GERMANY – A successful start for the MICE Club in Cologne
“We wanted to demonstrate that business events function very well in our wonderful industry, but only if we are willing to say goodbye to the older, less engaging formats. After the debut, we are happy to report that we managed to achieve this, and that the MICE Club came across extremely well with all the participants. Now it is time to evaluate the experiences and feedback from the debut and continue to develop the concept”, says Dominik Deubner. The initiator of the MICE Club wanted to create a novel platform for the Meetings, Incentives, Congresses & Events (MICE) industry and encourage sustainable dialogue on common trends, opportunities and visions in order to offer measurable added value to participants.
The renowned Swiss branding expert Rolf Gruber confirms that this has been achieved: “The MICE Club has created an atmosphere for dialogue that I have never experienced before. The focus was entirely on the participants and their specific business expectations. This is the future of meeting architecture! Moreover, it was quite apparent that the event attracted a high-calibre audience in Cologne. Without exaggerating, I can say that the MICE Club was a meeting of the Premier League”.
Overall, 90 suppliers and event planners from all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland got together for this groundbreaking educational format. Already on the first day, the unconventional introduction round in the MICE Club Arena proved its ability to encourage dialogue. The participants arrived in Cologne with high expectations and specific goals and after two intensive days, the majority agreed that the MICE Club was not only a very inspiring knowledge platform with valuable content and a noticeably positive atmosphere, but that it had also brought measurable benefits as a networking event for their own businesses.
The MICE Club offered a programme with high-calibre content. Among many highlights was the keynote speech on the art of brand positioning by Rolf Gruber and a theme cloud on deceleration by Willem Stortelder, co-founder of the communications think tank “21 Lobster Street“. Mike van der Vijver excelled as moderator. The Dutch coach and author of the bestseller “Into the Heart of Meetings“ led and motivated participants confidently over the two days – with expert help from media partners Urs Seiler, Chief Editor of the Swiss magazine EXPODATA, and Hans Jürgen Heinrich, Chief Editor of the German magazine Events.
The new event format is based on an extraordinary meeting architecture conceived by Oliver Malat: “Our aim was not only to activate the participants in terms of communication, but also to create a hybrid structure which allows us to identify the individual isnterests of the participants and immediately integrate them”, explains the Creative Director who – partly in collaboration with Mike van der Vijver – developed the concept behind the MICE Club.
A primary foundation block of the MICE Club concept was active involvement by the participants. They were invited to help shape and evaluate the proposed content and tools themselves. Thus, for example, two different networking and matchmaking methods were tried out in the MICE Labs. While a highly structured and question-led variant met with great approval by the participants, a more open, random-led version was less positively judged.
The entire meeting architecture was supported by the specially developed MICE Club App. This not only facilitated general networking, but was also designed to steer working groups and organise matchmaking during the entire event. The innovative tool works hand in hand with the MICE Club’s online portal, which provides the industry with a regularly updated magazine featuring daily industry news, industry events, opinion leader articles and a comprehensive supplier directory with an innovative search mechanism. In a password protected Club Area, MICE Club members can also find valuable functions, including an industry-specific contact network, planning tools for their daily work, interesting added value tools, such as a cost-neutral initial legal assessment by a specialist law firm, and free subscriptions to leading journals. Participants at MICE Club events automatically become members for a year.
Interested parties who were not at the debut in Cologne can register directly at www.mice-club.com.