We in the MICE industry are very aware that in our world of information overload – getting the message across at a MICE gathering is paramount. High message retention both during and following any event especially in the business world is essential and constantly pursued.
That is one of the main reasons the expertise of staging and production techniques come to the fore. At times certainly one could comfortably add – at exorbitant costs. Admittedly the industry end-users are not aware of the amount of time, equipment, transportation, insurance, storage and set-up/break-down expenses that accompanies each and every-one of these staging ‘gigs’.
The prominent staging companies are made-up of individuals who started their careers mainly in the darkened recesses back-stage within many of the nation’s theatres. And let’s face it, MICE gatherings and those who attend want to be entertained just as much as those that are part of a passive theatre audience. Hence the similarities and indeed reason for a burgeoning staging production industry within the MICE industry has grown and prospered.
Besides entertaining concerts such as Andre Rieu and his globe-trotting orchestra there are some important differences between theatre (musical and otherwise) and MICE gatherings. One in particular is the essential participation within a MICE audience which is not inherent within theatre.
Staging companies view the stage as the prime focal point and indeed this is the case. However presenters and panellists need to engage with the delegates / attendees and/or participants. Hence it is essential to ensure there are lights – albeit dimmed – which allows those on the platform to effectively interact with those in the audience.
So this is a plea to all those eminent staging and production companies out there. Please let the audience be seen in order to ensure the presenters/panellists know who they are talking to and in particular allow the chairperson/facilitator the ability to see who is wanting to ask a question in a properly formatted manner. Do not assume any cover-up in this manner if there is a less than expected attendance will work. MICE people are quite bright.
Failure to heed the needs of the MICE industry in this regard can prove exceptionally irritating and leave the audience dissatisfied and being talked at rather than being talked to.