Written by: Galina Kulakova
Meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions/events. If you are from tourism world, we’re sure that you know what MICE stands for. MICE tourism has been an essential part of business tourism for decades, and its share in the economy of the world is growing each year. To attract quality MICE tourism leads and then nurture them with your Hotel CRM Software , you need to know the specifics of the MICE market. In this article you will find some tips that will help you attract MICE tourism and boost your hotel’s revenues with events.
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If you are still considering expanding your services to the market of MICE tourism, the following facts are for you:
The cuts of MICE spending in the years of the economic crisis surely affected the industry, but now the times are changing and MICE industry is in the rise once again. More and more countries are investing in MICE, planning to spend more to host the events and conferences outside of the country, and promoting the destinations for hosting events of different scale. According to American Express, overall MICE spending of Europe is increasing the most, comparing to Central and South America, and it will reach the growth rates of North America.
It happens due to the fact that most of expenses of MICE travelers are covered by their company, whereas leisure travelers usually pay for themselves. Even if the company only covers some costs, such as transportation and accommodation, MICE travelers still have a higher spending power, as they did not have to spend their budget on the most expensive elements of the journey.
UNWTO and IPK International reported that in 2014, the share of MICE within business travel was estimated at 54%. Traditional business tourism is undergoing changes stimulated by the development of the technology that allows holding meetings via video conferences. MICE tourism, on the other hand, is only increasing in demand.
Some hotels attract business and MICE travelers simply with its location, but often hotels need a much more sophisticated marketing plan to succeed on the MICE arena. Below we present 4 best practices for your hotel to become effective with MICE.
In order to design a powerful marketing strategy to attract MICE tourism clients, there are a few things you should consider. Start with defining your market and answering such questions as “What facilities do we have to offer?” and “What needs of MICE travelers can we satisfy best?”. This is the stage where you should get a clear understanding of what value you have to offer and what clients can appreciate this value the most.
Maybe, your hotel has a strategic location that will be in demand for a specific event. Or maybe, your facilities stand out, such as a spacious plenary session hall that can accommodate a big number of participants. Many hotels make their ballroom double also as plenary session halls.
There are quite a few points that MICE clients look at when considering a venue for their event. Here is the list of the 8 most important ones:
|1. Accommodating facilities||
|2. Location of the venue||
|3. Technical equipment for events||
|5. Security of the participants||
|8. Hotel’s policies||
When defining your market, you should consider the level of the development and popularity of MICE in different countries. Some countries invest more in MICE than others, and this information is crucial for targeting the best audience and planning an effective marketing campaign.
Global Business Travel Association made a research where they showed the most promising European source markets for MICE by analyzing the growth rate (2017). Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy represent 70% of the European business travel market. Germany and the UK seem to be the two most promising markets.
|MICE GROWTH RATE, 2017|
|GERMANY - 9,5%||UNITED KINGDOM - 8,9%||FRANCE - 6,1%||SPAIN - 7,9%||ITALY - 4,4%|
What are the most popular MICE destinations in Europe?
When looking at the most attractive destinations for MICE tourism, Europe is the preferred region for European MICE clients due to its proximity and visa policies. The most popular MICE destinations are Germany, Spain and the UK.
Now that you know what audience to target and what you have to offer to this audience, it’s time to act and to spread the word about your magnificent venue for MICE tourism.
Creating a unique landing page will help you demonstrate the facilities and services you offer to the market in a clear way. Some hotels even create the whole new websites for the specific services they offer. Why you might ask? Simply because the positioning of the hotel for MICE tourism can differ quite greatly from the positioning of the hotel on a market of leisure travel. While the general brand would stay untouched, you might want to change the structure of the website, the composition and presentation of the content so that your MICE landing page (or MICE website) would be more appealing to online visitors.
When creating your strategy, make sure to create long lasting connections, as it is crucial for MICE sector. MICE is a regular activity, so if you manage to ‘wow’ your client, you can expect repeat customers. Furthermore, in MICE industry, word-of-mouth is a very strong communication channel, and your happy customers would most certainly promote and recommend you to their fellow colleagues. Create a reputation of a rock-star MICE venue and you will see new clients coming to you. Remember that MICE clients want unique experiences that demonstrate good value for money, and for European MICE clients, value for money is more important than price.
The last but not least, the Government can be an important ally for your hotel. MICE tourism is quite beneficial for the economy of a country and for tourism sector in particular, as it is normally a non-seasonal activity and thus it has the potential to stimulate the tourism industry. Check the regional and national governmental policies regarding MICE, you can find some associations that work to promote the destinations that you might want to join. Maybe you will find some subsidies that your Government offers to enterprises operating in MICE industry.
MICE tourism is a business area with a great potential, and it is rising once again. Don’t miss your chance to expand your services and to attract this sector to your hotel. We hope that this post will help you get started with your MICE marketing strategy. Good luck!