Business events industry (known also as MICE- meetings, incentives, conferences and Events) contributes significantly to the country's economy. Ireland in 2018 has made approx 204 million €, from incoming international business groups, incentives and events. 32 million of that was for regional Ireland.
On a global scale, the MICE industry accounts for approx 14% of all tourism activity. The revenue per year reaches 1.2 trillion US Dollars.
MICE tourists are considered higher-value travellers, as they spend fewer recourses, stay for a shorter period of time and spend much more money.
But did you know that by promoting your city or destination for business tourism you are simultaneously helping to establish it as a known leisure tourism destination?
And it is not only due to the known fact, that MICE tourists often come back as leisure tourists with family and friends. After all, they are the people who are asked for advice from their peers, as they tend to travel a lot of getting to experience new destinations.
With over tourism a huge problem, and the era of social media, it is time new destinations emerge. and become popular. But organisations and governments, wrongly invest in leisure tourism promotion, and only look to incoming business events activity (MICE), as a more expensive option to be grown at a later stage. WE DISAGREE!
1. Chartered fights.
Many governments, destination management companies, agencies and convention bureaus, are afraid to promote to corporate clients. The reason being- the lack of direct flights or big airports in their destination.
But many corporate clients and groups can charter their own fights and there are now a lot of supplier companies, specialising in this field. Reach out to such companies in your area and co-promote together. If there is an airport, there is a possibility of chartered flights.
Business tourism is more valuable to governments and private companies. They will invest more into your destination, infrastructure and services, if they see that your destination is becoming popular for business events.
As your destination grows for events, the investment will be given to allow for better infrastructure which will, in turn, benefit you as a leisure tourism destination.
2. Low seasonality problem
Many upcoming destinations are experiencing boosts of tourism activity in the summer (or winter for ski destinations), but then lower numbers thereafter. With MICE business tourism, your hotel, venue or destination can be opened for business and competitive all year around. MICE groups and events are a great way to establish a meaningful revenue stream for your destination throughout the year.
3. Value for money
Corporates are not looking for less expensive options. They are looking for good value for money. Which means the expertise, professionalism and great service is expected. However, from the developing destination (if they are choosing you and chartering a flight) they are expecting value for money. So whatever you do, make sure you can provide that. Do not brag about how "cheap" your destination is. Make sure there is an added value, interesting activities, reach foods and cultural experiences. Provide unique options. Let them choose.
4. Opportunity to learn
MICE tourists are more demanding. They are travelling for business or business-related reason, Train, learn, invest in service and up your game. once you do, the lessons will add to your general expertise, in looking after leisure tourists as well.
To end...Most of us professionals involved in the Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events industry wonder about the impact of your industry on the environment around us. From international politics to the economy to education and finishing on climate change.
But are we truly aware just how much our work affects our environment, the society, the destination, its community and its economy of course?
MICE has a huge power to transform communities. To create jobs and help struggling communities. Your decisions as MICE professionals could have a huge impact on other peoples lives and that should not be taken for granted.
THAT SHOULD BE CELEBRATED AND USED WISELY