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The importance of the MICE industry and business events in South Africa

What is MICE and how does it impact our economy?
During the Meetings Africa conference 2018, it was pointed out that business tourism contributed an astonishing R115bn to the South African economy. These business visitors generally spend more than the usual leisure traveller. This money is most commonly spent at hotels, conference centres, restaurants, country clubs, and convention centres. Together with this, some of this money is spent at nearly every unique venue imaginable. It's obvious that corporate event planning and all that goes with it is a big financial boost for our country. While a few larger corporations have business event planners or are contracted with an event planning agency, many other companies (mostly the smaller companies) utilise someone in HR or another department to plan their business event.

What are business events?

There is a fine line between business events and event shows. Business events must measurably change a combination of asset, liability or equity accounts, otherwise, it is not a business event.

There are different types of business events, to name a few:
  • Seminars and conferences
  • Board meetings and shareholder meetings
  • Executive retreats and incentive programmes
  • Golf events
  • Appreciation events
  • Company milestones
  • Team-building events
  • Product launches
  • Trade shows
What is 'MICE'?

MICE stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions or Events.

MICE can be likened to a type of tourism. Tours are usually planned well in advance for larger groups and delegates are brought together for a particular purpose.

Meetings
The coming together of a group of two or more people in one place. This provides them with the opportunity of conferring or participating, in particular activities. There is often a 'frequency' element attached to meetings, for example, annual general meetings, committee meetings, executive board meetings, etc.

Incentives
These gatherings usually form part of a programme which offers delegates rewards, based on previous performance, or promises rewards for future expectations.

Conferences/conventions
Conferences usually take on a smaller module than congresses. They are more selective in character and invite participation from delegates, encouraging an exchange of information, fact-finding and problem-solving. Conferences are usually limited to time, having specific objectives.

Exhibitions/events
Quite simply, an exhibition is a public assembly for the purpose of marketing, celebrations, education and even reunions.

Why are business events so important for our economy?

As in many other countries, South Africa is greatly affected by the meetings and events industry, which has a tremendously powerful impact on the country's economy.

Whilst leisure is an important component, operators are developing a more diverse offering, driven by business tourism and conferencing. According to the South African National Convention Bureau, South Africa hosts about one million delegates at business events every year, supporting over 250,000 jobs directly and indirectly in this sub-sector alone.

It is apparent that more and more corporates are investing in business eventing, whether it is a business meeting, trade exhibition, gala dinner, an incentive drive or a conference.

Cape Town has once again claimed the number-one spot as a globally competitive business destination. The recent expansion of the CTICC (II) to the tune of R900 million has played an integral role in securing this prestigious recognition.

In 2017, 3,400 international delegates experienced Cape Town, helping grow the economy and creating jobs in the areas of tourism, conferencing and hospitality. Investment teams and streams like the Convention Bureau are hard at work, to attract major events and to make Cape Town the world meeting destination.

Trends and tips for business events

Below are trends that have been analysed and the collected data has shown what the progression of a successful business event takes.
Trending for a while now, brands are needing to find new ways of reaching their target markets and this trend continues to grow. The need to connect and socialise is slowly gaining a bigger share of the pie and as a result, meetings and events are growing in popularity.

Innovative
Unique event spaces, different options and numerous features.

Flexibility
Flexibility to work with smaller budgets and shorter lead-times. It is key to be totally flexible.

Catering
Take clients' specific food and dietary requirements into consideration. Various options and cultural groups are important to them.

Sustainability
Take 'going green' seriously when planning an event. Eco-friendly options are a huge thing and must form part of the programme.

Technology
Always endeavour to source free and reliable Wi-Fi for your and your clients' convenience.


GL events' press office

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