Introduction to MICE

Over recent years, the amount of luxury hotels popping up in one, two and three tier cities has exploded to try and keep up with the seemingly insatiable hunger that Chinese-based companies have for MICE. But what is MICE and how has it become such an integral part of the Chinese hospitality business?
This inconsistently used acronym is often bandied about without anyone really knowing what it means. An acronym for ‘Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions’, MICE is an open-ended buzzword for corporate hospitality. 

China’s MICE industry is expected to become the largest industry of its type in the world over the next couple of years. Combining a rich cultural heritage and a rapidly growing economy, China has everything needed to be a great MICE destination.
Meetings represent the most often used aspect of MICE hospitality. Primarily an office getaway that focuses less on the activities available and more on the potential for solving issues, meetings are an integral part of running a company anywhere in the world. Held extensively in hotels, large meetings, much like the other three aspects of MICE, represent a sizable portion of the hotel industry’s revenue.
Do your employees need some inspiration? Is your office morale down in the dumps? If so, then the incentives aspect of MICE is what you need to look at. Often used as a perk to either balance a lower than average salary or to reward good performance, incentive tourism is an incredibly broad term. Unlike the other aspects of MICE, incentives are more often than not unrelated to work and conducted for purely entertainment reasons. With various options available, from paintball to ropes retreats, the sky is the limit when it comes to incentives.
Great things happen when great people get together – at least that’s the idea behind conferencing. Increasingly important in the business world, conferences allow all the best and brightest in a particular field to meet in one place and discuss the issues that face their particular industry. Although not specifically limited in time, conferences usually last a few days and are designed to accomplish specific objectives in the agenda.
Occasionally used to represent events, the E in MICE more commonly refers to exhibitions. Coming in all shapes and sizes from the massive Canton Fair and the even bigger 2010 World Expo held in Shanghai, exhibitions represent a major part of the MICE industry. Designed to showcase a variety of products or services, exhibitions allow companies to exhibit their wares and make new business connections. This is particularly important in China where face-to-face meetings and guanxi development are integral to a successful venture.