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Exploring the Expanding Horizons of MICE Tourism in 2023

While traditional business travel is declining, MICE tourism is experiencing a real boom. Consequently, MICE travel has become an important part of the tourism industry and a non-negligible economic factor for countries and regions. Learn more about the importance of MICE tourism and which factors make your location attractive for meeting and incentive travel in the following article.

What does MICE mean?

The abbreviation MICE is a term used in the tourism industry to describe a specific type of business travel. The English term MICE means:

  • Meetings
  • Incentives
  • Conventions
  • Exhibitions

MICE tourism is traditionally business-oriented and deals with the organization of meetings, incentive travel, congresses and trade fairs – live on-site, in hybrid form or purely virtual. With almost every industry hosting events on a regular basis, these travel activities make up a large part of global business travel. Like leisure tourism, MICE tourism is a growing trend in the tourism industry.

What are the MICE components?

MICE events always aim to bring professionals together, foster contacts, promote new ideas and stimulate corporate growth. MICE stands for four event formats that are planned by companies and for which others send employees and decision-makers.


Whether internal or external to the company, business meetings can be information sessions, sales meetings, conventions, training sessions, or workshops that occur on a one-time or regular basis. Meetings can range from a small group of business executives to large shareholder meetings. The location of the meeting is usually a company headquarters, but depending on the size, business meetings can take place in other locations.


The word incentive comes from English and means incentive. Incentive trips are therefore so-called reward trips or incentive events designed to increase motivation and loyalty to the company. Companies usually sponsor incentive trips for employees, for customers and for suppliers and dealers. Incentives can range from a team-building event in a nearby climbing forest to an all-inclusive weekend trip and can be designed in many different ways.


Conventions are congresses or conferences that bring together participants who share a common interest or concern and participate in presentations and workshops that follow a set schedule. While conventions can attract hundreds to thousands of participants, conferences are geared toward a smaller group of people and usually take place over several days take place. Organizers of congresses often combine the event with an exhibitor area, so that congresses take place in larger locations such as congress centers, convention centers or in an exhibition hall. For meeting rooms, high-quality hotels or conference venues are a good choice.


Exhibitions are large-scale events such as trade fairs that attract many visitors from all over the world and usually last several days and are accompanied by an interesting lecture program. Trade fairs are industry-specific and have clearly defined target groups: on the one hand, the trade fair exhibitors who want to present their products and services and conclude new contracts. On the other hand, the trade fair visitors who are looking for new solutions and new contacts. An important aspect of trade shows is networking, so trade show organizers offer networking events for attendees at the same time. They are the best way to meet potential partners, discuss cooperations and exchange thoughts on current trends.

To better connect trade show visitors and exhibitors, event networking apps are a popular tool for organizers. Here we have summarized the 23 best event networking apps from 2023.

What role does MICE play in tourism?

Did you know that the World MICE Awards exist and that large trade fairs such as IMEX Frankfurt or EIBTM in Barcelona are exclusively dedicated to the topic of meeting and incentive travel?

MICE tourism has become increasingly important and professionalized in recent years. In addition to the German umbrella organization of the MICE industry, the GCB German Convention Bureau e. V., many independent municipal or regional convention bureaus have now also established themselves, such as the Hamburg Convention Bureau or the various municipal convention bureaus in Baden-Württemberg. Basically, it can be said that due to the economic strength as well as the density of large and medium-sized companies, the convention and event industry plays a prominent role in all German regions of the country.

While MICE tourism suffered greatly in the Corona pandemic, it now accounts for nearly 50% of all business travel. And while traditional business travel is declining year by year, MICE tourism 2023 shows a clear upward trend and is gaining in importance.

Source: Germany Travel

More and more countries and regions are investing in MICE tourism and promoting their destinations as event venues. Why? Because business travelers generally spend more money than leisure travelers. That’s because companies cover a large portion of the costs. For example, the Business 2022 travel analysis indicates that spending on a business trip averages 484 euros, while spending on a private trip averages 126 euros.

