By Jorge J. J. Martínez
Little by little, the world is learning that the MICE Industry is much more than social events and that its economic and cultural impact on society goes beyond tourism. The pandemic demonstrated the importance of meetings and their successful outcomes.
Meetings serve a variety of purposes. They can be for pleasure, business, or solve world problems, as the United Nations (UN) does to come up with solutions to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals on the 2030 agenda.
Teresa Solis, Industry Expert for Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development for Deloitte—one of the four largest consulting companies globally—stated that perhaps the MICE Industry’s most significant contribution is to provide the setting in which to shape the industry.
“The industry that supports transformation the most is construction, followed by tourism; they are crossovers. However, in addition to the fact the MICE Industry can be self-sustaining through its events, it brings together professionals and people interested in common issues capable of finding complex solutions,” said Teresa Solís.
A cultural change is already evident and the new generations are taking the lead
Another of the MICE Industry’s transformative elements is in the environmental and sustainable quality standards in managing groups and holding meetings. The entire value chain is becoming aligned. Beyond the environmental improvements, the process of cultural change is also showing progress, with the MICE Industry as a channel for rising awareness.
“Nowadays, to not having sustainability as part of your event’s equation is not a good look, considering the economic, social, and environmental aspects. Issuing single use plastic or not offering support options to the event’s host community is frowned upon,” added Tere Solís.
If new generations have a greater awareness of sustainability, potential clients and investors are taking sustainability into account. And in terms of solving current problems, it is time to encourage an increase in intergenerational integration.
Yes, there are economic benefits on the way to sustainability
The MICE Industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. This impact accelerated its transformation and was the perfect tipping point to properly steer its business models since, many times the challenges lie in the way we achieve our objectives.
“There were already efforts to improve the sector and move from a linear economy to a circular economy, with awareness from the supply chain of the impacts on the community in environmental and social terms, without forgetting economic profitability,” she said.
One example of the evolution of the business model is that there are already companies offering energy services with solar panels and water treatment plants paying monthly rent instead of making a million-dollar investment that would have a return on investment in four years. “This brings business to the companies and provides them with continuity, a different positioning, and the possibility of aspiring to compete in the market. The issue is to see it as an investment, not as an expense; it reduces environmental impact and costs while increasing profits and generating an increasingly important differentiator for customers,” concluded the expert.