Five steps for any destination looking to attract MICE travel in 2022
By Danny Cohanpour, Chief Executive Officer, Trove Tourism Development Advisors
Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) travel is expected to achieve major growth in 2022 as global travel restrictions normalize and business conferences continue to get back on the calendar. According to Allied Market Research, the Global MICE Industry is expected to Reach $1,337.4 Billion by 2028.
Every tourism organization – whether it be a visitor bureau, convention bureau, tourism board, DMO, tour operator or destination management company – is now required to adopt digital tools to adapt and grow tourism in 2022. This is equally important in promoting leisure travel as it is for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) travel.
Without the right marketing and promotion, destinations will not be able to attract MICE opportunities and will not be able to take advantage of this upward growth potential. Our agency Trove Tourism Development Advisors just released our thought leadership piece on steps that MICE organizations can take to stand out and attract MICE opportunities in 2022. The piece, entitled “Turning Buzz into Bookings: Analytics and Digital for MICE Travel”, focuses on steps that any MICE organization can apply to develop MICE tourism opportunities in 2022.
What are the challenges in MICE attraction?
In 2022, traditional MICE destinations like New York, Las Vegas, Dubai, and Barcelona are looking for ways to innovate as the conference schedule picks back up. Less traditional MICE destinations are working to attract associations and companies for MICE events in hotels and convention centres that are not in the traditional MICE tourist circuit.
Destinations want MICE events to be well attended and for the economy to benefit from the event. Here are common challenges that we have seen through our survey of more than 15 destinations:
- Difficulty analysing markets to forecast and predict industry trends and demand
- Challenges in cross-promoting in-person and virtual events during hybrid programs
- Difficulty attracting consumers from key market segments to MICE events
- Falling behind in competing with other MICE destinations for foot traffic
- Have a confusing or unclear online footprint for MICE program
- Predicting return on investment for MICE events
Five tips for a destination marketing organisation looking to promote MICE travel
Through our research we have aligned on five steps for any tourism authorities, DMO, DMC, associations, and convention centres to take when planning their digital strategy in 2022.
- Listen to what travellers are saying. Destinations must have an ear to the ground. There is a wealth of perception data about your place available online; pay attention to what is being said about your place on social media and other digital platforms, and use these insights to answer these questions: what are the conversations about your destination; who is having these conversations; where are they based geographically; and what experiences do they most engage with?
- Look at where the market is going. Destinations must be constantly analysing travel data to identify who has been visiting, for what purpose, and how that compares to competitive destinations. How do you benchmark against your competitors?
- Identify and position the “why me?” front and centre to attract MICE. Destinations need a concrete digital strategy and messaging for convention centres, visitor bureaus and tourism authorities. This is to align with enterprise and consumer market segments, and needs to highlight your MICE destination on SEO, social, and media channels. Take the opportunity to capture your expertise in event planning and delivery in different destinations to create a compelling case for a prospective MICE organiser.
- Designate one marketing teammate (or team) to focus on marketing MICE. Destinations need to turn the strategy into reality and build digital marketing campaigns that respond to the social, web, and search footprint of the consumer. Make sure you’re using organic and paid social media marketing, digital and search engine optimization, and targeted lead generation.
- Track progress and marketing effectiveness in real time. Especially in 2022, MICE growth is expected as more people meet and exchange business ideas. Destinations must track all marketing and visitor data in one place. If you aren’t already, reach out to key stakeholders to pool your data to create a more comprehensive, real-time image of your destination.
Too often, B2B destinations, convention bureaus and tourism authorities forget about the importance of organic and paid digital on growth. Critical to building a future-proof MICE brand is developing targeted content and creating a digital brand identity. As tourism and travel for business and meetings picks up in 2022, destinations are facing a competitive landscape. To stand out, applying targeted digital tools and techniques is critical.
At Trove, we've operationalised highly effective programmes to help destination attract new congresses, conferences, exhibitions, and meetings. Our machine learning model collects perception data from digital platforms which we then use to develop insights to inform your future strategies, while our one-stop data platform creates a clear, real-time visualisation of your MICE destinations.