Vanessa McGinley is the Product Manager at Directions Conference and Incentive Management. Here she shares the five critical things she looks for in a MICE destination.
Vanessa has nearly 10 years’ experience booking MICE
Accessibility – Access to a destination is key. Factors that are assessed include airline carriers (who flies), flight paths (preferably direct), flight times and pre/post touring options.
Infrastructure – The destination must have considerable infrastructure (depending on requirements of group) including hotels, convention centres, restaurants, shopping malls, entertainment areas, etc.
MICE Mindset – Operators must be conscious of the differences and demands between the MICE market and the FIT market. Operators need to be flexible in their offerings (tailored/bespoke solutions) and not have a one size fits all approach. Destinations also need to be aware of the needs and requirements of the specific markets they are targeting. For example the Indian/Chinese/Australian markets are all very different with regards to the food, accommodation and pricing they are after. Each destination needs to be targeted specifically with regards to their requirements.
Collaborative Approach – It is essential for a destination to have many sources/portals of information available to the MICE market. This is through Convention Bureaus, Tourism Bodies and Destination Management companies. All need to be working cohesively together to promote the destination and its unique selling points. Constant updates regarding new product need to be communicated. Familiarisation programs are a great way to showcase a destination to the MICE Market.
Unique Selling Point – Destinations need to be aware of their unique selling points as a destination Eg: Cultural Diversity/Infrastructure (MICE facilities)/History and Heritage. Every destination need to have a ‘competitive identity’ and know who their main competitors are and be able to showcase what distinguishes them from their competitors.