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With the year-end recess a distant memory – pundits are predicting a rocky 2017. Not that 2016 could be regarded as a whole lot of fun.  Yet taking stock of some interesting MICE developments in the latter half of 2016 – it may be worthy for the event planning fraternity to take stock going forward. The other Michael Jackson has cautioned the MICE industry in all it’s guises to think big, think differently and attempt to break out of the 2016 rut and blaze a new trail.

With these words in mind – the pointers below should be considered in your new year plans.

Swing to Outside Caterers

In the Gauteng area in particular – there was a 30% change to hiring an outside caterer for personnel gatherings rather than a swanky venue with all the bells and whistles. Both office boardrooms and open plan environments were swiftly converted to accommodate not only internal staffers at all levels but also a variety of clients and dealers. Whether budgetary constraints or venues high pricing structures are the reasons – the writing may be on the wall to re-think preferred venues this year.

Concerns of Alcohol Abuse

Too much imbibing was clearly not confined to the beaches, motorists or various sports gatherings.

The MICE industry had its fair share of embarrassing moments with management seriously considering alcohol-free celebratory gatherings of every kind in the future. Three legal proceedings alone have commenced which has drawn a line in the sand as far as the decision-makers are concerned.

 More Proactive Events On the Rise

Several industry players have noted the slow death of the reactive meeting structure in favour of team-builds and adventure undertakings. At last planners are realising that sitting for hours without any monitoring as to whether the spoken word – with a range of visuals – has been absorbed are indeed on the decrease. Importantly this is not for amateurs to implement – team-builds and adventure sessions require known professionals to undertake.

Professional Planner Standards (PPS) Launched this Month

After three years of industry inputs from corporate buyers to various high-powered suppliers & services as well as independent planners to the industry – the 2017 Planner Standard will be launched during the week of the 9th of January. The crux going forward will be the ongoing PPS implementation via a variety of HR, Marketing and PR management.  Check www.plannerstandards.com for all the information.

2017 & You

With these noticeable MICE industry shifts – here are some tips to consider before leaping-out into the great unknown:

  1. Read the venue’s contractual fine print carefully
  2. If alcohol is to be served – seriously tight controls need to be imposed
  3. Be mindful of ensuring any form of participatory inclusion is well-planned with professionals.
  4. Be well-informed of the easy steps and benefits with the Professional Planner Standards.

Make it a successful 2017.