Did you know that… 74% of people who engage with branded marketing experiences are more likely to purchase the products being promoted by the brand? Experiential marketing is constantly changing and the only way to stay at the top is by keeping up with these changes.

One of the major trends in experiential currently is the MICE industry. When thinking about the travel business, one immediately thinks of just the leisure part of it. However, the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) industry is one of the major drivers in the tourism business and has experienced enormous growth over the last few years. This sector generates millions of dollars in revenues worldwide and the future outlook is bright as demand is on a steady increase.

To successfully attract MICE business, people need to be open-minded and flexible in both services and facilities to be able to react to the changing demands in this industry. The requirement for traditional boardroom style conference rooms is changing. Today, event managers are interested in new meeting approaches such as outdoor spaces, new seating arrangements or comfortable locations for smaller gatherings. In the past event planners based their choice of location on factors such as costs, quality, and quantity of available accommodation, access to and overall attractiveness of the location. Nowadays, the choice is influenced by factors such as connectivity, technology and the quality of the experience, which is offered by the facilities and the surrounding area.

Those that don’t embrace these trends will be outpaced in business by those who do. Just like NOKIA didn’t do anything wrong, it simply refused to quickly embrace the change in the consumption of mobile phones hence got left behind. Some of the trends in MICE currently in relation to hardware are:

  • Use of Virtual Reality
  • Interactive screens
  • Digital way finders during events and many others.

In addition to this, there has been an increase in the demand for self-service kiosks majorly in the form of kiosks and tablets that allow attendees to serve them for certain things they need.

In relation to software, we are slowly seeing more and more event planners for MICE embracing technology by using event management applications.

Some of the benefits of using these applications are :

Web Event Management Application

  1. Enables conferences to open the registration portal months prior to the event to allow for early confirmation of attendance by the guests
  2. Ability to provide Information in relation to Attendees and Speakers
  3. Allows for Sponsors to leverage and begin building conversations prior to the event
  4. Allows for Integration with other service providers such as Booking.com, Transport providers, Tours and Travel providers, and Airlines.

Mobile Event Management Application

  1. Allows for the below during the event:
    • Pushing of relevant notifications through the application.
    • Provision of a Map
    • Provision of a Resources module with critical information such as:
      1. Emergency contacts
      2. Security
      3. City information
    • Taking of Polls by the attendees

These same applications have been integrated to have convenient payment solutions such as Payment by card and even by M-Pesa (In Kenya). Collaboration during meetings has also been a trend that has been seen in other countries especially when it comes to attendee collaboration through the event management applications to have meetings when they are attending the same conference which has led to organizers having one on one break out rooms for this sole purpose.

In summary, there are critical trends that may be foreseen in the future the MICE industry at least in 2019, but the above are just but a few.