MICE Tourism, Events and Travelers

Kshitij Thakur   |  January 02, 2015, New Delhi

First of all, what is MICE sector or industry? It is a part of the travel and tourism industry, also called MICE tourism, and comprises of travel and tourism for the purpose of business. Now, this is a sub-segment of travel and tourism industry and comes under the business travel category. The term MICE is an acronym which generally stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions. The letter C in this word also stands for Conventions and likewise E also can be interpreted for Events. But the word essentially covers and describes the type and objective of people travelling under this category.


So, let us try to find who or what type of people or traveler this MICE industry or tourism covers. Who are the people who travel for business purposes which are covered under MICE tourism? For this let us first understand what this sector or segment comprises of, or what each of the letters mean. To know this we first have to look at as to who are the customers of MICE tourism, as this will give us the answer as to what this sector covers and who are actually the MICE travelers. The customers of MICE are essentially corporate and associations, and can also be individuals. So, now let us first describe MICE and look at the various kinds of events or activities that it covers.


MICE mean Meetings, Incentives, Conferences or Conventions, and Exhibitions or Events. Meetings could be corporate or association meetings and these generally would be large scale meetings. For corporate these could be sales meet or suppliers meet and meetings like those. For associations it could be meeting of the regional chapters. Most common are the annual meetings for corporate and associations. Incentives or incentive travel generally known as. This type of travel is generally the company paid vacation and travel given to employees as an incentive e.g. for good performance. It could be given to the associates, suppliers and dealers & distributors of a company. Very common type of incentive travel is given by insurance companies to its best performing agents. Conferences or conventions are again forms of meetings as these are also large gatherings. However, these are focused towards one or specific topics or subjects. These are specifically focused on a particular industry or profession. Conferences generally also have a list of subjects or issues within an industry which are addressed or talked upon by some experts or speakers.


And lastly the Events or Exhibitions. These also include trade fairs or trade shows. These are huge gatherings of corporate and executives. As the name suggests, it is an exhibition or a show where companies exhibit their products, services, technologies. These are exhibitors. The other side of it is comprised of visitors who visit these exhibitions to see, know about and may be buy the available or displayed products, services, technologies. These also include meetings with prospective clients, suppliers, buyers.


So, with corporate and associations as key customers and about all events being part of regular business of a corporate or an association, it comes out that MICE travel is very purpose and business oriented. Now, let us discuss about the MICE travelers. The target audience, the MICE travelers are usually the decision makers, and are executives or officers working at various hierarchy levels of a company, organization or an association. But for each different type of the events, the travelers would come from or represent different professions, hierarchy and organizations.


In case of exhibitions, trade fairs and trade shows, the visitors can represent companies ranging from manufacturing organizations; dealers and distributors; trading companies, buying and export houses; factories; engineering and technology companies; service providers; consultancy companies; and numerous others. The exhibition visitors would also be from various positions within these organizations such as from CEO/CTOs, Presidents and Managing Directors to managers, department heads, engineers and technical officers. The events also attract various professionals such as engineers, finance professionals, graphic or web designers, professionals from electric, electronics and IT fields, etc.


It is actually the type of event that decides the kind of visitors, by professions and positions, and type of organizations it attracts e.g. a printing industry event would bring printing houses and publishers; trade and service companies; multimedia and designing firms and professionals in designing, graphics, publishing, printing, etc. A building and construction event will have architects, interior designers, consultants, builders, engineering and construction companies, etc. Similarly, an association meeting or event will have various association executives and corporate members.


So, MICE sector in itself is very wide and covers almost all types of industries, sectors, and professions. Almost all types of associations, in some way or another, participate in MICE events. Even cultural, academics and other such types of associations are customers of MICE, and so practically any individual in some capacity or other can be a MICE traveler.