MICE is used to refer to a particular type of tourism in which large groups planned usually well in advance are brought together for some particular purpose. Many companies are finding that holding marketing events such as conventions and exhibitions can be a more cost-effective form of advertising and getting to know their customer base. Further, successful marketing events can garner clients and sales, generating some revenue for the company in addition to advertising the company and company products.
MICE is an advanced branch of tourism involving vigorous economic activities and hence, plays a significant role in the tourism economy of a destination.
MICE tourism, the new buzzword in international tourism markets, is an acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences/Conventions, and Exhibitions. It is a specific form of business tourism that relates to the activities of groups of business persons travelling for business purposes rather than individual business travelers and represents a multi-million dollar segment of tourism worldwide.
Meetings are events planned fairly in advance to bring business travellers together on a specific date for the purpose of exchanging information, either between people from one company or organization, or between people from different establishments. Some of the events that would comply with the World Trade Organization’s definition of ‘meeting’ include
- Product launches
- Cocktail functions
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings
- Special occasions such as weddings.
- Fashion shows
- Movie promotion
Incentives involve travel to foreign countries or domestic destinations as part of a motivational or incentive scheme to enhance or reward employee efforts. Mostly consumer goods, automobile and electronics companies use incentive travel, i.e. vacations with the family, to reward dealers and drive dealer sales.
Conferences or conventions are generally described as multi-day events attended by at least a hundred delegates for the purpose of exchanging business information. If 40% or more of the delegates come from outside the host country, the event would be termed as an international conference or convention. The difference between meetings and conferences lies in, both, the number of people attending and the duration of the event.
Exhibitions OR Events involve the drawing together of corporate leaders and business-minded people for the purposes of viewing products and services of different enterprises and business groups.
Most components of MICE are well understood, perhaps with the exception of Incentives. Incentive tourism is usually undertaken as a type of employee reward by an company or institution for targets met or exceeded, or a job well done. Unlike the other types of MICE tourism, Incentive tourism is usually conducted purely for entertainment, rather than professional or educational purposes.
The importance of the MICE industry lies in the fact that it converts the annual business meetings and conferences into a glamorous and enjoyable event for the delegates and attendants. Be it a meeting to bring people together either from within one company or from a broader spectrum or an international conference of 100 delegates or product launch party or exhibition, MICE tourism finds itself being inevitable in all the occasions.