What does MICE mean? It is a very unique term and a concept which cannot be truly and fully limited, defined and understood only as either an industry, a market, event, tourism or even just travel. It touches every of the above with features and characteristics of travel, industry, tourism, market and events.
MICE is a dynamic and growing market, focused or based on organizing of events. Yet it has many faces & segments and is also a unique travel and tourism market, an industry, events and more.
Here are few phrases we use to refer to it:
These are all synonyms we use to describe MICE industry and market with all the terms meaning and representing the same. And why we use all these is because it has many faces, features and forms.
Therefore, MICE is an industry, it is both travel and tourism, and MICE is a market. Let us understand it completely.
MICE or M.I.C.E. is an acronym meaning Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions in its full form. The 4 terms used in this acronym here are broader definition or segmentation of the 4 different types of events which MICE covers. Out of these four acronym terms the last 2 terms are often interchanged with other related terms, to describe, define, explain or cover MICE meaning.
MICE acronym stands for all the following full forms:
We understand and refer to it in three forms, and all these three are part of its inherent nature or characteristics.
We define it like this. MICE is tourism by nature; events organizing industry by structure, objective & by name, and one of the reasons for and a unique type of travel which combines business with fun and recreation.
Let us elaborate.
When we define tourism, we say it means travelling for leisure or business. In that way, MICE is tourism.
Then, it is all about organizing of and attending of events. So events become the core of MICE as well its very structure and objective.
Third, again looking at tourism definition, it means travelling. And events invite people to travel to attend. So, MICE is one type of travel.
We will look at each of the three aspects of MICE industry when we define it as an industry, as tourism, and as travel. On the basis of our broader definition and explanation, we have created 3 functional definitions of MICE which we will discuss and elaborate here in just a while.
MICE is growing as an important and independent segment of the vast tourism industry. Its growth is twofold: revenue growth as industry; and more importantly as an important and expanding market segment. Growth of MICE as tourism segment is making it important and expanding it as a segment, and bringing growth to the overall travel and tourism industry and its value chain.
MICE sector spreads this growth through its growing list of stakeholders starting from event organizers; companies across industries and associations; the hospitality industry and destinations; travel tourism and transportation industry; marketing industry which is fast trending towards digital marketing; and technology industry.
Let us look at what is MICE as an Industry and market and how to define MICE in that perspective, i.e define MICE Industry or MICE market. MICE is basically about events with all its four segments referring to different types of gatherings and events. It is proposed by many to call and define MICE as Meetings industry, simply because every event is a gathering of different nature and for different purposes. And by definition meeting is an assembly or gathering of people for formal discussions or purposes.
Here, MICE market or industry can be defined as the business of organizing, conducting and attending of all the different types of business and leisure events or meetings and taking care of the inclusive travel and tourism needs.
1. Meetings: Meetings is formal gathering of people who are employees and professionals to conduct a business activity or for formal discussions sometimes combined with informal activities. Some forms of meetings are board meetings; annual general meetings or AGMs; management meetings; training or onboarding meetings; meetings with associates, partners, suppliers, dealers, etc; planning meets. It also can include product launches and team building meetings.
2. Incentives: Incentives is totally different segment of MICE and type of meeting where the purpose is not business but leisure. Incentive events are fun and leisure tours and trips planned for employees, staff or for associates and even sometimes for customers as a reward or recognition for their contributions or support.
Incentive usually include a group travel with hotel stay, local travel, dinners, fun & recreational activities, and more.
3. Conferences: Conferences or often called as conventions are also a form of meetings but with wider and higher number of participation. This participation is usually not limited to one company or organization. Also, this type of meetings can last for few days and are often organized by professional or industry bodies and associations. These often may include small exhibitions.
This segment of MICE covers a broad range and form of official focused gatherings like conferences, conventions, congresses, conferences with small exhibitions or fairs. Basically all type of large scale meetings which are not limited to a single organization and mostly involving participation or representation from industry and professional associations and bodies.
4. Exhibitions: Exhibitions are largely a wide scale gathering of buyers and sellers. Here sellers exhibit their products, services, new launches and even information related to these. The buyers are the visitors who visit to buy or know about new products, services or launches, and also to explore new markets.
