Survival stories in the Urals: how the MICE / EVENT industry has changed in the realities of the coronavirus crisis

Survival stories in the Urals: how the MICE / EVENT industry has changed in the realities of the coronavirus crisis

In 2020, a new reality has come for the MICE and EVENT markets - without offline events. But despite the lack of orders, for some companies the coronavirus has become a starting point for a new era.

In the abbreviation MICE - four words, four basic directions: meetings - corporate meetings, presentations, negotiations; Incentives - incentive or motivational tours and programs, corporate events; сonferences - conferences, congresses, congresses, forums, seminars; exhibitions - exhibitions, image events, PR events and press tours. In a pandemic, all these events were paused. How long - no one knew. The authorities have not removed a number of restrictions to this day. In a situation of crisis, stress, any action is always accompanied by a desire to survive, and MICE and EVENT companies are no exception. How it happened in the Urals - the industry participants tell.

The MICE potential of the Ural region has become more recognizable for the pandemic

We have started to actively conduct MICE sessions, seminars and online info-tours. The coronavirus crisis forced us to actively interact with the market online. And this really gives a result in terms of recognizing the MICE potential of the Ural region.

One of our main tasks is the initiation and formation of application campaigns for major international events. This work is for the future.

Preparations for an international event have been going on for 3-8 years, but the decision on the venue is being made now. This is a worldwide practice, according to which we are now actively working and building up our competencies. We are currently busy with 14 international applications. Soon we are planning to launch the project together with the event market of the region to strengthen the work on international applications. I am absolutely confident that with our strong regional team we will achieve excellent results.

Realized that even marathons can be run online - if everything is organized correctly

Coronavirus pandemic in early 2020 had a great influence on the state and further development of almost all areas, including business tourism. But any crisis leads not only to negative consequences.

The fear of crowds persisted, but at the same time the desire to escape from the apartment was also strong, so there was a craving for independent tourism: for hiking and walking in reserves, for ecological routes, also for tourism in tents and campgrounds. Never before have we recorded so many requests to visit the ecological trail of the Visimsky Reserve, to stay in guest houses on the territory of the protected zone of the reserve and in a tent camping in Visim.

People began to choose available travel destinations within Russia and their home region. Many chose to work rather than take vacations, and the tourist flow of the weekend was consistently high. More and more often, tourists prefer to choose their travel options on their own: to book services individually and online to form a travel package by themselves.

In general, the desire to just get into the car and go according to a planned scenario, and not with a group in a shared bus, speaks of the gradual end of mass and group tourism and "uberization in tourism", drawing up routes on the basis of "Lego" ...

The coronavirus crisis has opened for us in a new way the project "We are running to the Visim picnic". We started it as a sports challenge with joint training and a big final race at the Visim picnic. Quarantine began right at the start of the project in March, and we quickly transformed "We are running to the Visim picnic" into an online marathon: participants chose the type of activity - running, walking, swimming or cycling - and practiced individually, which met the requirements for compliance with social measures. distance: running on the spot at home, exercising on simulators or yoga, then, when it became possible, running in parks. In fact, you ran a marathon without leaving your home. At the same time, they competed with each other in a special application, every day entered the results into the chatbot (minutes of sports activity were converted into kilometers, and the goal was to virtually reach the village of Visim in the tourist cluster - 160 km), chatted, supported each other during quarantine , watched lectures by doctors, and international-class athletes who joined the project did online training.

Interestingly, despite the distance, the project retained its emotions, the spirit of competition, contact between the participants, and in August we still met at a picnic. In order to "hold out" until the restrictive measures were lifted and the final rewarding at the gastronomic festival, the participants who "ran" to Visim, "ran" back. We are still chatting and are already thinking about a new marathon.

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