As An Exhibitor, What Makes A MICE Event Worth Your Time?
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked new challenges for the global business events sector.
For a sector that was heavily dependent on physical interaction, the onset of the pandemic spurred the need for innovation and evolution. To remain at the top of mind and ready businesses for the new normal, industry brands and players had to adopt a growth mindset, accommodate multi-channel approaches and encourage remote participation while leveraging on technology.
Thus in this climate, sustaining business connections, advancing know-how as a community and strengthening networks have become more important than ever. That is where MICE events continue to play a vital role in bringing the industry of business events destinations, suppliers and buyers together. Here’s what to look out for when choosing a MICE event to attend.
MICE Trade Shows vs Travel Trade Shows
Travel trade shows are plenty but those that focus on MICE business events are few as such niche shows dedicate and distinct themselves from their general counterparts.
Niche MICE events understand the business events eco-system and cater to destinations bureaus and suppliers that have identified Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Conferences as well as Exhibitions, Expos and Events as a core growth segment for their business. Often, these organisations carve out separate revenue KPIs and employ professionals who specialise in handling MICE clients and their requirements.
For destinations and suppliers serious about jumping on to the MICE bandwagon, this distinction of niche MICE trade events is important because it will impact 2 evaluation factors for you as an exhibitor. First, the quality of MICE-centric buyers that the show organisers target to invite and procure, will determine the quality of relevant leads you generate from your participation. You want to pick an event that can validate and reach top MICE buyers from around the world. Next, if your competitor is already there, you probably wouldn’t want to miss out.
Are The Top Destinations And Brands In The MICE industry There?
Leading MICE business events destinations and brands are likely to spread their participation exposure across more than 1 event, choosing those that best deliver on their buyer profile and return on investment.
As a first step, identify the event’s strength and track-record in attracting certain geographic or industry representation of exhibitors and buyers. This will enable you to decide if your business is aligned with the same objectives.
Another transparent indicator is researching if your competition has a presence at the show. Ask the organisers for a list of their past and prospective exhibitors. Most destinations and brands wanting to stay ahead in their competitive league would secure a space at the show to present their best offerings and ensure they do not miss out being seen where their competition is.
What Does The Attending Buying Profile Look Like?
An event’s attending buying profile is an indicator of the business and lead prospects you can expect to achieve from your participation, and should thus be one of the most important criteria in your evaluation.
Buyers come from a range of different sectors, all with a common goal in mind. To seek suppliers who can support and partner them in meeting their portfolio of client needs and demands.
The different MICE buying sectors can include meeting and event planners, incentive / motivation houses, professional conference organisers, travel management companies, travel agents handling MICE events, destination management companies, international associations, corporate companies with incentive programmes, and more.
Look out for events that have a strong focus and track record in consistently delivering a procurement profile that is both relevant and dynamic year after year:
- A variety of MICE sub-segments as described above;
- Global and regional Associations with convention and congress requirements for their professional members;
- Corporations (Corporates end-users) that procure business events and corporate travel services on behalf of their organisations.
Asia’s leading MICE and Corporate Travel event IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific regularly shares their growing list of confirmed buyers with insights on their participation motivations.
With business and lead generation being a core objective for exhibitors, event organisers often place emphasis on achieving this through meeting optimisation opportunities.
IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific’s 2021 virtual event for example offers 3 ways to optimise business meetings potential during their 3 business focused event days:
(1) Mutual request Scheduled Meet (SM) slots that exhibitors and buyers can arrange prior to the start of the event, with the meetings themselves only taking place during the show days. This year, the show has offered up to 24, plus 12 new bonus optional SM slots at timings that enhance meeting opportunities with delegates outside the Asia-Pacific region.
(2) Unlimited Walk-in Meets (WM), for maximum lead generation throughout the event.
(3) Anytime Meeting Hub access for exhibitors and buyers to connect outside the exhibition area, made possible by OnAIR by EventsAIR’s virtual platform.
With flexibility and convenience being both a boon and bane for virtual events since delegates can attend from anywhere they are at without the need to invest in travel time and plans, no-show rates are a common challenge that organisers have to grapple with as delegates can just as easily decide to prioritise another commitment at the last moment.
Leveraging on its tried and tested formula, IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific, has found success in getting confirmed buyers committed by offering the industry’s only cash-centric incentive scheme that rewards a buyer’s time and active participation during the event.
Event Experience and Exposure Opportunities
Meaningful event experiences provide a powerful platform in amplifying value. A brand’s exposure goes beyond meetings and just being present at the exhibition.
In addition to business meetings, what other event opportunities should Exhibitors look out for that are available to spotlight their brands as industry front-runners and thought leaders?
Research has shown that audiences retain more information when multiple senses are engaged. Events with programme segments such as Brand Showcase Presentations, Live Hosted Sessions and Mini-Roadshows boost interaction and participation between attendees and exhibitors, allowing event co-creation to keep engagement value high.
Events that also incorporate thought-leadership, industry insight and trends, reveal of buyers’ procurement motivations and knowledge sharing opportunities as part of its programming offer avenues for brands to play an active role in sparking conversations that matter, while keeping themselves close to the pulse of insights and perspectives to navigate their business and learn from fellow delegates.
Check out some of these exciting event experience and exposure opportunities that took place at IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific, with many segments returning at the 2021 virtual edition.
Events that have the support of established and reputed industry bodies are also an indicator of the show’s repute and reach. These can include organisations like IAPCO (International Association of Professional Congress Organizers), ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association), and SITE (Society of Incentive & Travel Executives), among others.
Finally, post-event evaluations are invaluable in offering various perspectives gained from the event. This is critical for every event, but even more so for virtual ones where analytics are available to track interaction and participation.
Events that offer transparency in revealing its post-event highlights to showcase event results would allow you to determine if the event experience matches your requirements.
Experience for yourself a MICE event worth your time that checks all the above boxes: Asia’s leading MICE and Corporate Travel event IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific 2021 virtual is taking place from 28 to 30 September.
IT&CM Asia features dedicated platforms designed around the interests of valuable MICE segments, and in continuing its co-location with CTW Asia-Pacific, is offering dedicated content for Corporate Travel as part of its attention to this MICE segment.
In its 2020, the event welcomed close to 1,000 delegates virtually, including over 300 MICE, Association and Corporate buyers from 50 territories and countries.
If you are an interested exhibitor or buyer, be sure to register by 3 September to get on board the 2021 virtual edition of Asia’s leading MICE and Corporate Travel event. Learn more about the event programme and participation options here.