The future direction of Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Event (MICE) industries is currently being challenged by a multitude of socioeconomic influences. A strong culture of creativity and empathic leadership is key to success, especially because people want to know and feel exactly why they should engage with you. 

Navigating Complexity
Global structural changes, alongside rising fuel costs and green taxes are defining factors affecting travelling. What’s more, technology is driving connectivity and efficiency, impacting societies, business and the individual in profound ways. New models of holistic thinking, factoring in happiness and meaning set the agenda – as people are looking for experiences that have a notable positive impact on their quality of life. Our future success will depend on how well we adapt to this change and take advantage of the opportunities it brings.

The Reputation Eco-System
The Meaningful Brand Index (MBI) found that only 5% of brands in the US and UK have an impact on our quality of life and people wouldn’t care if 90% of brands disappeared. Delivering ‘Authentic Experiences’ means that brand promise must be aligned with performance and deliver Total Transparency. Travel and meeting reviews are fueling the reputation eco-system, where the role of the expert curator is essential to building trust. Listen to and involve people – they’ll tell you what they value.

Dialogue Driven Events
By 2020, over 50 billion devices will be connected to the ‘Internet of Things’. This ‘living data memory’ informs a whole new understanding of our environments and activities. Smart Technology must be people-centric to deliver seamless transitions and experiences, and a Transmedia meeting platform has the potential to enrich relationships before, during and after the event. Cloud Culture brings agility with new methods of sharing and exchanging ideas, but remember that people are no longer just delegates, but active participants and partners.

Tomorrow’s Change Agents
Businesses must be attuned to highly mobile and culturally open Global Citizens – digital natives who are setting new standards. By 2020, millennials will form 50% of the workforce and, looking to advance their careers, they are the perfect target for ‘meetovation’ – interactive meetings integrating modern methods to enhance social capital and learning. The Female Factor is also crucial as 1 in 3 graduates in advanced economies will be women by 2020. US women currently account for 40% of business travel – and a preference for healthy food, pampering, comfort, safety and access will see more inclusive MICE concepts evolving.

 

Making a Positive Difference
Many business travellers have become ‘cultural experts’ looking for an enriching contrast to daily life.They crave a sense of community and building Social Capital means recognising the value of ‘smart and agile’ networks and meeting hubs that enable people to flourish. The Better World agenda see people engaging with organisations that make a positive difference. Engaging and stimulating experiences are built on a 4 P principle: People, Planet and Pleasure to enhance Profit. In this context, MICE industries must get creative, as the networked economy will demand more, not less, meeting points.

Well-Being Economics
Ultimately, all the socioeconomic trends tap into a common quest for The Good Life,as we look beyond conventional ways of measuring success. With stress being particularly prevalent among business travellers, well-being economics will inform our choices. The ‘mindful meeting concept’ makes good business sense, as happy people are more engaged, creative and productive. In the future more professionals will be encouraged by their employers to take time out either side of their trip to ensure work-life balance, so consider that in your strategy.

Value Driven Meeting Experiences
Most important of all, ensure you deliver meeting, incentive, conference and event experiences that satisfy the needs of tomorrow’s key meeting and business traveller typologies

Talk: EIBTM CEO Summit, October 2012, Spain >> 

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