helsinki are respectively ranked 9, 14 and 24. Further down the list, Lima received more international meetings in 2017 than Oslo while Edinburgh and Porto were ahead of Melbourne, Mexico City or Shanghai. The absence of large MICE infrastructure is seen as an opportunity for hotels chains. In 2018, meetings-technology giant Cvent released its annual rankings of the world’s top meeting hotels through the booking activities of Cvent Supplier Network. It came out that over 715,000 events around the world generated over 40 million room nights and €13.5bn of revenues.”
TOP 5 MICE CITIES
According to ICCA data, the top five MICE cities in the world in 2017 were Barcelona (195 meetings), Paris and Vienna (190 meetings each), Berlin (185) and London (177).
Business travel spending worldwide in 2017 was €1.18 trillion. It is expected to reach €1.5 trillion in 2022. (Source. GBTA)
3 KEY TRENDS TO LOOK FOR AT ITB BERLIN
Event organisers are increasingly turning to homelier or “cooler” locations – especially for incentives or small groups. The opening of the Canopy by Hilton will increase the appeal of the brand for MICE organisers. The four-star property Canopy by Hilton in Zagreb, for example, has 151 rooms and is the brand’s rst hotel in continental Europe
PERU, A TOP DESTINATION FOR INCENTIVE GROUPS
Peru has been listed third among the top ten favourite destinations for incentive groups, the only Latin American country to be included according to tourism marketing company PROMPERÚ. The list was compiled by Creative Group, which creates incentive trips worldwide. The study highlights that “destinations have been chosen for their unique ability to provide a variety of activities and landscapes in a single place or within a small radius.” This clearly applied to Peru, where travellers can enjoy adventure, culture, history, cruises or beach activities.
MICRO WEBSITES ARE INCREASINGLY POPULAR
More and more convention organisers are looking at creating specific apps and micro websites linked to a convention event. The technology provides opportunities for connecting before, during and after the event delegates, for rising awareness for attendees, for processing registration, for boosting dialogue between participants and panellists and also for launching online polls and surveys. Implementing a micro website is on average ve times cheaper than the cost of an app: all good reasons to consider adding a microsite to an event.
Sustainability is becoming essential for MICE organisers. Since 2016, a Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) has been published every year initiated by ICCA and various private partners. The Index aims to drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices in business tourism in cities. It is the rst-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide, created to help destinations, event planners and suppliers to evaluate the sustainability strategies of destinations and their events industry. In its latest white paper, the focus was on ways to turn an event into a supporting platform to the city’s overall social, environmental and economic development. Sustainable social- oriented destinations are the future for MICE.