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25 JAN-FEB 2020 MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS MCMAG-ASIA.COM to the respective host destinations and its immediate communities. TECHNOLOGICAL LEAP The coming decade will see a quantum leap in technological advancements that will aect every aspect of our lives. And the MICE industry, as proven in recent years, is not immune to digital disruptions. The rise of Articial Intelligence technology, supported by a 5G network, the use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, and a plethora of super-apps available in the market will change the way people travel, meet, and consume content. Space travel is no longer a far-fetched idea. Billionaire tech entrepreneurs Je Bezos (Amazon), Elon Musk (Tesla) and Richard Branson (Virgin) are currently locked in a race to send private citizens to space. If all goes to plan, the rst MICE event being held in space may well happen this decade. With such seismic changes imminent on the technological landscape, planners and suppliers who do not keep up with the times will be left rmly behind. EVENT SPACES There is a continuous need for more versatile and unconventional event spaces. With competition getting keener than ever, MICE industry players need to nd even more ways to oer greater exibility of meeting spaces within their venues. And the diverse genre of events mean multi-purpose is the key driver of event spaces. Venues must be able to cater to events as diverse as tradeshows, banquets, break-outs, and team- building, and all supported by the latest technology to reach the key objective of business events: seamless interpersonal connections. The growing demand for unique meeting experiences also means these spaces need not be within the connes of four walls. Breaking away from the tried-and-tested will give you an edge over others. MEETING EXPERIENCE Let truth be told: Meetings and conventions are no longer straightforward business events. Participants are looking beyond being holed up in a venue, with just a lunch buet and a couple of coee breaks as respite. They are increasingly demanding for more personalisation and authentic experiences beyond the meeting rooms. Ditto incentive houses who want curated itineraries. MICE planners and suppliers are now expected to oer unique concepts and enhanced services to have a chance of being successful. NEW MARKETS, NEW EVENT MIX Most stakeholders in the MICE industry have recognised the shifts and are ramping up business events oerings to meet the growing demands. As pointed out by Martin Sirk, the former CEO of ICCA, to rise above the competition, any venue, destination or PCO strategic planner should be thinking about the mix of their future business events. Do they have a good mix of types of business, including the most resilient of clients, international association congresses? Have they built up events that they themselves organise and control, or do they have long-term partnerships with independent organisers rather than supplier-client relations? Is there a good mix of local, national, regional and global events? These are the key challenges that abound in the MICE industry this decade. Having answers to some of these questions would prepare you for the challenges ahead. Read on as our industry experts share how you can be ready to succeed in 2020. CREDIT: NATTAKORN MANEERAT/GETTY IMAGES

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