Meetings, Incentives, Conferences/Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) are a form of tourism. For example, Shanghai is China’s main financial hub and it has an old tradition of MICE business, which has continuously grown in the past few years. Shanghai is strategically located and is reachable by sea, land and air. It is connected with more than 400 cities in the world by air links and ocean shipping routes. Besides, it is very safe city, conveniently laid out and a compact destination with one of the world’s easiest and least expensive public transportation system. Everything in Shanghai is within reach via taxies, bus, metros, trams and ferries. MICE tourism can contribute significantly to the development of a tourism destination.
MICE tourism consists of large groups which are usually planned well in advance; these groups are brought together for the purpose of conferences, conventions, seminars, workshops, meetings or exhibitions. In the recent times MICE is also called ‘meeting industry’. Other industry educators feel that the industry should be called ‘events industry’ to be an umbrella term for the vast scope of the meeting and events profession. MICE events are usually centered on a theme or topic and are aimed at a professional, school/college, academic, entertainment or trade organization or other special interest group.
A destination marketing organization (DMO) which is also called a convention and visitor’s bureau (CVB) is an organization that promotes a town, city, region, or country in order to increase the number of visitors. The destination bureau promotes the development and marketing of a destination by focusing on convention sales, tourism marketing, and services. Major cities in the UK and around the world have a ‘convention bureau’. Occasionally they have a different name and may be known as a conference office or convention and visitor bureau (CVB). In India the India Convention Promotion Bureau is located in New Delhi. The Pearl City Hyderabad is fast becoming an information and technology hub of India. Studded with numerous heritage monuments, the heritage city Hyderabad has come up with a sophisticated business venue, Hyderabad International Convention Centre – HICC. The lavish HICC is able to meet the requirements of a convention of 5000, a seminar for 500 or a meeting of 50.
The capital city of India, New Delhi has been the favorite MICE destination for quite some time. The numerous charm of the city varies from ancient monuments to excellent shopping options making the business meeting and conference here an absolute pleasure. The Ashok, New Delhi, has been hosting meetings and conventions on the international scale for more than four decades. Spread over 16,435 sq ft, the pillar-less Convention Hall at The Ashok is a favorite venue for the top businessmen and government officials. Other business meeting venues of the capital are the Habitat World Convention Centre, Vigyan Bhawan and a number of hotels with excellent convention facilities including Taj Palace, Maurya Sheraton, Le Meridien, etc.
No matter what they are called, the MICE/Convention bureaus exist to promote their city as a place to hold meetings, conferences and business events and to support meeting planners all through the organizing process. A convention bureau is the first point of contact for planners who look out for organizing conference, particularly in a place they are unfamiliar with. It is a ‘one stop shop’ offering unbiased advice which provides local knowledge in their city, and is the ‘official’ point of contact for all conference organizers.
Most components of MICE are easily understood; maybe with the exception of incentives. Incentive tourism is utilized by organizations when they wish to reward their employees a trip with family to an exotic destination; may be for achieving targets, for good conduct or for a project completion – it can be anything. Incentive tourism is usually conducted purely for entertainment, rather than professional or education purposes.
Convention Promotion Bureaus cover wide range of services for all kinds of events: location, hotel room booking, meeting area layout, membership management, catering organization, supply and installation of audiovisual devices and interpreters for foreign languages, airport – hotel – airport transfers, banquet and themed event organization, post seminar tour and cultural program organization etc.
M.I.C.E. tourism has seen a spurt of growth in the last ten years all over the globe. Automobile industry, IT sector, Pharmaceutical companies, Textile, IT, Publishing House, Doctors, Engineering companies, jewellery, education, meditation, yoga, and garments etc. are major user of the convention and conference facilities.
In the international corporate world, Malaysia has fast emerged as one of the most preferred Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) destinations. The country has everything you need for a successful event – be it a board meeting, incentive trips for employees or customers, team building get-togethers, conferences for key stakeholders, or exhibitions to showcase your latest innovations. Malaysia has gathered a momentum in MICE tourism because of its well-developed infrastructural facilities, remarkable economic development, extensive MICE expertise, pleasant tropical climate and guest-friendly culture. It is a melting pot of cultures living in harmony, where law and order is upheld by citizens and government equally, this land promises guests a secure, peaceful time. Similarly, Singapore and Hong Kong, Sri Lanka are also famous as MICE tourist centers.