Re-Imagine Meetings, Events & Business Travel

This roundtable is dedicated to the re-imagination of a sector arguably worst impacted by the global pandemic.

Whilst much of the world's tourism industry has seen bursts of recovery, opportunities to open-up once again, the MICE sector, for the most part, has remained shuttered and is expected to do so at least for the near future. Whilst we are all counting on recovery, as an industry there is also a sense of realism and the challenges of a sector driven by people connecting.


This roundtable is dedicated to the re-imagination of a sector arguably worst impacted by the global pandemic. Whilst much of the world's tourism industry has seen bursts of recovery, opportunities to open-up once again, the MICE sector, for the most part, has remained shuttered and is expected to do so at least for the near future. Whilst we are all counting on recovery, as an industry there is also a sense of realism and the challenges of a sector driven by people connecting.

So how bad is the sector hit? When and where might we start to see a bounce back? How are cities, venues and suppliers diversifying or innovating to survive in the short-term and what will change look like in the long run? These are some of the critical questions we'll be framing in this discussion with a wide-ranging set of experts and practitioners sharing their views, experience and take on the future of business and incentive travel.

This session also takes the opportunity to bring the subject of sustainability into the fore. Whilst sustainability has dominated the conversation in leisure travel in recognition of shifting consumer mindset and the urgency to protect what we have, the same conversation has been a little more muted when it comes to MICE, but no less important or urgent.

We'll be looking at the fine balance between competitiveness and the need to secure high-yielding, high-attendance international conferences and the need to innovate in how we help the sector to thrive amongst a backdrop of the new work-from-home business culture and the growing preference or necessity for online meetings and events.

This roundtable gives a voice to many involved in the MICE sector supply chain and invites a range of views and perspectives on how the pandemic has impacted the industry, but most importantly as we look forward, how the industry will change forever. This is a three-part discussion, here's what we'll cover:

PART 1: How the MICE sector has responded to the closure

In this first segment, we'll be looking at the business realities and how severe the pandemic has been for the MICE sector? Have local or hybrid events proven to be a safety net and how much of the sector is viable in the mid-term with distancing measures necessary?

  • Business Realities - Situation, needs and challenges
  • Optimism and Opportunity - Innovation in times of crisis

PART 2: Re-building confidence in business travel‍

As a sector, we all have a responsibility to try and drive growth in business travel once more. Global firms stay-at-home policies which create more uncertainty even as things open-up. How can we drive confidence through design, measures, innovation and content to find new ways to make the sector thrive?

  • What responsibility do we have as a sector to show leadership in rebuilding confidence in business travel and what steps can we take?
  • With concerns of safety, responsibility and perception, how can we use content, storytelling and business influencers to rebuild trust?

PART 3: The hybrid event model - is the future of MICE digital?‍

We've all had a chance to experience what a hybrid event looks like. Many of us have even championed the strangeness and excitement of the experience. If the impact on our sector is long-term, we're asking can hybrid events ever become sustainable for venues and meeting planners? In contrast, can sustainability become the driver or renewed demand, not by just by reducing environmental impact, but in creating a positive impact?

  • Is the hybrid model here to stay?
  • Can local communities benefit still from at-distance event hosting?
  • Can sustainable commitments be the driver of demand?

Key Takeaways

Mariska Kesteloo

Founder of Word of MICE


Antti Lumiainen

Account Manager Congresses & Meeting, Helsinki Marketing

Pieter Allaerts

Director of Sales & Marketing, Dolce La Hulpe

Carolina Goradensky

Event Manager, FIDI Global Alliance

Miek Egberts

Founder, InspireME MonteCarlo

Published on:
December 2020
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