Embracing the Future NOW!
Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions or MICE represent a sector of tourism that includes business events and activities. The global MICE industry generated revenue of $752 billion in 2016, and is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 7.5% to reach $1,245 billion by 2023.
You and I know technologies are changing the way we work and interact anywhere, with everyone and everything. Technologies, like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, internet of things and so much more are not only affecting travel experience and business but also life in its entirety. It’s no news; the MICE industry hasn’t escaped these effects. In fact, it is the most affected of all tourism sectors.
It is also evident; days when venues only needed to provide an overhead projector and a computer are long gone. So changed are things that even providing high speed internet connection is no longer fancy. It is also no longer luxury to provide virtual assistants, virtual and augmented reality, web casting, live streaming and video conferencing as they have become essential MICE components. It is critical for MICE players to stay updated with these trends in order to stay at the top of their game.
All indications are global MICE industry is gaining popularity worldwide. Currently, technology plays a vital role in the MICE business growth as many corporations adopt e-conferences as a substitute for face-to-face meetings and conferences. However, the use of tele-seminars and virtual meetings to eliminate travel expenses may prove out to be a significant growth opportunity for MICE industry now and in the future.
All indications are that the global MICE industry is gaining popularity worldwide. Currently, technology plays a vital role in the MICE business growth as many corporations adopt e-conferences as a substitute for face-to-face meetings and conferences. However, the use of tele-seminars and virtual meetings to eliminate travel expenses may prove to be a significant growth opportunity for MICE industry now and in the future.
This is so because technology is increasingly becoming key in personalising experiences; enhancing human interactions but will not replace it. In addition, apps have become inseparable features of events in providing easier registration and offering impressive interactions and conversations both before, during and after the event. Venues also need to provide opportunities for online attendance and intervention, so that people inside and outside the venue can participate. 360-degree images and virtual reality have become important for events and conventions globally.
With this in mind, let us now explore the eight (8) technology trends that are and will affect the MICE tourism globally. My desire, as you read through is that you will pick challenges and point out opportunities that you can explore to position and make your MICE venture better and ready for future technological disruptions and huge business opportunities.
Internet of Things (IOT)
This is the idea that all technological devices can be connected to the internet and to each other in an attempt to create the perfect marriage between the physical and digital worlds. The really cool thing about IOT is that it is not only changing the way we do business but also the business models we use to do it. MICE industry can use massive wealth of information on how participants and attendees engage by tracking their interactions with digital devices. In turn, this data could be used to optimise and customise MICE packages, products, campaigns and experiences.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality has been a popular component of video games for several years and this trend is continuing to expand. In addition to video games, VR is likely to affect businesses across the board as they adopt the technology to help them engage customers more effectively and optimise their sales and marketing efforts. It’s also a potentially useful tool for learning and it is increasingly being adopted by educational organisations. MICE centres that will adopt this technology and invest in it will reap big rewards.
Another exciting emerging technology is machine learning, which is essentially a computer’s ability to learn on its own by analysing data and tracking repeating patterns. In addition to shaping your day-to-day interactions with friends on social media, machine learning is also changing the way companies do business with customers. Machine learning is reshaping the way businesses interact with their customers in a big way by helping them anticipate and meet customer needs more easily. For the MICE industry, this is a powerful tool and opportunity that can create massive business opportunities. You can explore new conventions and events profiles that have never been done by anyone before.
Cognitive technology is a bed fellow of machine learning and virtual reality except that it’s a broader concept. For example, the cognitive technology umbrella includes things like natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition. Combined, these different technologies are able to automate and optimise a lot of tasks that were previously done by people, including certain aspects of accounting and analytics. This is a very useful function for the MICE industry that every player must seek to explore and adopt.
Today, you are able to buy anything you want with the touch of a finger. Merging touch-screen technology with one-click shopping, touch commerce allows consumers to buy products easily from their phones. This is one of the biggest things to hit e-commerce in recent years with almost every industry anticipating an increase in sales directly related to this new technology. With MICE playing a great role in driving business linkages, it is no doubt that this technology when integrated in venues, can bring more revenue to MICE players outside the traditional channels.
Internet of Everything
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunities for businesses, individuals, products and places. It is a broad term that refers to devices and consumer products connected to the internet and outfitted with expanded digital features. It is a philosophy in which technology’s future is comprised of many different types of appliances, devices and items connected to the global internet. This is indeed the best thing that has ever happened for the MICE industry. The opportunities presented, even to the smallest MICE player anywhere in the world are just inexhaustible.
Electronic World Travel Platform (eWTP)
Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) is a private sector-led and all stakeholder initiative, for public-private dialogue to incubate e-Trade rules and foster more effective and efficient policy and business environment for cross border electronic trade (eTrade) development. Enabling E-commerce is an initiative designed to drive public-private dialogue on e-commerce jointed launched by the World Trade Organisation, the World Economic Forum and the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP). This is a great innovation that is crucial to MICE businesses in the wake of all inclusive globalisation and bounder-less etrade and global travel.
Enabling E-commerce is an initiative designed to drive public-private dialogue on e-commerce jointed launched by the World Trade Organisation, the World Economic Forum and the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP). This is a great innovation that is crucial to MICE businesses in the wake of all inclusive globalisation and bounder-less eTrade and global Travel.
The writer is the Founder & CEO of HTorex Global. HTorex is an innovative tourism technology that has; the first all inclusive Online Travel Platform (iOTP), the first integrated Global Travel Marketplace (iGTM) and The First Global Hospitality and Travel Trade Platform (gHTTP). This is a great innovation that would present MICE and the broader Tourism industry would be great tools for businesses and experience. It implements all aspects of the latest technologies and has capacity for future innovation integrations. It is also inspired by eWTP thus creating massive opportunities for people anywhere in the world through shared prosperity in Tourism Industry.