Marketing for the MICE Sector

I’ve read it in MICE NET ASiA Magazine and impressed with story by David Hall so I share you his opinion about Marketing for the MICE Sector.
Davel Hall argues hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars are being wasted because people aren’t doing their homework.
Remember the days when it was thought that one measurement of success in participating as an exhibitor at a trade show was by the number of sales and promotional brochures that were given away? Notwithstanding the fact that up to 80 or 90 per cent of those brochures didn’t make it much further than the rubbish bins on the perimeter of the exhibition hall didn’t seem to be noticed.
With the incredible acceleration of information technology over the past two decades one would think that such wastage of time and effort’ in trying to reach potential clients and business would have been diminished or at least brought under control. Certainly there is now a huge saving in the paper once used for such literature but unfortunately we now have wastage of another kind which is equally unproductive for the disseminator and can be very annoying to the majority of the recipients, especially if the message has absolutely we now have wastage of another kind which is equally unproductive for the disseminator and can be very annoying to the majority of the recipients, especially if the message has absolutely no relevance to their specific business interests.
I am talking about the incredible proliferation of unsolicited – call it spam if you like e-mails received after you attend an exhibition. These primarily come from the majority of the show’s exhibitors who attempt to draw your attention to their websites. The implication is that if you were a visitor to the exhibition then it is assumed you are a prospective user of the goods, services, destinations, facilities being offered by the show’s exhibitors.
Obviously the source of the exhibition visitors’ email contact details must come from the database of the exhibition/show organizing company which is perceived by the sellers as an additional welcome level of support. However, it is patently obvious that many of the exhibitors are simply not doing their research and assessing if the proposed recipients will in fact have any use or demand for what they are bring offered. In other words, we end up with a blanket email broadcast or mail out which is the lazy way out, and quite frankly somewhat unprofessional. The response from the exhibitors I can hear now will be that’s those who do not wish to be included in such future ‘broadcasts” simple need to hit the “unsubscribe” button at the foot of the message or advise the exhibition organizer that they do not wish to receive literature of any kind of from exhibitors. Simple yes, but the key point being missed is that to succeed in the highly competitive meeting s and events market requires an absolute commitment to a pragmatic and systematic approach.
Indeed, after nearly 40 years in the events industry almost exclusively as a destination marketer I have seen some incredible advancements and the emergence of some very talented people serving the many elements of the MICE or business events sector. Unfortunately there are still a number of individuals who simple do not fully understand the special strategies imperative for success.
Unfortunately, by bundling together the various ‘activities; that go to make up what is known as the MICE market in Asia, there are too many people with te erroneous assumption that the required marketing strategies must, therefore, bu similar for each segment. Wrong.
Exacerbating this problem is that there are many egos at play in this exciting and challenging industry of ours, and as a result ‘size of effort’ becomes more important than a logical, common sense, cost effective assessment of market potential by boring but absolutely essential qualifying research in the first instance.
The amount of resources that must be wasted in promoting a destination and facilities to an association or corporation who simply would never be in a position to stage an event there just doesn’t make good sense 0 and yet it happens all the times i
In conclusion, here is an example by way of a short case study which clearly demonstrates the point I am making about talking a common-sense approach in maximizing your marketing activity in the business events and MICE markets.
A highly respected and successful facility with meeting and exhibition space located adjacent to a substantial number of hotel rooms decided to do a mass mailing of 7500 high quality brochures. The total cost was approximately USD $70,000 which included design, printing and distribution. After the project had been completed, management questioned the ‘investment’ and asked that an independent audit be carried out to assess the effective response of the project. First question asked of the facility by the auditor was “did you use your database?’
The response was yes, but then admitted they used their “mailing list’. In other words, they literally mailed out the impressive and expensive brochure to everyone in their mailing list. As you can imagine this embraced a pretty diverse range of interests.
After several months of research the findings showed that less than 20 people – yes 20 people – of the 7500 who received the sales literature said it welcomed receiving the brochure and would keep it in mind for the future but they had no immediate need or prospect to use the facility and destination concerned.
I think one could have reached this outcome for a lot less than USD 70,000 by taking the aforementioned essential pragmatic and systematic marketing approach in the first instance.
Bottom lines…do your homework.

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