The resistance to the collective word known as ‘MICE’ for the meetings.incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry is being rapidly whittled away.  The reason for acceptance is quite simply that MICE – as a descriptive word – is not limiting for the extensive types of specific planning.

Yet the birth of the MICE acronym has not been an easy one with the labour pains going over a protracted period of time.

The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) wanted to stamp out the term and designated ‘Meetings Industry’ as the title for all non-profit assemblies.  Why specifically ‘non-profit’ is not explained. Similarly senior editorial personnel were told not to use the word ‘MICE’ only to find that readers could not associate with the word ‘meetings’ as their interpretation of meetings is a few folk in a boardroom with a minute-taker to record the spoken word within a certain traditional and legal format.

Hence in the West, countries were slow to catch-on to the acronym  ‘MICE’ while in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East the word ‘MICE’ catapulted into such prominence that today it is virtually the only term to explain the collective events industry.

In South Africa the MICE Club – which commenced in early 2000 and – developed into The MICE Academy was virtually an unknown term.

Since those heady and indeed confused days – the word MICE has taken it’s rightful place amongst all manner and means of sectors involved within the collective gathering genre.

On the supplier and service side there are MICE departments/sections in: travel, car-hire, tour-operators as well as venues.   On the buyer/end-user side – procurement, marketing & PR sections are more than familiar with the term MICE to explain every conceivable type of event.

It certainly makes sense to be able to package-up all collective gathering interests into one nice, neat syllable and no one gets left out.

Associations are also recognising the word MICE – a good example is at SITE’s annual Orlando USA conference in December – a new slogan was announced: ‘ SITE, the association that represents the ‘I’ in MICE’.

The worldwide conclusion is that MICE is here to stay. Rather than question or try to change the acronym – let’s embrace this very descriptive word to explain a complex industry together with the many differing types of planning profiles.  MICE it is.