MICE, new formats to rewrite history
Amid global travel restrictions, social distancing protocols and mass gathering bans, the segment has been forced to adapt
Before the virus outbreak and the subsequent introduction of travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines, the MICE segment presented a promising growth path for emerging markets seeking to diversify their tourism offering.
MICE events traditionally provide an opportunity for emerging markets to showcase their facilities, infrastructure and offering not only to visitors, but also to the wider business community and the world at large.
World Summits During a Pandemic
Some major events have been postponed until after Covid-19 ceases, including the UN climate change summit, COP26, which was intended to serve as a deadline for countries to meet emission reduction commitments. under the Paris agreement.
Initially planned for October, the event was rescheduled for November 2021 to allow countries to focus their resources on the current health crisis.
However, with much of the world's workforce shifting to the digital sphere, some government and multilateral bodies have moved key summits online.
Recent major virtual events include the extraordinary G20 Leaders Summit in March, chaired by Saudi Arabia, with the aim of coordinating Covid-19 response strategies.
Future of the MICE segment
As with most adaptations related to Covid-19, it remains to be seen whether the changes in the MICE segment will remain once the threat to health has subsided.
A quick turn to online platforms can virtually bridge some of the interactive gaps caused by restrictions on massive congregations, and therefore should help soften the Covid-19 hit in the MICE segment.
Looking ahead, early signs of an appetite for a return to traditional events, with the opportunity to network in person and an atmosphere that is difficult to replicate online, may reassure industry players about the prospects for recovery to As restrictions related to Covid-19 are eased.
Are virtual events here to stay?
Regardless of the appeal of traditional events, a virtual strategy allows exhibitors and speakers to use cost-effective means to reach a wider audience without the need for participants to travel.
This could mean a wider range of events offering a remote assistance option in the future, particularly as the world's population becomes more familiar with online communications software, live streaming technologies, and cost-saving aspects. of remote meetings.
This can provide a cushion against Covid-19-related cancellations in the medium term, as some countries may need to reaffirm restrictions during the recovery period. Additionally, these options can be monetized and therefore also offer an additional revenue stream to assist event industry players in their recovery efforts.
To some extent, a combined approach could allow emerging markets to use technology effectively to showcase their facilities, infrastructure and unique offering to a wider audience, and help further raise their profile on the global economic stage.
It should be noted that the majority of MICE specialists believe that face-to-face events are more effective in meeting business objectives. Therefore, it is presumed that once the pandemic is controlled in the main destinations or protocols are applied, a slow but active recovery could be seen that logically would be accentuated quickly with the massive application of vacumas at a global level.
It is important to highlight the expectations of executives when planning events in the new context, we share below some highlights when planning events:
- The importance of the safety and hygiene protocols implemented by the various suppliers involved in the travel organization chain. And the communication of the same to transmit security to the passenger.
- The relevance that the situation of citizens stranded in other countries took on, and that promoted awareness of the need to have travel assistance coverage. A service that prior to Covid 19 was considered complementary and that today is one of the most requested when thinking about a trip.
- The importance of new technologies that provide the businessman with detailed information at all times, with the addition of being a service that prevents contact and therefore lowers the risks of contagion of the virus.
- The relevance and significant role of the travel agent in a scenario of uncertainty and new regulations that require greater restraint to the passenger when organizing a trip.