Nairobi, Kenya, April 14, 2020 / travelindex.com / From natural disasters to health and security issues, many things affect MICE industry events and their attendees. COVID-19 has disrupted the world as we knew it… for some the disruption has been small and for others life feels completely upended. At times like this despair, fear and resignation are understandable and normal human responses. Is it possible however that, even out of such disruption and despair, there could still be opportunity? Over the past decade the MICE industry has evolved into a global innovation and education distribution channel.
Convention Bureaus have been collaborating more strategically with governments, economic development agencies, academic and scientific institutions, as well as private sector businesses to better leverage the value of MICE in their cities, and demonstrate the real power of what meetings, incentive travel, conventions, events and exhibitions collectively do for the triple bottom line … The benefits of MICE extend far beyond the walls of the meeting space. When meetings come to town everybody benefits; the industry creates jobs,generates commerce and delivers far-reaching community impacts.
Whilst we cannot predict when this pandemic will end, nor when our industry will resume … we do know that great things happen when people come together! Face-to-face interaction is the platform where deals are struck, relationships are forged and ideas are generated.
• Meetings build meaningful business relationships – According a study by Forbes, business executives prefer face-to-face meetings because they create more meaningful business relationships, provide the ability to read body language not present in virtual meetings, and help build personal connections and networks.
• Meetings build relationships faster than virtual contact – Business travelers in a 2012 study estimated that one hour of face-to-face contact equaled 5 video conferences, 10 phone calls, or 20 emails.
• MICE supports the national economy – EIC and Oxford Economics have reported that the meetings industry contributed $1.07 trillion to the global economy through direct spending in 2017 and supported 10,3 million direct jobs. In Africa the sector was valued at $23.4 billion in direct spending accounting for 80,6 million participants and 328,000 direct jobs.
The Kenya National Convention Bureau is committed to unlocking the value of the MICE sector in Kenya’s rebound. We foresee drastic changes in the meetings industry and KNCB will be on the forefront to provide leadership in expanding the economic benefits and impact of MICE post COVID-19.
KNCB: Planning towards MICE
As referenced in the National Tourism Blueprint 2030, the Government of Kenya has identified MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events / exhibitions), also known as business events tourism, as one of the key drivers for the economic development and diversification of tourism in the country. The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife officially engaged The Business Tourism Company (TBTC) in March 2020 to support the Kenya National Convention Bureau (KNCB) in implementing the National MICE Strategy and to nurture an international best practice National Convention Bureau to drive the sector to its deserved success.
KNCB believes that there is opportunity for us to examine how ready we are to respond to crisis situations like this current one, and together plan towards recovery and building a robust and sustainable MICE sector for the long term.
• Building a united public and private sector stakeholder and supplier community
• Improving our market intelligence
• Adding to the sales pipeline
• Building a credible brand for launch to the global marketplace
• Engineering efficient processes to achieve faster business growth in the future
• Generating local community understanding, support and engagement in the sector
KNCB ACTIVATION PLAN
• KNCB Business Plan encompassing stakeholder inputs – July, 2020
• Private sector engagement; first quarterly industry forum – July, 2020
• Ambassador programme toolkit encompassing stakeholder inputs – August, 2020
• Deliver Comprehensive suite of Marketing Collateral and MICE Brand for Kenya – September, 2020
• Private sector engagement; second quarterly industry forum and training – November, 2020
• Private sector engagement; third quarterly industry forum – February, 2021
• MICE Industry Research Report – March, 2021