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The MICE industry is growing at an astounding rate – according to Allied Market Research, globally, MICE is expected to become a US$1.245 trillion industry by 2023; within the LAMEA (Latin America-Middle East-Africa) region, this number is expected to climb, with the industry growing the fastest in Asia-Pacific. We look at the trends will be in 2019 for each pillar of MICE.

Meetings

Board meetings, formal results announcements, AGMs and strategy sessions with lengthy presentations are generally associated with being a dull, tedious affair but there are means and ways to ensure that these are not a major drag for your attendees. While meetings can be understood as also encompassing conventions and conferences, the latter are on a much larger scale.

Meetings might run over a full day or even two with an agenda being key in determining the requirements. Location is everything for your delegates and with a growing emphasis on family values, getaway destination meetings, while exciting, might mean lengthy travel and time away from responsibilities at home, which could be challenging for some. However, finding somewhere easy and central for people to get to that offers a comfortable but alternative space to the regular humdrum of the office is also important.

Incentives

Getaways and giveaways are all wonderful incentives to consider for your staff and clients but require a significant outlay. And, in order for an incentive to be considered successful, it needs to be impactful and well thought out.

Setting clear objectives for your incentive in terms of what you are hoping to achieve, identifying what your messaging needs to look like and establishing how to incorporate that with how you are hoping to incentivise your audiences will ensure greater impact.

From distilling your own gin to spa days, identifying enriching incentives that are more tailored to individual tastes and preferences and provide a different level of engagement between our target audiences is becoming increasingly popular. Incentives also have to be offered with a degree of caution as people are generally wary and question the motive behind why they are somehow being incentivised.

Conferences

Ease of access and processes are amongst the most confounding aspects of attending a large-scale conference. For this reason, organisation and resources are more crucial than ever for ensuring your conference runs smoothly. Understanding the attendee’s journey as the end-user is vital for building the checklist for your event requirements; from parking, to your registration desk and ablutions, absolutely everything needs to be in place to cope with an influx of swathes of people. Once delegates have to start queuing for bathrooms and there is a bottleneck at the tea and coffee station or not enough food, it will reflect negatively on planning, which will not endear you to your audiences and this could detract from how you engage with them. A smaller but well-run conference will ensure better success than a really large, poorly planned one.

Exhibitions

Exhibitions are becoming more elaborate than ever with the aim of delivering the best sales pitch possible using a series of sensory elements for a high-impact engagement.

With the catalogue of exhibitors typically found at each exhibition, stands are put together using various materials – digital and environmentally friendly means of providing graphics are becoming increasingly popular along with a growing emphasis on sustainability. Incorporating innovative and appealing elements such as furniture, lighting and decor or even novel gimmicks such as VR tours of your product or service is giving exhibitors more of an edge.

The ‘confex’ model is also still finding its feet, with most big industry-focused conferences in particular now incorporating an exhibition aspect and, conversely, trade or industry exhibitions also commonly featuring panel sessions and speaker presentations.