How to Attract MICE Tourists: 6 Tips for Hotels & Destinations
Entering the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism sector can be a highly profitable move for hotels and other destinations. This niche market draws business travellers and event planners worldwide, presenting opportunities for consistent year-round bookings and revenue growth.
In this blog post, we provide valuable insights on attracting MICE tourists to your hotel or destination. We cover everything from understanding the MICE market to tailoring your offerings and marketing strategies, guiding you through each of the necessary steps for becoming a preferred choice for business travellers and event organisers.
In this article:
Why Should You Consider MICE Tourism For Your Business?
Adapting your establishment to cater to MICE tourism can yield a multitude of advantages. This specialised market attracts business travellers and event planners from all over the globe, presenting opportunities for year-round bookings and sustainable revenue growth.
Explore some of the key benefits of attracting MICE tourism below.
1. MICE Travellers Spend More
Unlike typical tourists, many MICE travellers have their expenses covered by their companies. They are often eager to take full advantage of this financial freedom, spending more than they would if it were coming out of their pocket.
Covered expenses typically include transportation, accommodation, drinks and food.
2. Spending Is Set to Rise in the MICE Industry
According to data, the global MICE market was valued at USD 876.42 billion in 2022. It is also projected to experience a steady growth rate with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% between 2023 and 2030.
The market's success has naturally translated to increased profits for some. In addition, many companies are now actively prioritising face-to-face meetings as a response to the prevailing digital and remote landscape post-COVID-19.
The combination of boosted profits and a renewed interest in in-person gatherings has prompted many industry professionals to plan MICE events. By tapping into this market, businesses can capitalise on this growing industry.
3. MICE Travel Represents a Significant Portion of Business Travel
MICE travel makes up a substantial portion of business travel. Overlooking this pool of potential clientele is often a missed opportunity to boost your business’s growth and competitiveness in the corporate sector.
These trips often encompass more than just attending conferences, seminars, and trade shows; they also include large-scale networking events, team-building activities and incentive programs.
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The 6 Best Ways to Attract MICE Tourists
Now that you've grasped the advantages of MICE tourism, let's delve into the most effective methods for drawing this particular clientele to your venue.
1. Know Your Market and Know the Needs of MICE Clients
To successfully attract MICE companies to your hotel or destination, it's essential to first define your target market and gain a thorough understanding of the distinct requirements of these kinds of clients. This knowledge can play a pivotal role in shaping your strategies and setting your establishment apart from the competition.
Developing a tailored marketing plan that precisely caters to the needs and preferences of professionals in the MICE industry can be a highly effective means of appealing to these clients. This plan should address their specific demands, such as spacious conference facilities, modern technology, adaptable spaces and excellent logistical support.
By comprehensively understanding these unique needs, you can position your hotel or destination as the ideal choice for MICE events, differentiating yourself in a competitive market. Below, we've highlighted key considerations for meeting these needs effectively.
Many MICE clients value flexibility, particularly in the wake of the unpredictability of the pandemic. Professionals in the industry have grown more cautious while organising large-scale events and more aware of the potential for unforeseen disruptions.
As a result, they often actively seek venues with flexible policies. Offering refund policies that accommodate last-minute changes can be a substantial selling point that sets your establishment apart from competitors.
Naturally, costs are always a key point of consideration for those booking venues for MICE events. This is especially true at the moment, as event prices have increased between 20% and 50% compared to recent years, according to reports.
Clients will be searching for cost-effective options that can meet their unique requirements and offer exceptional value while also remaining within their tight budget constraints.
MICE clients often find themselves restricted to choosing a single, specific date for their event. This underscores the critical importance of ensuring your venue's availability aligns with their preferred schedule.
Addressing this right from the beginning will significantly streamline their event planning process, enhancing their overall experience of working with your establishment.
Customers want assurance that their chosen venue not only provides the required facilities for their event but also guarantees a comfortable experience. Additionally, they prioritise participant safety and the assurance of privacy.
The location of a venue is also often a key factor for MICE clients. They are often looking for establishments that are strategically situated in a convenient position that is readily accessible to make it as easy to reach as possible for colleagues and attendees.
2. Tailor Your Facilities and Services
To successfully attract MICE tourists, your hotel or destination must cater precisely to their unique needs and preferences. Here are some key facilities or services that you may want to offer to appeal to this type of clientele.
High-Quality Technical Equipment
Modern, cutting-edge conference facilities are the backbone of MICE tourism. For this reason, it is advisable to equip meeting rooms with the latest audio-visual technology. Consider providing high-quality projectors and audio systems.
To further stand out from the competition, you may also wish to offer a dedicated technical support team that can promptly address any potential technical glitches that may arise during events.
A Variety of Accommodation Options
Accommodation preferences vary widely within the MICE market. Different budgets and preferences necessitate a range of options. Providing a diverse selection of room types at varying price points can be a great way of maximising your appeal.
