One of the tourism branches that has gained importance in global hospitality in recent years but has been interrupted during the pandemic period, Meeting and Conference tourism, seems to regain its deserved value this year...
First, let's examine what MICE means with its international name...
What is MICE? What does it mean for hoteliers?
MICE is an abbreviation that stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions. These events make up a significant portion of business travel around the world, as they are regularly held in almost every sector. The purpose of these events is always to bring professionals together to develop connections, introduce new ideas, and encourage growth. While MICE events are traditionally focused on business, organizers aim to impress participants and create a more memorable experience by adding entertainment elements to larger events.
When approached correctly, this subject is an important source of revenue for many hotels and tourism economies. Depending on the establishment of a hotel, MICE can account for more than 50% of facility revenue. Attendees and exhibitors who come to the city for exhibitions and conferences usually require accommodations, and hotels near conference centers can often take advantage of this. A study in Hong Kong showed that MICE guests spend an average of 17.5% more than leisure travelers. This is partly due to increased demand for major events in a region, which can lead to higher room rates.
Although low prices can be offered for meetings and conferences held in hotels, hotels can also benefit from their revenue from meeting and food and beverage packages. MICE can be a recurring source of income due to the regular hosting of many conferences and fairs. Therefore, hotels often plan their annual budgets based on these events.
European hotels are allocating more advertising budgets for MICE tourism compared to previous years.
Despite the decrease in MICE expenditures due to the pandemic and economic crises, there has been an observed increase again. More countries are investing in MICE and promoting their destinations as event venues. According to American Express, MICE spending in Europe has seen the highest growth rates, followed by Central and South America. North America has the highest growth rates. Europe has increased its advertising budgets in order to catch up with this trend, with leading countries being Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
MICE can also show significant growth in Turkey...
Due to the decrease in demand, especially in the fall and winter months, regions with hotels with a large number of rooms such as Antalya, Bodrum, Marmaris - and of course, city hotels - can establish themselves in the medium term in well-planned MICE tourism.
How can you implement a strategy to attract MICE tourism customers to your hotel?
Identify and promote your advantages.
To design a marketing strategy to effectively attract MICE tourism customers, you should start by identifying and understanding the advantages that your hotel offers and how valuable they are to potential customers. Think about the facilities and things that you can offer that would be most appealing to MICE organizers and participants. Unique features such as your hotel's location or a large ballroom can be attractive to potential customers planning events. Meanwhile, your hotel's ballrooms can also be transformed into multipurpose meeting rooms with the right setup.
Your next step is to create a web page that clearly outlines what you offer to your target market. Some hotels choose to create separate websites for their MICE services, as the positioning of the hotel may be quite different for leisure travel versus MICE tourism. By altering the structure and presentation of your website's content, you can make your MICE web page more attractive to potential visitors.
Identify customer needs.
MICE customers consider service quality when choosing an event venue. They want to be confident that their events will be well organized and that the hotel will meet their needs.
● Flexibility. Flexibility is an important factor for MICE customers. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers have become much more cautious. Therefore, hotels that are more flexible in terms of early booking and cancellation will benefit.
● Price. Of course, price is an important factor for MICE customers. They want to get the best value for their money and want to ensure that their events are within their budgets.
● Location. The location of the venue is also important for MICE customers. They want to be sure that the venue is easily accessible and in a convenient location. Additionally, there should be enough activities within the hotel because guests attending a conference will also want to socialize during their free time.
● Availability. MICE customers want to ensure that the chosen venue is available on the dates that meet their needs. They want to preserve their dates and events.
● Facilities. Customers want to ensure that the venue they choose has the facilities they need for their events. They want to be sure that their events will be comfortable and that participants will be guaranteed safety and privacy.
Use mobile apps to highlight your hotel services.
Hoteliers now have a great opportunity to improve and optimize their services by using Concierge Apps available in the market and integrating them into their workflows. These applications can help hoteliers solve many problems and provide better service to their guests. Therefore, do not fall behind in technology...
These types of applications are a good opportunity for both hotel guests and hotel employees. The concierge service offered through the hotel's mobile application is more convenient for guests who are already familiar with mobile devices, and it is easier to prevent any language barriers in this way. All the basic services guests need, such as checking in, ordering meals, requesting room service, or reserving other services, are available through the application.
In addition, these applications can facilitate the sale of ancillary services by providing digital records of guest requests and preferences to hotel employees, collecting customer data, helping you start loyalty programs, and facilitating marketing campaigns.
Improved staff collaboration.
Technologies play an important role in the routine of hoteliers, but a well-coordinated teamwork will always have a great impact. This helps to carry out the most complex and exciting projects in a quality and efficient manner, and enables them to achieve significant successes.
Guest Loyalty Programs
Creating long-term connections in the MICE industry is important, as there are recurring events in this sector, so if you can leave a good impression, there is a chance that customers will come back.
Additionally, in the MICE industry, word-of-mouth communication from satisfied customers is a powerful communication method, and your satisfied customers are likely to recommend you to their business colleagues. If you want to be successful in the MICE industry, it is important to be known as a great MICE venue. MICE customers are looking for unique experiences that provide value for their money. For European MICE customers, value is more important than price.
Specialized Tour Operators in MICE tourism
The first step to doing business in the MICE industry is to have discussions with both local and foreign companies and agencies that organize MICE events, and to introduce them to both the destination and the facilities. In addition, it may be important to establish connections with large corporations, beverage and food companies, and pharmaceutical companies that hold meetings within the domestic market, and to make efforts to secure the first few jobs at special rates. These are just a few of the steps that can be taken to do business in this industry.
MICE-supporting hotel brands
Another shortcut could be to make an agreement with a chain hotel brand. It can be very beneficial for you and your facility in the medium term to make a deal with hotel management and franchise companies that are known for managing MICE hotels or have a central team in this direction. If you want to continue with your independent brand and do not want to partner with another brand, there are also "white label" hotel brands that focus on promoting MICE tourism and can market your facility on their own website even if your facility continues with its own brand. You can contact one of these brands to learn more about how your hotel can join this group.