When it comes to tourism, M.I.C.E stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions. The market of MICE basically refers to the specialized niche of group tourism that is dedicated to booking, planning, and facilitating seminars, conferences, and some events that are big moneymakers in the industry of tourism.
However, in recent years, MICE has been slowly falling out of favor for the reason that industry professionals hope to move away from being affiliated with rodents. But, many refer to it as events industry or meetings industry in tourism.
Using MICE to refer to this industry is actually useful as it encompasses each component of a certain travel market. Whether you want to organize a group outing for the employees of your company or you like to organize a huge event that will focus on the newest innovations in your field, MICE agents can assist you with booking your itineraries.
Components of MICE
Generally, MICE travel involves some components as well as agents working in this field should give a range of conference and travel services for small and large groups and events of longer and shorter duration.
Businesses and personnel involved in MICE market include meeting planners, convention and meetings departments of hotels, cruise ships or conference centers, logistics firms, food and beverage managers, transfer companies and private tour operators, professional trade organizations, incentive houses, travel-selling professionals, tourism trade associations, and tourism boards.
Due to the involved planning and organization, usually, years in advance, most MICE travel agencies are affiliated with big corporations. More often than not, the destinations market themselves as MICE locations as well as bid for the events through their visitor and convention bureaus. They can offer subsidies to attract huge events due to increased revenues the visitors offer through their economic impact on host location.
Types of MICE Travel You Should Know
In terms of understanding which kind of MICE travel you will be booking through your agent, it is essential to know the various terms that comprise MICE. While conference and meeting travel may sound a bit similar, the differences between them are important when explaining your requirements to your agent.
According to International Association of Professional Congress Organizers, a meeting is any number of individuals coming together in a venue for a certain activity. It can be a recurring or one-time event. In simple words, meeting travel is organizing any number of individuals for such meetings, which means it might also include company sporting trips.
On contrary, conferences are similar to the meeting in that these are a gathering of people in a place. However, conferences typically have exchanges of information and particular objectives. Thus, conference travel also involves organizing meetings, itineraries, and events for individuals from the same field or profession.
Incentive travel can be a difficult component of MICE travel to understand. The reason behind it is that it does not deal with the group events. But rather, incentive travel is usually provided to employees as rewards. Usually, incentive travel does not have an explicit educational or business component. But rather, it’s more of a non-business vacation with the goal of continued motivation when it comes to performance.
Services or products are displayed at an exhibition and they could be the event’s main focus, which means that exhibition travel agents are the ones who organize showcases. Oftentimes, exhibitions are included in some meetings and conferences, which means that there’s an overlap between agents in such industries. Businesses basically court new clients and launch their newest offerings at such events.
The Increasing Demand for MICE
From the past several years, the demand for MICE is increasing as business travel continues to rise with the increase of size and number of corporate events and meetings. It has made a huge opportunity to expand tourism services for corporate world that’s advantageous to event planners, event spaces, and hotels and also business gifts.
In addition to that, corporate travelers choose MICE tours to promote businesses, which are a great combination of sightseeing relaxation and business activity. The industry of MICE has been gaining significance over the past several years since travel agents and meeting planners are organizing corporate incentive travel programs to reward employees for reaching particular targets.
MICE industry has also shown a huge growth by 15 percent to 20 percent during the last five years along with foreign exchange and created employment for the country. Moreover, the rapid innovation when it comes to advanced technologies such social media platforms, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and ad hoc apps have gained a big interest across the events and meeting industry that’s supplementing the market growth. But, one of the challenging things in this sector is maintaining service standards in accordance to tourism industry’s intense competition.
Europe Will Dominate the MICE Market Worldwide
Europe is said to account for the biggest share of the worldwide MICE market over the forecast period. Demands for events and meetings have shown a particular growth while a lot of businesses from European region being more attracted to MICE tourism industry through highly spending on it as well as with the increasing trends of social networking platforms.
For instance, the spending of the European companies increased by 1.8 percent followed by South and Central America, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France are among the preferred tourism places. All of these have spent about $208.18B in year 2016, which increased by 6.3 percent from 2015. The national tourism organizations in Asian countries take initiatives in organizing this kind of tourism, which lifted MICE industry to a whole new level.
The Bottom Line
MICE in tourism is a fast-paced business, which involves an exquisite client management that’s reward and the results can be seen right away. Also, it provides great opportunities to connect with some sectors including pharmaceutical, financial, automobile, medical, insurance, and so much more. It enables expanding one’s level of knowledge and keeping you updated with the market’s latest trends to cater to such particular clients.
MICE businesses are here to stay and these are also making new ways of travelling like leisure, which is a combination of leisure and business that provides higher revenues and impact for the destinations.