We live in a country that has a limited MICE attendee capacity in comparison to Europe, the Americas or Australasia. It is highly unlikely that a consumer show or general private sector conference will attract vast crowds as the targeted sector whether national or international as a long-haul destination will be even close to the capacities that can be achieved in Europe.
So it stands to reason that MICE planners whether conference or exhibition in particular that are seeking a good turn-out need to plan dates carefully. Besides some member associations that have an annual gathering loyalty base being aware of possible clashes with similar participant/visitor demographics needs to be the number one priority.
Several incidences have taken place over the last four months that target the same or similar sectors with dates booked no more than weeks apart from each other.
The unfortunate part is that the more professional planner has forward booked their MICE dates about one year in advance. Although pre-planning may win the attention of the potential attendee / visitor, the bottom-line is that the market becomes confused and in many instances could make the decision not to attend either undertaking.
Member associations should play a major role when such instances occur. Not necessarily by taking sides as to who is right or wrong but rather in showing interest for the sake of the entire MICE industry in facilitating a hearing in which both parties can put forward their particular reasoning.
Surely in this manner one could find some common ground in which to assess the way forward an avoid future unnecessary conflict.
Whether buyer or supplier there is a role for each stakeholder to play in the big picture.
For at the end of the day if these close dates to similar MICE undertakings continues without addressing the issue in some amiable way or another the MICE industry will continue to foster nothing but losers. For in these circumstances there are no winners.