· Digital tools increased participation but reduced ROI.
· Associative market conventions are highly profitable.
· Multi-destination events are an alternative to connect regions with travel restrictions.
By Jorge J. J. Martínez
Andrés Escandón, Regional Director Latin America & the Caribbean for the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) joined Coffee Talks with Vicky Marmolejo to discuss about the associative market and the MICE Industry. Watch the show here.
Trends have been detected as a result of ICCA’s studies: last year the hybrid concept was not yet understood, this year digital tools are more widely in use. Interestingly, while the digital increased participation, it reduced the ROI.
“There is a huge challenge. Digital increased participation in conventions by 50%, reaching record numbers, but it’s not as profitable as face-to-face: registration revenue decreased by 60%. Technology is not a replacement, it’s a complement,” said Andrés Escandón.
“There is a trend towards going hybrid and, as an industry, we are the ones who must educate clients regarding the hybrid convention and provide them with the features and monetization options available to them,” he added.
Although virtual is a not yet delivering good business return, digital interaction will eventually evolve to meet this goal.
Associative market congresses are more profitable
Escandón pointed out that from the venue’s perspective the associative sector may represent 30% of users but generate 60% of total revenue.
“Their conventions involve all the services provided by a venue, as well as the hotel and the supplier. Associations are more professional and invest more in event production investment in events, benefiting the entire destination and generating more revenue than a convention, because it’s more transversal,” Escandón emphasized.
Multi-destination events are an alternative to connect regions
The 2021 trend has been to return to the face-to-face with a digital component. One of the ways to provide global coverage is to select hybrid multi-destination venues to avoid attendee transfers where there are travel restrictions.
“For instance, the main venue for the ICCA Congress is Cartagena, but we have four hubs around the world, in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa, where ICCA members can connect virtually in person,” said ICCA’s Regional Director for LATAM and the Caribbean.