The Future of the MICE Industry
An effective way to think about where a given industry is headed is to do a simple thought experiment: If [industry] did not currently exist and was being created from scratch today with current technology, how would the [industry] likely be organized?
Bezos has said that while working for a quantitative hedge fund in 1994, he came across a statistic that web usage was growing at a rate of 2,300 percent per year. Bezos decided to create a business plan that made sense in the context of that growth. In hindsight, it’s easy to recognize that Bezos truly saw what direction the future was headed. Customers, clients, investors and partners have benefited from this vision since 1997.
In regard to where the MICE industry may benefit in the near future, I believe a ubiquitous enterprise software will be created that will add dramatic value for industry participants.
Venues, hoteliers, CVBs, DMCs, third-party planners, sourcing services and more each employ their own sales staffs and potentially solicit the same corporate buyer for the same event. Does the current model provide the optimum client experience? Could there be a more efficient way?
Currently, there is no platform for clients to list the full requirements of their program, including lodging, audiovisual, F&B, transportation, excursions, registration, tracking, analytics and more. This service could also standardize all proposals, as well as integrate a score for on-budget and on-time execution of deliverables with confirmed client reviews from all vendors used. The platform could also allow for all vendors to bid on the program. Increased competition by vendors would drive down costs while increasing quality—while the client and the industry benefit.
Many of us running events have put together spreadsheets of rooming lists, with many inevitable revisions and updates costing time and money. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for a technology solution to allow planners to directly input rooming lists into vendors’ internal rooming software. The user could make updates rather than both the user and vendors’ operations staff duplicating efforts. Better yet, perhaps there’s a much larger opportunity for a user-friendly enterprise software to be created that the entire industry can use. All hoteliers, cruise lines and other vendors could utilize a single software for the management of rooming blocks. As employees move throughout the industry, there would no longer be a need to learn a new internal software. Could this be adopted by the industry?