Management of the Indian MICE is a highly ‘specialized’ business and Technology is the changing the MICE landscape to put a great event together, says Mr Mahesh Shirodkar
Point of View | MICE INDIA | 23 December 2016
Indian MICE – Objectives
The management of Indian MICE events can achieve a variety of objectives for Corporates. A well-designed rewards or incentive program can have a quantifiable impact on the core objectives of the organization, whether it means generating more sales, creating brand loyalty, employee recognition or addressing HR issues. If it’s a team building exercise that is required, one can design program to increase communication, motivation, leadership skills, goal setting ability and productivity. It’s a highly specialized business, and corporates don’t necessarily have the expertise or the manpower to put such an event together. Therefore every MICE event should be an individually tailored one, specific to meeting the laid objective. Be it a reward, a motivation, a launch or an annual conference. The success of the event requires optimum use of technology, state of the art systems and access to a global network of hotels, airlines and land operators.
Indian MICE Industry – Current Scenario
The Indian MICE Industry and the global is growing consistently. India is the tenth largest business travel market in the world, and has emerged strong in the outbound MICE segment. Having said that, the India inbound MICE segment is not as strong on the global list of preferred MICE destinations. According to ICCA, India is ranked at 35th position in 2014-15, with a total of 116 Global conferences organized. The India Convention Promotion Bureau, under the aegis of Ministry of Tourism, is looking to garner a 2% share of the global conventions market by 2025, from its current share of 0.68%. Additionally, state governments of J&K, Delhi, UP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa and Kerala are making it a priority to become MICE friendly by enhancing infrastructure, connectivity, facilities and security. The commercial potential in MICE is enormous and every country recognizes the fact.
Indian MICE Industry – Technology
Technology is taking MICE to the next level. QR codes and Event apps are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Apps help engage the stakeholders and maintain peer to peer community. Podcasts and Tweets also take the event beyond just the physical attendees. With Video Conferencing delegates can attend the conference through virtualization. 360-degree Content recording allows for live action to be filmed and viewed in 2D and 3D. In the not too distant future, 3D models of exhibition displays will be replaced by 3D virtual walkthroughs, and augmented reality tools like VR headsets will come into play. It will be exciting to see how technology will take the MICE platform to a new degree of sophistication.
Indian MICE Infrastructure and Challenges
The MICE infrastructure in India is moving towards expansion and enhancement. And it is going to be a long walk until the PPP model is strongly activated. The Indian skies are aiming for an open door policy; irrespective of the reciprocity from airlines, the skies will open doors to the global aviation players to start flying into India.
The government is looking at ways to reduce taxes in the hotel industry, making them competitive for the MICE industry to grow. Currently we are losing event bids for the same reason. The room inventory is increasing with a total of 190,000 rooms at the work-in-progress stage. On the marketing front, Cohesive and Integrated Marketing, and Road shows will take private MICE operators a long way into gaining credibility for the destinations. And this marketing, needs to be differentiated from travel and tours business. With MICE being a considered an integral part of the “Smart City Program” propounded by the current Central Government, infrastructure will definitely see a major boost.
Trained and highly skilled manpower is another area that needs to undergo boost, especially for a highly specialized business like MICE. We need to acquire, train and maintain talent. A career in MICE should be seen as stimulating, sustainable and rewarding. Information on MICE in India is not easily available, and needs to be compiled in a more user friendly way to attract global events. Finally, a lot more needs to go in Research, both primary and secondary.
Disclaimer: Mr Mahesh Shirodkar is the Managing Director of Tamarind Global. The views expressed in the blog post / article are solely those of the author in his / her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of MICE INDIA