MICE is the acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions, where each type of event can be defined as follows:
Meeting: Is a general term indicating the coming together of a number of people in one place, to confer or carry out a particular activity. Meeting planners and other meeting professionals may use the term “meeting” to denote an event booked at a hotel, convention center or any other venue dedicated to such gatherings.
Incentive: A meeting event as part of a programme which is offered to its participants to reward a previous performance.
Conference: Participatory meeting designed for discussion, fact-finding, problem solving and consultation. As compared with a congress, a conference is normally smaller in scale and more select in character – features which tend to facilitate the exchange of information. The term “conference” carries no special connotation as to frequency. Though not inherently limited in time, conferences are usually of limited duration with specific objectives.
Exhibition: Events at which products and services are displayed.
Recently, there has been an industry driven initiative to not use the ‘MICE Market’ label and instead say the ‘Meetings Industry’, which encompasses all the above. The Meetings Industry consists of a broad range of organizers, suppliers and facilities engaged in the development and delivery of meetings, conferences, exhibitions and other related events which are held in order to achieve a range of professional, business, cultural or academic objectives.
The activities of the Meetings Industry are an increasingly significant element in the future growth of the global economy, especially because meetings produce business travelers, who often spend more than leisure travelers. Additionally, the Meetings Industry is essential to the spread of knowledge and professional practices across different industries, and key in building better understanding and relations among different regions and cultures.
Specifically, the Meetings Industry is a key component of the knowledge economy, acting as a vehicle for business, professional and academic communities to achieve the interactions required to effect the knowledge transfer, collaboration and information dissemination that is the primary purpose of these events.