Understanding MICE

Understanding MICE

Often, experts in the tourism market believe that MICE is nothing more than a synonym for business tourism. At the same time, event professionals often consider MICE to be an integral part of the event organization market. Which one is right?

Services for organizing and conducting business meetings (meetings), incentives, conferences and participation in exhibitions (exhibitions) are usually combined with the abbreviation MICE in the first letters of each word. Since all of these events are classified as meetings, MICE is also called the meeting industry.

The terms "business travel" and "MICE" are not identical, although they are closely related. The fact is that a MICE event may not require any travel services at all. For example, if a business breakfast is being held for an audience from the same city. People simply get to the venue on their own by private or public transport.

When organizing a MICE event, a specialized agency is responsible for organizing and holding the event and, as a necessary addition, provides logistic (business travel) support for the event. Consequently, business travel agencies and MICE agencies in Moscow "intersect" in cases where the event also requires travel services such as air tickets, hotel rooms, transfers, visas, etc. ..

Anatomy of the MICE Industry

The MICE industry is an irreplaceable assistant in the successful dynamic development of organizations. Holding business meetings allows you to effectively solve a number of specific development problems:

  • increasing loyalty (maintaining the company's image and its positive perception by partners and employees)
  • stimulating sales (attracting the attention of B2B partners to the offered products)
  • team motivation (strengthening team spirit and motivation to conquer new heights)
  • personnel development (personal and professional growth of employees)
  • expanding ties (searching for new ideas, products, technologies and business partners)

Often, customers call MICE agencies intermediaries, imparting a negative connotation to this understanding. Following the traditional logic of creating the final value of the product along the chain, the customer may consider the MICE agency to be an extra intermediary between him and the actual service providers (hotels, airlines, etc.). The customer's expectations are as follows: if the “intermediary” is removed from the chain, the rates will decrease, and the work of integrating services into a single travel program and maintaining relations with suppliers is enough to entrust your own employee. In reality, everything is different: MICE agencies receive special rates from suppliers and distributors of services, which the customer cannot receive if they independently contact the supplier directly. When contacting a service provider, the customer receives a so-called rack rate, which is significantly higher than the price that service consolidators receive for making subsequent offers to customers. The reason lies in the fact that suppliers tend to work with the smallest number of counterparties, preferring distributors and consolidators of services, which, unlike individual customers, are able to provide a steady flow of orders.

Impact of the traditional tourism market

The MICE market is developing under the significant influence of the traditional tourism market: large tour operators create entire MICE departments and departments, getting involved in the struggle for a corporate customer.

The original specialization of classic travel companies implies working with an impersonal mass audience of consumers, for whom, on the basis of purchased blocks in hotels and on flights, package offers are prepared in the format of travel vouchers. Thus, travel companies that send travelers on vacation can be compared to manufacturers of goods that prepare an attractive product and then offer it to customers.

The presence of a wide range of consumers does not require travel companies to provide an individual client-oriented approach, the introduction of technological innovations and additional costs for staff development. The impersonality and scale of the audience reduce the need to fight for each individual consumer and do not require travel companies to build loyalty programs and create additional competitive advantages. In other words, tour operators and travel agencies will not suffer significant losses in the short term if the customer does not return after the first purchase: the next day, ten new private customers will take his place, who will pay attention to the attractive special offer posted on the coupon site.

In the field of MICE, the situation is the opposite. Corporate customers using the services of agencies are not so numerous compared to individuals. The financial resources allocated to business travel tend to be consolidated rather than totally fragmented, as is the case with private leisure travel. For this reason, the weight of each individual customer in the revenue, profit, and, consequently, in the financial stability of the contractor increases markedly. Fierce competition for the customer, flexibility, high quality standards and adherence to business ethics are essential features of a successful MICE consolidator today.

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