You can offer standard rooms for cost-conscious attendees, executive suites for those seeking a touch of luxury, and everything in between. Ensure each category maintains a high standard of comfort and amenities, so attendees can unwind after a day of meetings or events.
To further enhance your appeal, delve deeper into the practical needs that MICE tourists typically seek in their accommodations. These individuals often require ample workspace, ergonomic seating and blackout curtains for a restful night's sleep. Tailoring your accommodation to the unique demands of business travellers can set you apart in this competitive market.
Specialised Dining Options
The dining experience can play a highly influential role in the overall impression you leave with MICE tourists. Since you'll be hosting a diverse group of professionals with varying tastes and dietary requirements, consider presenting a wide range of culinary choices to cater to all preferences.
You may wish to have a range of dining areas within your establishment, encompassing everything from casual cafes for quick lunches to upscale restaurants for formal dinners. Buffet-style meals can be a hit for larger groups, as they provide variety and efficiency.
Additionally, you may also want to offer customisable catering services to accommodate specific event requirements, such as themed menus or dietary restrictions.
Be sure to pay close attention to dietary preferences and restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and allergen-free options. Delivering a considerate and inclusive dining experience will enhance the satisfaction of MICE tourists and event planners.
High-Speed Wi-Fi and Connectivity
In this digital age, reliable Wi-Fi and seamless connectivity tend to be non-negotiable for MICE travellers. This extends beyond guest rooms, encompassing conference rooms, lobby areas and sometimes even outdoor venues.
Many of those in the MICE industry heavily rely on high-speed connectivity to deliver presentations, host video conferences, include remote attendees and remain seamlessly connected with their home offices.
3. Have a Unique Landing Page for MICE Clients
Once you have highlighted MICE events as a key audience, it's advisable to develop a dedicated landing page tailored specifically to their needs. This page should clearly articulate the facilities and services your venue offers that are particularly suited for those in this industry.
Some businesses have even gone to the extent of creating entirely new websites dedicated exclusively to their MICE-related services. This strategic move positions your establishment as uniquely designed to cater perfectly to the leisure tourism market.
Crafting a dedicated landing page for MICE clients grants you the creative freedom to design the page as you see fit without compromising your overall brand identity. This allows you to maintain your brand's integrity while emphasising your venue as the ideal choice for such events.
4. Define and Promote Your Benefits
Pause to consider the distinctive strengths your establishment provides that set it apart from other venues. It could be your venue's exceptional and easily accessible location, a spacious hall suitable for large meetings or a particularly high-quality catering service.
A few points to consider when evaluating the unique selling points of your establishment include:
- Spacious meeting spaces - consider the quantity and dimensions of the conference rooms, session halls and dining areas you provide.
- Equipment - think about whether you can supply specialised equipment or facilities for the event. This might encompass top-of-the-line camera equipment for capturing images or recordings, advanced lighting options, or high-quality equipment for presentations and projections.
- Food - assess the calibre of the catering services you offer. Perhaps you provide especially varied menu options, exceptional dishes or seamless waiting services.
- Location of the venue - perhaps your establishment is located in a highly picturesque location, promises reliable weather conditions or is situated in an area that is easily reached by public transport.
- Security of attendees - assess the safety measurements in place at your venue. Is privacy guaranteed, what preventative measures can you provide for unforeseen circumstances and what are your booking and cancellation policies?
5. Designate One Teammate To Focus on Marketing MICE
Designating a specific member of your marketing team to exclusively focus on attracting MICE clients can be an extremely effective way to tap into this niche market. Explore this strategy further below.
The MICE industry is multifaceted, and staying updated with its evolving demands and trends is crucial. Assigning one team member to concentrate on MICE marketing ensures that someone possesses a deep understanding of the unique dynamics, trends and preferences within this sector.
In addition, they can become an expert in the latest technologies, event planning best practices and industry-specific challenges.
Having a dedicated MICE marketer means having a team member who understands how to effectively address the needs and concerns of this type of client. This expertise allows them to develop targeted marketing campaigns and highly personalised messaging that directly address the challenges and preferences of those working in the sector.
The dedicated marketer can create content and campaigns that highlight your venue's suitability for MICE events, emphasising factors like the size of conference halls, advanced technology, logistical support and flexible policies.
6. Maintain Customer Loyalty
In your MICE-focused strategy, it is imperative to prioritise the cultivation of customer loyalty. Many companies in this industry host recurring events, presenting a golden opportunity to create lasting relationships with clientele.
Each MICE-related event should be seen as a chance to leave a lasting positive impression. Additionally, it is crucial to recognise the significant role that word-of-mouth plays in the venue selection process for these types of occasions.
Satisfied customers are not only likely to return for future events but also more inclined to enthusiastically recommend you to others within their professional circles. Their recommendations can serve as a powerful catalyst in attracting more clients from the industry to your venue.
Targeting the MICE tourism sector can be a highly lucrative strategy for hotels and destinations. Following these tips will help you navigate this specialised market successfully and capitalise on its revenue-generating potential.
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