What makes a city attractive for MICE tourism?

Berlin, Hamburg, Munich – these three cities have already made it and are the top German locations for congresses, trade fairs and events. This pleases the cities and the event industry, the hotel industry and gastronomy on site. Can you learn from these cities and what factors make a city attractive for MICE tourism? In the following, we summarize which factors are important when deciding on an event location.

Source: Travel Analysis Business 2022

The location

The attractiveness of the location is crucial. Is it special and different from the usual venues? Is it well connected? Is it modern and equipped with a contemporary meeting infrastructure?

(flexible room concepts, modern technical and media equipment)? Is it possibly located near important companies or industry clusters or in a tourist destination?

Good accessibility by car and train

To make a location attractive for MICE tourism, good accessibility by car as well as by public transport is crucial.

60 percent of respondents to the Reise-Analyse Business survey said they arrive by car, 31 percent by train. If the events are international, good connections with flights are also important.

Proximity to companies or industry clusters

If there are important and large companies or industries in your city, it is per se an attractive location for MICE tourism. This is because these companies will invite business partners, plan seminars and hold events. This argument is reinforced because proximity to the company’s location is one of the most important criteria for deciding on an event location.

Very good hotel offer

Statistically, the largest budget of a business trip is spent on accommodation. Most of the business travelers surveyed stay in 4-star hotels in cities (48%), followed by 3-star hotels (28%) and 5-star hotels (11%). Since comfort and exclusivity play a major role in MICE travel and companies are willing to spend more money on a business trip, a city should be able to offer a first-class range of hotels, from inns to 5-star hotels.

Sufficient hotel rooms

During a congress or a trade fair, the hotels in large cities are often fully occupied. This is because hundreds to thousands of people flock to the city and usually book multiple nights. You should have sufficient hotel capacity for all types of events, as well as large hotels that can accommodate many meeting or convention guests at the same time.

Varied gastronomic offer

Since catering and gastronomy also play a major role in MICE events, a good catering economy is also crucial. Whether for a working lunch, to invite business partners or a meeting with restaurant visits – the physical well-being is the second largest cost item in MICE travel after the overnight stay.

Tourist attractiveness

If your city is attractive to tourists, event organizers are more likely to choose your location. This component plays a very important role for 13 percent of respondents, and an important role for 29 percent. If you want to drive MICE tourism in your city, also highlight your attractions.


Did you know that sustainability is more important in business travel – compared to vacation travel? Compared to the 2021 Travel Analysis Business, the role of sustainability as a decision maker has increased significantly. Thirty percent of respondents said that sustainability – among other things – was a consideration when designing their trip, and for 17 percent, the sustainability aspect even tipped the scales when deciding between equivalent offerings. Sustainability guidelines at MICE events, good public transport connections and sustainability labels for accommodation have become a non-negligible part of MICE tourism.

Attractive social programs

What else does your city have to offer besides a suitable location for MICE travel and good hotels and restaurants? Is it possible to book special events or activities? What are the possibilities for team events or moments that provide luxury and relaxation?

Image marketing for MICE tourism

It is important that your attractive offers for business travelers are also found, which is why locations must be findable on websites of cities and regions. Whether on the city tourism page, on search pages for event locations or on the congress or trade fair page. Make your locations and your offer for MICE tourism known on the net

An eye for future trends

The top city for events and MICE tourism is leading the way. Berlin has introduced a MICE Summit, which takes place annually to debate the challenges and future trends of the MICE industry. In this way, Berlin’s event industry ensures that new and innovative concepts are developed, even in times of change.

Converve – Your partner for MICE events

Are you looking for a professional partner for your next event? With Converve, you have an expert on your side to help you digitize your event. Our event platform is suitable for on-site events as well as hybrid or purely virtual events and is 100 percent customizable to your needs. From registration, website & platform to networking, we help you create a unique platform exactly tailored to your specific needs. Contact us now and we’ll be happy to advise you