How MICE industries around the world are fighting COVID-19
How MICE industries around
the world are fighting COVID-19
  Mobile World Congress has been canceled for the first time ever since its establishment 33 years ago. IMEX Frankfurt, the biggest exhibition in the MICE industry, has also been canceled. The Tokyo Olympics have been delayed for the first time in Olympics history. All of these things are evidence of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the global MICE industry. UFI has estimated that about $2.5 trillion in business will be lost this year due to COVID-19. Sponsors are canceling events one by one, which has created a ripple effect, causing convention centers, event agencies, travel agencies, unique venues, service industries, and other related companies to all suffer together.

  "Conference industries can find a solution by working around COVID-19. A national conference [as opposed to a global conference] is the best solution to COVID-19, which is a global problem," said President of ICCA, James Rees, expressing that the MICE industry should maintain their event schedule as much as possible and show confidence in its ability to recover following the pandemic. MICE industries around the world are also making efforts to address and recover from the pandemic. What methods are they using during this time of crisis?


  In Melbourne, Australia, AIME 2020 proceeded as usual from February 17 to 19, 2020 in the midst of COVID-19. About 2,500 participants and 300 companies attended the event, marking a 20% increase up from the previous year. Event organizers ensured a successful event by closely communicating with all participants and addressing misinformation about COVID-19 prior to the event to reduce anxiety.


  In Singapore, MICE experts united to establish the 'Crisis Management Strategy' and organize the 'Recovery Task Force' to determine event guidelines, openings, and cancellations. By systematically managing the crisis, event organizers were able to successfully host 'The Global Space and Technology Convention.'


 In Thailand, organizers gained trust and respect by successfully launching 3 exhibitions with a collective total of about 40,000 participants after the outbreak of COVID-19. In order to proceed with its major MICE events—including 18 conventions and 6 international exhibitions—Thailand has been managing the entries through its international airports with strict examinations and procedures. In addition, after COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic by WHO, the Thailand government extended the payment period for bank debts, reduced interest rates, withheld taxes, paid wages, lowered rent, and boldly supported small- and medium-sized enterprises.


  In Macao, the 'Cross-Departmental Team,' which was established at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, is operating support programs across 5 fields. The Team is working to lessen the negative impact of the pandemic by reducing taxes and fees, supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises and providing subsidies as well as launching educational programs for employment security, and more.

  COVID-19 has created a distinct upheaval in global MICE industries around the world. However, MICE industries are working hard to survive this global pandemic. By learning to actively and systematically respond to this crisis, the MICE industry will emerge even stronger than ever.