What is MICE?
MICE stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions and it represents a lucrative part of the tourism mix across the globe. MICE can also be referred to as Business Tourism or Business Events.
1: How much is it worth?
In Northern Ireland alone, it is estimated that conferences generate approximately £50m per annum for the local economy with incentives & corporate travel also generating significant income. In 2016, Business Events were worth approximately €715m in the Republic of Ireland and x globally. Business visitors are particularly attractive given they are worth approximately 3 times that of the average leisure visitor and they tend to visit in shoulder and off peak months of the year.
2: What does Northern Ireland offer the MICE sector?
Many factors underpin our proposition to the MICE sector -
- Investment in MICE infrastructure such as the recently extended ICC Belfast, Northern Ireland’s only purpose built convention centre.
- Compact walkable cities in Belfast & Derry-Londonderry
- Destination appeal and investment in experiences that delegates can enjoy
- The quality, professionalism and enthusiasm of our people – a Team Northern Ireland approach
- Passionate Ambassadors representing our sectoral strengths.
- Investment in Sales & Marketing activity supported by Tourism Northern Ireland
3: Know the commonly used MICE terms
DMC – Destination Management Company
A professional services company, possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and programme logistics.
PCO – Professional Conference Organiser
This is a company that specialises in the management of conferences. The company acts as a consultant to the organising committee or headquarter organisation, enacting its decisions and assisting to fulfil their objectives, whilst utilising the experience and knowledge it has gained over many years in organising events.
Incentive travel is a global management tool that uses an exceptional travel experience to motivate and/or recognise participants for increased levels of performance in support of organisational goals. Traditionally Incentive Programmes were typically aimed at Sales people. Now, a range of roles can qualify and earn the reward. Incentive programmes used to be about opulence but “ experience” is the new buzz word in the Incentive world and this is where Northern Ireland can shine with its authentic experiences and Giant Spirit.
RFP stands for “Request for Proposal”. It is a document that a buyer sends to the destination suppliers when requesting their proposal for future services. It can come direct to a DMC or a hotel.
A “ familiarisation” trip is an educational visit to the destination to experience at first hand what is offered. Participants are usually international buyers who have potential business for the destination. Tourism NI delivers a full programme of Fam Trips in partnership with Tourism Ireland and Visit Britain as well as delivering its own programme. These trips are usually fully hosted by Tourism NI.