MICE Industry: What is next post COVID-19?

MICE Industry: What is next post COVID-19?

The Economic Importance for Mediterranean Countries and Cities

The MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) industry is constantly changing and so are its trends. However, it has established itself as an attractive and stable sector as, in the last few years, billions of dollars have been flowing into this industry. Forecasts indicate that, despite the less positive economic outlook, this industry remains attractive for investors looking for solid mid-term returns of their investments.

However, the COVID-19 storm has caused the cancellation of large congresses, events and fairs worldwide and therefore, it is convenient to better understand the phenomenon of events and their impact on the economy. Numerous congresses and fairs are organised around the world covering a wide variety of topics and sectors. World leaders and thousands of people, businessmen, entrepreneurs and politicians, attend important events, such as the DAVOS Forum or the MWC, among others. Although some people cast doubt on this industry, it is an essential platform for exchanges and meetings at the service of diplomacy and the economy.

It’s easy to underestimate the contribution of this industry. But governments and cities have begun to appreciate their valuable role in the economies of knowledge and innovation. It generates recognised direct benefits, such as business tourism or the promotion of local projects, which are facilitators of urban development, with the creation of new companies and jobs, and stimulate other sectors, providing identity, visibility and reputation to any city.

The leading players in the Exhibitions and MICE industry focus on providing customised solutions to consumers as their key strategies to gain a significant share in the market. So that these companies can expand their service portfolio and thus improve their industry statistics, they develop strategies such as partnership or acquisition of similar companies or related companies as travel agencies, tourism companies or event management services businesses. One of the main benefits of this trend is the improvement of the industry’s reputation, which is helping the stakeholders to better understand the economic impact that every event can create.

Of course, the most positive impact is the one this sector has on the economy. An economic impact that comprises all business sales, GDP (Gross Domestic Product), jobs, etc. Including direct, indirect and induced GDP impacts, and based on a total economic impact of $325 billion and $197.5 billion of total GDP, the global Exhibitions sector would rank as the 56th largest sector globally. It gathered annually 4.5 million exhibiting companies each year, attracting 303 million visitors, creating 3.2 million direct and indirect jobs globally and generating €68.7 ($81.1) billions of the GDP. On the other hand, the global MICE industry size was $805 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $1,439.3 billion in 2025, registering a CAGR of 7.6% from 2018 to 2025.

Exhibitions & MICE industry economic impact can be categorised in three types: direct, indirect and induced impacts. Direct impacts consist of the direct spending and jobs that are directly involved in planning and producing exhibitions, the pay-out for participants and exhibitors to travel to exhibitions, as well as another exhibition-related spending.

Indirect impacts represent downstream supplier industry impacts, also referred to as supply chain impacts. For example, the facilities at which exhibitions occur require inputs like energy and food ingredients. Also, many MICE and exhibition venues contract with specialised service providers, such as marketing, equipment upkeep, cleaning, technology support, accounting or legal and financial services.

Besides that, induced impacts occur as employees spend their wages and salaries in the broader economy. For example, when employees spend money on rent, transportation, food, beverage and entertainment.

The ‘MICE Industry:  What is next post COVID-19?’ MedaTalk focuses on analysing the global trends and opportunities in the Meetings & Business Exhibitions industry and the latest innovative and sustainable products and solutions that are driving forward the Mediterranean Event industry.

20th November 2020

15.00 - 16.30

PANEL CONFERENCE DISCUSSION: MICE Industry: Catalyst for Opportunities and Business. What is next post COVID-19?

  • Global and regional trends of the Exhibitions and MICE industry.
  • The evolution of Business Events, Exhibition and MICE in the Mediterranean region: Enhancing Capacity & Competitiveness.
  • What is next in hybrid, digital, tech, travel, lodging MICE?
  • Promoting destinations through MICE: What opportunities exist?
  • The economic importance of meetings and conferences for cities.
  • Reshaping the industry economic and social benefits: A focus on cities.
  • What are the main components of the industry’s economic impact?


Kai Hattendorf

Managing Director and CEO - UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry

Juan Puchalt

General Secretary - Spanish Trade Fairs Association

Ellie Rizk

President - Lebanese Exhibitions & Conferences Association

Hind Sidqui

Managing director - I-conferences

Ricard Zapatero

International Business Director - Fira de Barcelona

Francesc Carrio

Professor Master in Trade Fair Organisation (UAB), Former CEO Reed & Alimentaria Exhibitions

Blanca Sorigué

Managing Director of El Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona (moderator)

With the collaboration of:

Join us at the MedaTalks and get to know the new trends,
find inspiration, and most importantly: do great business!


  • B2B Networking meetings between regional and global investors and entrepreneurs from the Mediterranean arranged in a speed dating format.
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  • Support entrepreneurs and start-ups to showcase their innovative projects to investors.
  • Join our list of Mediterranean Halal Industry Forum Sponsors & Partners.
  • Encourage and register team members who are interested in innovation to attend the Forum.

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