ETF view

David Paterson, portfolio director, Exhibitions & Trade Fairs

MICE is a lucrative and growing area. To specifically help businesses in this sector, the 2018 Travel Industry Exhibition, to be held on the 21st and 22nd of this month, has a focus on both exhibitors and seminars for the sector.

Four of our key MICE exhibitors are Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ); Brisbane Marketing, which includes Brisbane Tourism Board and Brisbane Convention Bureau; Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, which have seen great uptake in conferences taken onto their ships, and Spicers Retreats.

We’ve also devoted a day of seminars to the sector (day two, August 23).

To really focus on what this sector needs, we spoke to the industry. This identified three different areas to drill down into so we’ve really developed these seminars in-line with what the sector has asked for: networking, Airbnb and social media.

Networking strategist Julia Palmer, chief executive of The Business Networking Academy, will lead our session on “The Art of Networking”. Palmer is all about the value of face-to-face interactions. Interestingly, Business Networking Academy research shows that 75% of people’s existing networks do not support the results that they need, so her inspiring interactive workshop session will be all about how you can align your networking activities with your business objectives.

Because it’s interactive, the practical delivery will help participants to increase their confidence, build a stronger reputation and consider a networking strategy aligned to their individual business outcomes.

Bond Leung, business travel lead for Airbnb across Australia and New Zealand, will talk about “Airbnb for Work”.

We all know the world of business travel is changing. More business travellers are looking for unique accommodation similar to the authentic experiences that come from their leisure travel. By using Airbnb for work, people can “get under the skin” of a city by understanding its culture, and find hidden gems through locals and just living in a neighbourhood. In this session, Bond will be talking about Airbnb for Work’s new, innovative offerings. It will also be great for travel managers and travel professionals to learn more about the Airbnb for Work dashboard that gives more visibility to the entire employee travel experience.

We’ll also have Rian Smith, who is Hootsuite’s senior key accounts and partner manager for Australia and New Zealand, presenting on “How social is transforming Australia’s travel & hospitality industry”. Rian will talk about his experience in working with Hootsuite’s largest customers across various verticals in partnering to leverage social media as a strategic advantage. Attendees can hear about his extensive client work, which has grown Hootsuite’s regional hospitality footprint extensively as they partner with some big-name clients.

The MICE space is only going to keep growing in Australia, so we think it’s vital those in the sector can dig deep and learn from the fantastic experiences of knowledge of those at the forefront.