The abbreviation MICE comes from business-related tourism. MICE is composed of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions / Events.
Term and meaning
In German-speaking countries, MICE is also referred to as the “conference industry” or “conference hotel industry”. At least before the pandemic, this was one of the most profitable sectors in the hotel industry.
All MICE events bring together a large number of people. Not only the later visitors/guests, but also already in the preparation: from the logis department to event management to suppliers and possibly travel agencies and the companies, many parties are involved in the planning.
MICE guests are different from leisure tourists. They come to a specific event, have very specific ideas about it, and often their own business depends on how the event unfolds. Therefore, guests in this area also have higher spending opportunities.
This offers upselling opportunities for the hotel and also the possibility of attracting new guests from a more upscale segment to their own hotel.
However, Covid-19 has hit this areaparticularly hard.
Present and ways forward
For a long time, face-to-face meetings were not possible – in any of the MICE areas. Only now, in spring 2022, is the industry starting to plan again.
Before that, many events have taken place on the Internet – this secured a certain amount of business for the companies involved in the short term, but can’t save the whole industry in the long term.
And mainly this was and is true for meetings and conferences. Exhibitions and trade shows thrive on visitors seeing and experiencing each other offline.
What will the future look like? No one can predict that with certainty. What is likely is that some of the events will remain “online,” then you can’t ignore the fact that it means less spending for the companies. It has also been shown to work quite well in some areas and will likely lead to many companies choosing to cut costs on business travel.
Another possibility – perhaps even a way out for large parts of the MICE industry – is hybrid events.
Whatever the future holds: For MICE, a strong reliance on technology is essential.
Digitalization has made extreme progress here in the last two years and will continue to do so.
Guests in the MICE industry love and need convenience and digital options. This meanst that digitalization must support and help an entire industry regain its footing here.