The Indian outbound MICE industry is expected to generate 6.5 million travellers for conferences and incentives by 2020 and it is evident how much Indian corporates and event planners are willing to spend big on their events. The challenge for the industry is to ensure the relevance of the events continues to interest the target groups as well as renew their enthusiasm for future meetings.
In order to do so, it is imperative that the events must be more experiential and add a sense of drama, thereby ensuring an indelible experience. Anything extravagant, while desirable to market an event, can also be costly. Unless you find a way to piggy-back on an existing international event and tie your incentive or meeting to such an occasion.
With the crossing of borders and embracing different cultures, destinations take on a different meaning when food, wine, venues, cities and entertainment integrate into the experience. Here, a wide gamut of experiential opportunities are thrown open. For instance, when Vodafone India planned a sales meeting in Germany, the event planners pounced upon the idea of merging their trip with Oktoberfest in Munich. Many planners may hesitate to coincide their events with a global extravaganza but if the logistics are decided upon early, it can be an outstanding experience for the attendees, as it was for Vodafone. Similarly, Airtel held an incentive tour in Paris on and around the Bastille Day in July and the phenomenal experience of fireworks and celebrations in the city was an added attractive feature to the group’s itinerary.
I remember being in Philadelphia on the fourth of July, marking the American Independence Day and the group’s experience was enriched by the immersion into the live jazz concerts at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River waterfront over three days – making art, music and Cajun cuisine from New Orleans a definitive memory.
Some of the iconic festivals that can be used by Indian incentive groups are the Barcelona Jazz Festival, the Spanish Grand Prix, the in-stadium experience with a Real Madrid football match at the Santiago Bernabéu, European Balloon Festival, Hanami – cherry blossoms in Japan, the Monaco Motor Show, the Abu Dhabi Formula One at the Yas Marina circuit, the Dubai World Cup, the richest horse race in the world, the Belgian Beer Weekend at the Grand Palace in Brussels. Allm would add that zing to your event.
Steen Jakobsen, director of Dubai Business Events comments: “For meeting organisers and planners, they provide an opportunity to tap into some of the key pillars of the overall proposition of a destination and give delegates unique experiences to remember. This can work particularly well as a component of an incentive programme, helping them stand out with the prospect of attending an iconic, world-class event such as the Dubai World Cup. They are also complementing the strong core business events capabilities of the city, including its hospitality options, connectivity with the rest of the world, diversity of venues and range of activities and attractions.”
This sentiment could very well encourage more planners to look upon such a marriage of event experience as a mutually beneficial enterprise, feeding off each other, while the participant of the incentive tour or meeting is a winner in every sense.
Adding your event to such iconic experiences will certainly add a bigger bang for your buck.
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