New trends have been arising in all industries and environments as a result of Covid19. As MICE Industry has been one of the most affected industries in this scenario, in this post we will analyze how the events industry is evolving and transforming after a total shut down in 2020.
So, next we will see some trends in the MICE Industry that have raised from this situation. As MICE itself is an abbreviation of several concepts, we will analyze how each area or type of event has been transforming from an event planning point of view.
Crowd Management and Social Distancing
As you know, the MICE Industry was so affected by all corona virus situation as it is an industry based on gathering people together, and when this is not possible anymore, the industry freezes. So, what now?
All suppliers and actors in the industry have started rethinking formats in order to avoid massification by reducing capacities In terms of Meetings and Congresses, including annual company meetings and conventions, trainings, workshops, laboratories and all similar formats many options have been considered.
Hybrid and virtual formats
Some of the trends that are growing stronger and look like they are here to stay are hybrid and virtual formats and event bubbles. We have learned that hybrid events are an option that can work as well in a normal scenery as it allows to distribute different the event budget, more audience can be reached and you don’t have to worry so much about capacities, between other advantages.
Virtual formats will remain as a complement to live events, but the human need of contact makes it unlikely to replace live events with virtual ones. On the eventmanagerblog.com we find a really interesting article talking about the Global Hikikomori Moment the virtual events made obvious.
As for event bubbles, this format implies reduced groups and rapid testing of the attendees and staff involved in the event also on the eventmanagerblog.com we find an article explaining the status of this type of initiative currently, but as you know this kind of information is evolving and changing from day to day. However, rapid testing is an option events industry is considering seriously.
As for incentives, the current situation is even more complicated as it involves the company responsibility towards the guests’ health and safety, and it looks like this is going to be the most challenging recovery within the MICE Industry. One of the most powerful trends observed until now are replicas of the same event, meaning that instead of organizing an incentive for 200 pax, we organize 4 events of 50 pax in a row.
On one side this point towards and increasing trend of back to back format in the hotels, and in terms of occupancy and bookings uniformity it looks interesting, but there is an issue of costs and volume of work required for the same income. This is the part where other type of suppliers like activities, teambuilding and others are starting to evaluate what products and services are still cost effective and worth maintaining. However, it looks like we are about to see plenty of changes in terms of services and suppliers.
Types of Events
As for the rest of the event types, we have different scenarios: the social events are adapting to the restrictions in place and sanitary guidelines and law in each destination. The trade shows and fairs are in stand by for now, considering hybrid and virtual formats. As for product launches and presentations, besides hybrid and virtual formats, creativity is increasing towards maintaining these types of events attractive.
One example that we found interesting was a car launch that considered organizing the event by booking a small-medium hotel in exclusivity or the suites and best rooms in a larger hotel for the guests. Each guest would have had his own “private event” in his room, including private coffee breaks in each room and live connection with 3D glasses to the car presentation area. So, let the brainstormings flow. As they say, crisis always stimulate creativity and progress.
Since the lock down and due to the new requirements in terms of surface, outdoors have become a very attractive and demanded feature for events.
This is where some of the suppliers will benefit and make more revenue and where others will see themselves forced to reinvent their product or will not make it to survive. Many meetings, conferences and congresses and social events are considering outdoor setups, and this is where climate plays a very important role and where certain destination will become trendier for these types of events.
Hotels, venues and locations with wide outdoor spaces are faced to a new world of possibilities to explore. The indoor settings and activities are facing a real challenge and tend to focus their products to smaller groups or individuals.
As for incentives, outdoor activities that don’t involve team gatherings and using individual equipment and tools (ex: individual kayaks, paddle surf, scooter tours, hiking, etc) are much requested now. When coming to workshops and teambuilding, the format changes to individual positions and tools in activities like cooking classes, painting and manufacturing workshops, treasure hunts, etc. Making these activities in reduced groups and rotating between the activities is an option considered by many event planners, but in this case the logistic is getting a little more complicated.
In fact, it looks like one of the main results of the coronavirus effects on the MICE industry is a more complicated logistic in all steps of the event planning and management.
Virtual Tools and a Forced Digitalization of the industry.
Digitalization has been one of the processes that speed up in all industries due to the new reality of covid 19, but in the event industries it felt like a travel into the future and it seamed like we saved about 5 years on the way.
Virtual tools and experiences
Both of them are becoming an essential component in the planning process of an event. In The State of Event Technology Report , Allie Magyar, CEO of The Hubb Blog talks about 3 major technologies impacting the event industries:
helping in facial recognition, direction the attendees within the venues and destinations avoiding human contact and even interacting with products and people through a hologram. This can be applied to all type of meetings, conventions, trainings and even incentives and big events like trade shows and fairs.
use has increased as it facilitates payment opportunities, credential information, and tailored event access. It looks like it offers a sense of ease for almost every use case it’s been applied to so far, and event managers will become increasingly reliant on it. This type of technology can become especially useful in avoiding human contact for check in at hotels, invoicing and registration.
Especially useful for fairs and trade shows as exhibitors can get real-time updates when valuable prospects enter their booth based on the analysis of attendees’ profiles and behavioral attributes. Attendees may access reports of their journey throughout a conference or event, with information about who they connected with, when meetings took place, or which sessions they attended. Finally, organizers get in-depth analytics to help them understand attendee behavior, such as heatmaps of tradeshow floor traffic, dwell times at booths, session attendance, and more. This can become an interesting option also for tech-based activities for incentive groups.
So, as you can see, the events industry is hibernating and reinventing itself, somehow like the butterfly effect. It looks like we will face important changes implying all involved actors, from planners, to guests and suppliers once events come back.
Aligned with these new trends, from E-ventology we decided to support and provide useful info and tools for event planning by launching a new series of videos explaining how suppliers are adapting in this Post Covid era for the MICE Industry.
You can check our first video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBWtscJHrjE
Feel free to provide your ideas, opinions and feedback.