How to use online platforms to promote your MICE destination

By Sigvard Alarcon, Director of Digital Campaigns, Trove Tourism Development Advisors


In today's fast-paced and highly connected world, digital marketing has become a crucial tool for destinations looking to attract meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) business. The MICE industry continues to thrive, with almost half of US and Canadian workers eager to travel again in 2024, according to a survey conducted by Opinium and commissioned by World Travel Protection (WTP). Therefore, destinations must adapt their strategies to meet the changing demands of event planners. This is where digital marketing comes into play, offering destinations a powerful way to showcase unique offerings and secure leads from meeting planners.

In this digital age, trade shows are simply not enough. Destinations must look forward in order to not be left behind.


The power of digital presence

Digital platforms have become crucial for travel inspiration and planning. A McKinsey study reveals that tourists rely heavily on search engines (40%), social media (34%), online forums (24%), and travel blogs (21%) when planning their next trip. This trend extends to event planners, who increasingly discover new destinations and make event decisions through online channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, email newsletters, AI platforms, and targeted ads on planner-centric websites. Having a strong digital presence is no longer optional; It is a necessity for destinations looking to stand out in the competitive MICE market.


Tailored digital strategies

To effectively reach and engage meeting planners, destinations must develop bespoke digital strategies that align with the specific needs and preferences of their target audience. This involves creating digital content with the right messaging, showcasing the destination's MICE offerings across web, social, and media channels. By understanding the different segments of planners, such as meeting & incentive house planners, corporation & association in-house planners, and meeting brokers, destinations can craft content that resonates with each group and drives conversions.


Comprehensive digital marketing solutions

Trove Tourism Development Advisors specialises in blending digital strategy and expertise in tourism development, and we’ve developed a five-step solution to help destinations raise awareness and generate leads from planners:

  1. Sentiment and social listening: Collect data from meeting planners across various platforms to gain insights into their perceptions of the destination as a MICE product.
  2. Market segmentation: Use travel trend and market data to provide a real-time picture of the potential MICE planner market and those travelling to the destination for MICE events.
  3. Digital branding: Develop a tailored digital strategy and messaging for convention centres, visitor bureaus, and tourism authorities, aligned with enterprise and consumer market segments.
  4. Digital MICE promotion: Execute digital marketing campaigns curated to the social, web, email, and search behaviours of consumers, and focusing on paid and organic channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, email, and corporate event platforms.
  5. Insights & Analytics: Track campaign progress in terms of awareness, engagement, and conversions to measure marketing effectiveness and provide consolidated insights.

Opportunity for destinations

As the MICE industry continues to evolve, destinations that embrace digital marketing and collaborate with experienced partners like us at Trove will be well-positioned to capture a larger share of this lucrative market. By strengthening branding, enhancing online presence, and leveraging paid and organic media channels, destinations can effectively drive MICE planners through the funnel from initial contact all the way to RFPs.

To drive MICE leads, destinations must apply a new playbook—one that is digital and highly targeted towards MICE. Trove has used such tactics in up-and-coming and newly launched MICE destinations alike, including Aruba, Peru, Japan, and Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. In all of these projects, the intersection of digital marketing and strong MICE branding has resulted in increased brand awareness, heightened engagement, and most importantly: leads and bookings from planners that result in seamless MICE programs. These results are grounded in market segment research, sentiment analysis, and continued adaptation driven by performance analytics.


MICE case studies

MICE destinations around the world have successfully implemented these tactics, driving significant results:


Ras Al Khaimah MICE Marketing 

In partnership with the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Trove established the “Nature Emirate” as a leading regional destination for MICE programming. The campaign increased online leads substantially in the first three months by creating a MICE landing page to enhance communication with planners. This page featured clear and accessible contact forms, calls to action, and RFP forms, effectively establishing a funnel for meaningful leads. The link to this landing page was prominently placed on the main website and strategically incorporated into advertisements to drive traffic.


Peru MICE Marketing Campaign 

For PROMPERU, Trove created a multimedia digital marketing campaign that positioned Peru as a regional MICE hub in Latin America. The multi-pronged approach included informative blogs showcasing Peru's offerings for MICE events, targeted LinkedIn ads with thumb-stopping visuals driving qualified traffic from the target markets of Mexico, the United States, Canada, and the UK, and engaging email newsletters maintaining consistent communication with planners at multiple digital touchpoints. By combining compelling content, targeted advertising with attribution tracking and remarketing, and strategic email marketing, the campaign successfully increased lead generation rates and engagement metrics, attracting event planners' attention and establishing Peru as a regional MICE hub.


Aruba MICE Campaign for US Market

Trove developed a social media and digital strategy for the Aruba Convention Bureau, netting a substantial increase in impressions from planners and doubling the lead generation rate compared to the previous year. The team found success by developing a distinct MICE brand that integrated seamlessly with the destination’s leisure identity. The slogan ‘One Happy Planner’ refers to the destination brand “One Happy Island” and has proven to resonate with meeting and incentive planners across digital platforms.


Japan Campaign for US MICE Market 

In collaboration with the Japan National Tourism Office (JNTO), Trove executed a multi-platform media plan targeting US MICE planners. A granular targeting approach on LinkedIn ensured the campaign reached specific audience segments like corporate event planners, association meeting planners, and incentive travel coordinators across the United States. These targeting strategies were complemented by high-quality creative assets with attention-grabbing ad creative highlighting Japan's unique MICE offerings. The team also crafted engaging newsletters that kept Japan top-of-mind through regular organic content distribution. The campaign achieved a remarkable click-through rate surpassing platform averages and significantly improved lead generation for JNTO, demonstrating the effectiveness of multi-segment targeting and high-quality creative execution that Digital Marketing can offer.


To learn how we can elevate your destination's MICE marketing efforts and drive measurable results, download our latest report on how to harness the power of digital to turn buzz into bookings, visit www.trovetourism.com or contact MICE@trovetourism.com.


The Place Brand Portfolio is City Nation Place's searchable portfolio of Awards case studies from the past five years.

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