Major trend that is shaping the events industry, and MICE in particular this year, is influencer marketing. We know it from other industries – leisure travel, food, fashion, parenting etc. As much as there are many similarities with other industries, MICE sector works differently with influencers and has different set of expectations.
The product or service in the MICE industry is more complex, as well as the decision making process. In general, in the B2C sector influencers are tasked to promote a product for £20, or £200 or so, and the price sensitivity is lower. In the MICE industry, on the other hand, the sales funnel is longer because the product is more complex, more expensive and the decision making process is longer. An influencer who is tasked to to promote a MICE destination, for example, can contribute to the overall economy both directly and indirectly.
I graduated from Regent’s University London with BA International Events Management end of 2014 and it’s incredible to think how many things have changed in the event business environment within this short period of time! Brexit, security, GDPR, VR, AI and social influencers are just few of the topics we barely covered during our degree but now are instrumental to our daily jobs.
Seeing the fast development in the skills set required by event managers today, universities won’t be able to cope with such speed to equip students with latest trends to kick start their career in the events industry. They give a solid foundation to start with, but this has to be reinforced with extra curriculum activities to stay competitive and be employable.
Business travel differentiates itself from leisure travel because it offers the delegates a unique experience they won’t get elsewhere. The delegates will have the opportunity to visit exclusive venues, meet local key figures in economy, sports or entertainment and have VIP experiences at the destination. Many travellers might not not even consider travelling to a certain destination for leisure, but after they visit for business and have this exclusive experience they are likely to come back for leisure.
The recent Meeting Trophy event organised by the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau demonstrated how Switzerland can help planners achieve their event objectives and what Switzerland has to offer for MICE. The Meeting Trophy event now was in its 13th year and is a well tested and established concept that encompasses all the elements of a successful event: planners visit multiple Swiss MICE destinations and discover unique opportunities for corporate events, learn about key economic sectors, get insights into Swiss history, culture and traditions.
On 3rd July 2017 I co-hosted #EventPlannersTalk Twitter chat with Johnny Martinez, Head of Marketing & Business Development at Shocklogic about the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation concerns data protection of individuals within the EU and its export outside the EU and will apply to all industries. As many industries, event sector also heavily relies on data – collection, processing and sharing it with the various stakeholders, so by the time this regulation comes into force on 25 May 2018, event businesses should be ready to implement any necessary changes to their data handling. Unfortunately, there is still very little information and training available in our industry, so the aim of the chat was to find out what implications it will have on our business.
Shocklogic provides online event management technology solutions and services to companies across different industries, supporting organisers who manage events of 50 – 50,000 participants. Their range of different products, including registration, programme and membership management, mobile apps, online accommodation managements, online registration, polling and others, require them to be on top of all latest regulations to both implement into their day-to-day business but also to educate their clients.
From 29 June until 2 July 2017 I was in Switzerland for the Meeting Trophy event organised by the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau. In its 13th edition now, the yearly Meeting Trophy brings together international event professionals to compete in a series of tasks. These include both knowledge questions and sports activities with the aim of getting to know the different MICE destinations, as well as Switzerland’s history, traditions and culture.
This year, the event focused on the Eastern part of Switzerland, including Schaffhausen, St. Gallen, Flims – Laax – Falera and Zurich. Total of 8 teams and around 90 participants took part to compete for the coveted trophy. The teams were from North America, Belgium, Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Nordic Countries, Russia and my team, Germany.
Looking at the programme I knew some of the destinations because I lived in Switzerland for five years. And some locations I even visited myself. But I didn’t let it destruct my excitement and was open to new experiences. Luckily the organisers didn’t reveal the entire programme upfront and there were several surprises to expect!