Post COVID-19: The MICE, the technology, and the economy
The MICE industry (which stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) is one of the strong pillars of the travel and tourism sector. The term MICE is commonly used in contexts of business travel referring to the events industry within hotels. As we are in the 21st century, the MICE Industry has become the need of the hour for every business. Every business and institution wants to manage their meetings, appointments, conferences, events, summits, and exhibitions in a well-organized manner. Moreover, individuals find a solution in the MICE industry to help them organize personal events such as engagement dinners and weddings.
How MICE Is Important to the Economy
Many refer to the Mice industry as the event industry or meeting industry nowadays. The term MICE is more accurate and used by hotel managers and professionals, however, because MICE tourism includes a group of components. This requires those who work in this industry to have experience and skills enough for a variety of travel services that serve all kinds of groups and events of whatever length and participant numbers.
What makes this industry even more important is the fact that it is intertwined with various other industries. It is a business driver for other companies that rely on the MICE industry for their wellbeing. This includes hotels, corporate meeting planners, tourism boards, travel-selling professionals, logistics firms, conference centers, transfer companies, and food & beverage managers.
In points, this is why MICE tourism is important for the economy:
- It helps revitalize the economy: for many countries, tourism is one of the main industries, for they depend on its income. And MICE is one of the important sectors of tourism.
- It reduces seasonal limitations: Conferences, meetings, and events are usually held when there are no holidays and often midweek. This gives more consistency to the tourism industry.
- It betters tourism's quality: the spending power of the MICE tourist is usually high, and most of the expenses are covered by their company which allows the tourist to spend more of their own budget on other directions.
- Creating jobs: with a huge industry like MICE, a lot of jobs are constantly created many of which are permanent.
The MICE Industry Is Ever-Changing
Planning events, large ones, in particular, is too challenging. It needs a qualified event manager to take care of everything. This means that event managers should take care of planning the event, budgeting, choosing the venue, booking, getting permits, transportation, entertainment, catering, security, and more.
The MICE industry looks much different now than it did only a few years ago. Fundamental changes are occurring in the industry, leading events and meetings to become more exciting, useful, and easy. The change did not stop, nor did it intend to! Planning events is getting easier. It is an ever-changing industry.
Event management technologies are there to help event managers organize their events efficiently. Event managers are increasingly relying more on event management technology. And by time, they will depend more and more since it helps to improve the experience of events' attendees. Technology makes the work of event managers easier which lets them pay more attention to what is more important.
For example, to choose a venue suitable for an event, the event manager has to search for hotels that meet their needs and then start contacting the hotels' list one by one. Typically, this takes time, too much time, and effort which are very needed for other tasks. However, using booking apps, for example, could make this process way easier. Such service will save the time of contacting so many hotels, repeating information, and going throw the same procedures; it will help to find the right venue, contacting as many hotels as needed as soon as possible! This technology, alongside with many other even management technologies, makes planning events much easier and effective.
Event management technology helps managers with:
- Finding the best venue: by organizing choices and personalizing the process.
- Marketing and promoting: by creating customized and automated emails for example.
- Planning budgets and tracking expenses: by building realistic event budgets, tracking expenses, calculating all costs, and evaluating event spend.
- Travel and accommodation booking: by integrating booking travel and accommodation directly into the registration process, which makes registration faster and easier.
- Processing payments: by tracking payments, automating refunds, and offering promotional pricing.
- Making events more engaging: by using check-in technology, mobile apps, and exhibition tracking.
- Evaluating the success of events: by tracking total attendance and then the attendance at specific sessions, to know which speakers and sessions are most engaging.
The Impact of Coronavirus on the MICE Industry
With the fundamental transformation, the coronavirus pandemic has brought into the world, many countries have started to consider moving on and gradually reopening now. However, the post-coronavirus world would by no means remain the same. Change is inevitable.
For hotels, cancellation of meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and events for the past few months became the new normal. Inasmuch as everything is going back to normal, the MICE industry has developed and still developing new technologies that are ought to help to adopt with the changed circumstances.
Some changes in the MICE industry in specific will affect the nature of meetings and events including where and how they are held. Venues and halls will host fewer people to maintain social distancing. Wedding venues might contain less furniture and allow fewer people, too.
Event technologies will play a crucial role in adopting the MICE industry with the post-pandemic world. Many technologies will be used more, like facial recognition technology which will be used to check attendees into the venue. Also, mobile apps will be used to display information to reduce the dependence on printed materials that could be touched by multiple people. Web apps will be used to choosing venues, booking them, and paying all remotely. Many changes will happen, and technology will be our guardian angel.