MICE 2023: Staffing, strategy and sustainability
Jack Marczewski, portfolio event director of The Meetings Show, TEAMS Europe and Business Travel Show Europe, contemplates the year ahead and predicts the standout areas for MICE.
The new year is always a good time to look ahead at what will come our way in the next 12 months, and plan for the challenges and opportunities we’ll be presented with. We still live in uncertain times, but the outlook for MICE is looking promising for 2023 and I know I speak for many when I say that we are looking forward to meeting face-to-face once again and enjoying events of all shapes and sizes.
There are three areas which I predict to take precedence in 2023.
We may be pinning up fresh new calendars, but there’s one challenge that unfortunately we were unable to cross off on last year’s: Staffing.
Recruitment and retention are challenges faced across the MICE sector and they continue to be troublesome for many. However, there has been a concerted effort by the industry to improve. Companies have realised that they must look after the wellbeing of their existing staff and make it easier for them to look after themselves to avoid burnout as well as take a greater interest in nurturing future talent to safeguard the future of the industry.
A number of initiatives designed to support talent into, and through, the industry have started and they will gain further momentum in the next 12 months, together with new ones.
We will be building on our existing work to help develop future industry talent with the return of initiatives such as Tomorrow’s Talent, which is designed to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming meetings and events planners; The Meetings Show Next Generation and our support of the REACH Events Scholarship programme which was created to increase diversity in the events, MICE and hospitality sectors.
Strategy is hardly unique to 2023, but it will be more important than ever for MICE businesses to set themselves a directive to navigate the year ahead.
Having a clear plan and understanding how it will help you achieve your aims will save time and money, things we will need to be conscious of. Post-pandemic many businesses needed to prove the ROI of event attendance and I think that requirement will continue into 2023.
Choosing where might be best to spend our time and money doesn’t have to be too arduous a task. It could be as simple as attending one event, like The Meetings Show, where you can network with the right people, gain insight into the industry and do business under one roof.
The industry’s journey towards becoming more sustainable is nowhere near complete, but I predict that the industry will make bigger strides this year as more organisations and businesses seek out and distribute guidance to improve the industry’s carbon footprint.
The guidance available makes it much easier for event planners to make tangible changes to the way they run events and understand what they need to request from venues and suppliers. Likewise, businesses in these sectors are conscious of their responsibilities and many are already making changes. The Complete Sustainable Events Course, which has been undertaken by 100s of event professionals since we launched it in conjunction with isla in September 2021, is one such initiative which is helping the industry understand how it can make changes and which will be the catalyst for faster change.