Some common forms or names of exhibitions are trade fairs or trade shows; expos or expositions. These are conducted both on business-to-business (B2B) basis and business-to-consumer (B2C) basis.
MICE is a huge and very unique market which creates huge business and value, brings lots and lots of different companies and industries together. MICE creates huge trade and business value, economic value and also personal value.
We can define MICE as unique market and type of travel and tourism. We can also understand and define MICE as a market specialized events which bring and promote trade and business and local, national and international levels.
MICE is tourism. And here, events and travelling become key factors in MICE tourism. Why MICE is, and should be, considered as tourism is because, events industry is now growing beyond conducting business through these events. Events are still the crucial platform to execute business activities of international scale. However, with growing consumer expectations and to make these more attractive, the MICE industry is making tourism an important part of events. The inclusion and value of tourism is making events more attractive. The characteristics and nature of tourism is slowly being incorporated into the events, which are now seen as opportunities to do business while also enjoying your travel which is the very nature of tourism.
When we look at how MICE events and especially destinations are promoted then we get the idea that it is more of a tourism. As the destinations are now promoted more as tourism destinations than as a purely business focused destinations and events.
Definition of MICE as tourism is that MICE is a specific and unique form of group tourism where the tourists or travelers travel to attend various business events and leisure gatherings in their professional or individual capacity.
MICE is considered as group tourism because all the type of events of MICE usually attract group of people travelling together to attend those events. And if we look at the MICE acronym's full form, which comprises its 4 key segments, we would better understand why MICE is tourism. The incentive travel is actually completely tourism while the other three segments now involve tourism as an integral part.
Let us see how MICE is group tourism by looking at all of its different events and why and how people travel to attend.
1. Meetings: Meetings as part of MICE are held at venues like hotels, convention centers, etc. These meetings are usually large scale as internal meetings for companies, associations and other organizations. These are also external meetings of an organization's employees with, let's say, clients, dealers & distributors like dealers meet, etc.
For an internal meeting, it obviously becomes a single large group travel and even for external meetings involving other attendees people still come in groups from different organizations. So, these meetings give both, the organizations, and their employees, associates or attendees a wonderful opportunity to plan a group tourism along with the meeting to enjoy and have some fun, recreation and leisure travel.
2. Incentives tourism: Incentives travel is purely tourism by its very nature, as a recognition or reward give in the form of tourism packages. This is given to internal employees and also to other external associates. These are usually a fun meeting events where all the attendees gather at one destination to enjoy.
3. Conferences: Conferences are also meetings with little different objectives and larger and wider participation. Here representatives from different companies and institutions and also various professionals come together. This again involves group travel from companies. To make it more interesting, attractive and enjoyable, tourism packages are included for all attendees by the organizers.
4. Exhibitions: Exhibitions and trade fairs have two segments of attendees, exhibitors and visitors. Here, group tourism is not that common or at least is in quite small in size. While it is more common for exhibitors to come in groups as they come from same organization, visitors are also sometimes are in groups in case of business visitors from companies.
Leisure and recreational tourism opportunities are also often included with many of these exhibitions.
Definition of MICE as travel and as a travel market can be summed up as a market covering all the needs and business of travelling to the business and leisure events from arranging, conducting and concluding such events and all related travel and tourism.
MICE as travel cannot be any different from it as tourism because anyhow travel is the base of all type of tourism. And looking at MICE as tourism above, travel becomes an integral and basic part of it.
There is another reason why travel is an integral part of MICE and why it should also be called as MICE travel. Looking at all the different events, whether it is meeting, incentive, conference or an exhibition or trade fair, these are external event for all the attendees. These events attract and invite attendees from various parts of a country and also from other different countries in case of international events. Hence, MICE is travel, while the events become the reason for travelling.
In conclusion, we can say that MICE is a very niche and special type of travel or tourism market. This is because it involves for specific purposes which are events, and the travel for MICE includes both business as well as leisure travel and even the business travel usually always include leisure aspects.