By Gary Bender, co-founder Get Global
Over the last six months, with the British European Union exit, the US Presidential election result and the resurgence of global terrorism, there would be an expectation that tourism and the global meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry would be experiencing a downturn.
However, it is testament to the professionalism of the MICE industry that confidence has been maintained and in some sectors, grown.
The industry has also proven to have a desire for new, and innovative trade events, to deliver a more business focussed event in a condensed format. With today’s busy and competitive work environments, multiple and frequent days away from the office to attend trade shows and exhibitions are not viable. Interest in MICE trade events like the inaugural Get Global, have demonstrated confidence and desire for practitioners to continue to increase their knowledge, establish and nurture contacts and also maintain and increase travel for MICE in 2017.
More so now, than throughout my 20+ years in the MICE industry, I am seeing Australian buyers embrace international destinations for their MICE needs. Buyers and sellers are looking to maximise their time out of the office, so intense, one-day trade events allow both groups to liaise with senior decision makers and learn about the latest product offerings from hotels, airlines, destinations and experiences.
Confidence and growth in MICE travel is also likely to follow global tourism trends for 2017. There will more of a focus on experiences that attendees can embrace and share via social media. Food, views and unusual experiences will dominate social media and MICE buyers will be looking to sellers to demonstrate how they can deliver this for their attendees.
Global challenges have affected the way that we all look at the world. However, I believe buyers are also looking to demonstrate how their events and experiences, not only do not have a negative impact on the environment but, leave a lasting positive legacy. Sustainable and responsible travel will be key in 2017-2018 as attendees look to MICE to not have a social or environmental impact.
I am encouraging all professionals to keep an open mind for their MICE needs in 2017 and beyond. Focus on trade events where you can have real conversations, with real decision makers.