What is MICE? (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events)
Whether you’re a travel manager or an event organiser, chances are you’ve heard of the acronym MICE (or you’re brand new and are curious to learn about it!). With close ties to the business travel industry, MICE focuses on the organization, coordination and participation of attendees for business events and conferences.
In this piece we’ll be reviewing all facets of MICE, exploring its size on a global scale, alongside the main challenges of this ever-expanding industry.
What is MICE?
MICE stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions. It’s about businesses that are responsible for organizing meetings, conferences, large-scale exhibitions, and incentive-driven initiatives.
While elements of leisure travel are often incorporated into the business of MICE, the MICE industry often makes up a large component of global business travel initiatives, meetings and events. MICE markets are analyzed and divided in order to understand the industry as a whole, in addition to its regional trends.
Let’s dive a little bit more into each of the four different types of events that make up the MICE sector: Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions.
Held primarily in hotel conference rooms or event centers, meetings are often one-off or single day events that encourage working professionals and stakeholders to come together.
The meetings industry aims to create a day for knowledge sharing, team building and goal setting, as well as resolving conflict and tackling business or industry-specific challenges.
Incentives are rewards or recognition meant to honor members of an organization, company, or even VIP clients of the business, as a way to demonstrate thanks or appreciation for a job well done. Incentive travel can also be awarded to recipients in order to boost morale and increase employee loyalty between an organization and their individual staff, teams of people, or company partners.
While primarily rooted in leisure, Incentives often involve business group tourism, including accommodation, transportation, company dining opportunities, and excursions, as part of the complete incentive package.
Similar to meetings, a conference gathers professionals united over a common interest or topic and amplifies it. Often spanning multiple days, conferences usually contain a large group of people in attendance and are typically held at an events center or convention center.
It can be an extensive corporate event for a specific company or organization, multiple organizations, or even extend to include the general public.
Conferences frequently include keynote speakers, alongside talks, seminars and workshops presented by knowledge experts and guest speakers that participants can join. The purpose of conferences is to expand industry knowledge, network with like-minded individuals and engage with the topics at hand.
Finally, there are exhibitions. Massive in scale and known for their extensive planning efforts, exhibitions are typically held within convention centers or arenas. They bring together either a single company or multiple organizations to showcase and promote key products and services to members of the public.
Alternatively known as trade shows, exhibitions are often hyper-focused, concentrating on one particular niche or industry. Many exhibitions feature keynote speakers, knowledge experts and other exhibitors from within the given niche industry, giving talks and providing demos of products.
Exhibitions can either be business to business (B2B) in nature or business to consumer (B2C), meaning businesses selling to other businesses or businesses selling to customers or members of the public. Exhibitions are particularly popular within the pharmaceutical, beauty and tech industries.
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How big is the MICE industry?
In 2021, the global MICE industry was valued at $658.5 billion US. The rapid growth of MICE around the world is primarily related to improved infrastructure, enhanced tourism thanks to the growth and expansion of businesses stretching across borders, as well as positive economic growth and trends.
What are the main challenges of the MICE industry?
Below, we’ve included a few of the primary challenges that face the MICE industry, including venue and event location, business traveler spend as well as sudden itinerary and schedule changes as per the demands of presenting events of all sizes.
Expense travel management
On average, business travelers that attend MICE events spend over 65% of their income on hotel rooms and hotel dining and another 10% on local transportation.
With so many travel-related expenses for companies, not only will you need to focus on tracking employees’ travel spend, but also ensuring your company’s travel spend policies are followed for employees who embark on MICE travel.
TravelPerk’s business travel software offers integrations with your existing expense management systems, helping you to achieve a bird’s eye view of all your business travel expenses.
With all of your company’s business travel invoices consolidated into one centralized dashboard, TravelPerk saves you valuable time.
Start saving money on business travel for your company today!
Lack of travel inventory
Attendees to MICE-related initiatives are more conscious than ever about the destination of their desired conference. In fact, one recent study found that 70% of attendees noted the event venue as a determining factor in deciding to attend.
MICE organizers will need to cater not only to the needs of attendees and professionals attending the event, but also the travel experience that emerges as part of the experience.
Modern travel management companies such as TravelPerk help to address this problem by offering travel managers and event planners expansive travel inventories.
By using TravelPerk, MICE organizers gain access to the largest worldwide inventory of flights, hotels, trains, and car rentals. The options are endless in helping your business travelers get from point A to point B. for any meeting, conference, exhibition or incentive-inspired trip.
Lack of flexibility in the face of the unexpected
The MICE industry is subject to sudden change. Shifting schedules, meeting times and conference dates means employees need to be on their toes should their business travel plans fall through or shift suddenly.
TravelPerk’s software allows you to cancel or modify any booking up to 2 hours before departure and receive up to 80% back in TravelPerk credits for your employees’ next business trip.
Make MICE work for you
Travel managers and event planners alike are able to overcome the challenges of the MICE industry with TravelPerk. Find out how the world’s largest business travel platform can help you successfully facilitate employee booking and travel for meetings, incentive-driven trips, conferences and exhibitions.