Coming back from #BOE18 Dortmund, Germany, where our country’s largest tradeshow for the Event business took place last week on Jan 10 and 11, I am full of ideas and inspiration. Hence I would like to share a few generic thoughts and considerations about our industry with my colleagues in global Destination Marketing Organizations and with the event planners who are “consuming” the products presented by these marketing bodies.

As long-term content marketers in and for the global MICE industry, we at tmf dialogue consider the “E” part of M.I.C.E. standing not only for “Events”, but rather meaning a horizontal dash of “Experiential” elements adding the necessary colour and spice to the rest of the family, that is the meetings, congresses, incentive programs. What else are we talking about in this industry, if not about inspiration, innovation, experiences, tools, services that are much beyond hotels, venues and DMC organizations…

So why, for example, should “weddings” (as in big, fat, globally organized Indian weddings) not be seen as a natural element of the product scope of the Convention Bureau? These kind of weddings have the highest possible need for Experiential elements and they are definitely an event….. Wouldn’t that be most logical?

There is a whole (new and recently evolved) industry around weddings business in India and the agencies organizing such big weddings are, in many cases, among the most creative, knowledgeable and experienced event organizers in India – but with a different focus and under different department. The planners of such events would need to be addressed with different and more detailed products compared to a more generic idea and direction of what the destination has to offer for (classic) MICE operations. So according to me, it makes complete sense for this super interesting part of Experiential Business to fall under the reign of internationally promoting Convention Bureaus. As India is not the only market in the world, sending wedding business abroad…Turkey, Azerbaijan and other nationalities where weddings are an important part of society, also contribute significantly to this market

Now, moving away from weddings, when talking to different exhibitors at BOE in Dortmund, the question that popped up in my mind was whether there is a substantial lack and misinterpretation of the “E” in our whole industry!

So far, the E stands for “corporate events” – in the sense of a segment – but aren’t the other elements events as well? Shouldn’t then the E rather stand for “Experiential”? May be there is scope to question the understanding of M.I.C.E. even more by the need for adding a better suitable term for the “I” – as in Intelligence, instead of incentive travel, which is covered under the experiential and intelligence scope of elements in a destination.

So my new interpretation would be M = Meeting, I = Intelligence, C = Congress and E = Experiential providing the matching elements for all kinds of events .. ok ok I admit it would need some more polishing with regards to logic of terms, but you understand what I mean?

I firmly believe the scope of elements promoted internationally by CVBs needs adaption and inclusion of different elements. The Convention Bureau should be expanded to Convention and Events Bureau and offer different modules along each context!

Instead the “E” now stands for “Events”, and that is in many cases understood as local and public events: sport, music, festivals etc. and are taken care of by some other departments of the local city administration.

There is need and space for improvement! Big and successful public events in a destination definitely involve Experiential elements and suppliers…. These elements, rather than the event itself must be part of the scope of a CVB offer. So the “E” must ad the “Experiential” element, and the” I” for intelligence (in the destination) must point out any special expertise there – be it for a sport or cultural event or for congresses.

The New Convention Bureau promoting such an adapted MICE spectrum, is aware of the on-site knowledge and tries to attract matching international events or congresses or whatever. By promoting the local supplies of experiential elements to event planners, the destination is presented in the full context.

More purpose and legacy for the destination are the logic results and add value to what we all do.

Picture copyright: ©Westfalenhallen GmbH / Anja Cord