An overflowing pot of business wisdom. That’s exactly what the recently concluded Global MICE Summit 2019 (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences & Exhibitions) symbolized. Once again, industry players and stakeholders in the Meetings and Business Industry congregated to discuss and exchange ideas on matters pertaining to event trade. The three-day summit held at the Trademark Hotel, Nairobi, brought together delegates from around the world who took their time to extensively masticate on a multitude of issues that would bring progress in the industry.
Speaker after speaker and panel after panel took to the stage, each dissecting an area of specialization. From technology, branding, women in business and so forth, no stone was left unturned at the Global MICE Summit 2019. Exciting, new trends such as virtual reality and augmented reality through which consumers are given the opportunity to tap into experiences beforehand were displayed in a presentation.
Through virtual reality, event organizers can be able to
make a stronger pitch for jobs. They can give consumers a tour of their setups,
convention centres or cities to give them a feel of what to expect once they
get there. Consumers can move around the setting in a virtual world, and even
attend M.I.C.E events in some cases. Augmented reality also empowers the
consumers by immersing them into the experience. The use of these new
technologies in the industry was encouraged at the Global MICE Summit 2019.
Technology can enhance events and experiences and make consumers enjoy more.
Better data management systems are needed to prevent loss of data and safeguard
industry players. There’s also a need to educate the market on how to use
technology to an advantage.
Notwithstanding technology’s crucial role in M.I.C.E, the
importance of human capital was not overlooked. In the event industry, people
make the business happen. Without people, you cannot operate technology.
Therefore, people play a central role in any business venture. They are the
engine. Their creativity and intelligence joins with technology to bring about
success. That is why, as it was repeadly emphasized, our plans towards events
should not be short-sighted. As we move into the future, event business should
be viewed as a pan-African affair. And we must focus on an African and global
market. How we package our destinations will determine our success or failure.
Many such issues were discussed at the Global MICE Summit 2019. The bottom line
was: we are the story that we sell.
On the second day of the Global MICE Summit 2019, the
inaugural Africa MICE Awards were held in which Versatile Photographers, won
the Photography Solution of the year award. Surely, excellence doesn’t go
unrewarded. The award is an evident manifestation of the exemplary service that
we offer our customers. Our professionalism is unprecedented. Our desire to
outperform the expectations of clients is our main driving force. As I
highlighted in my speech at the panel the next day, we have to package our
products in such a way that sells our brand not only in the country or in the
continent, but also in a global market. When we package our products in a
noticeable way, deliver on time, have integrity and consistency, success
In my words, “we live in a small village in a global
market.” This is the reason why we should put our product in that global
market; package it in a way that it attracts international attention. When
former US president Barrack Obama contracted Versatile Photographers to cover
his Kenyan tour in 2015, it was because he had seen something unique and viable
in our professionalism as a photography company. It is up to us as
entrepreneurs to ensure that our businesses are not only meant to bring profit,
but most importantly, the quality of what we do must meet international
standards. This opens the door to learning. We have to be open to learn.
Research, as I mentioned at the Global MICE Summit 2019, is crucial in
business. In order to reach a global market and become noticeable in an
expansive world with numerous first-rate companies, we have to be best at what
we do. That flings us into a competitive space which we cannot navigate unless
we arm ourselves with knowledge and information.
The technology we use must be up to date. In addition to this, we should embrace the opportunities that are there to collaborate as Africans in business. Destination Africa is very attractive but this can only be demonstrated by how we sell ourselves in a global market. For instance, in an observation I made at the Global Mice Summit 2019, Versatile Photographers has exposed a potential market for investors in Marsabit through desert safaris. This kind of destination branding initiatives can and will go a long way in bringing business to the continent. Last but not least, networking is crucial. Collaboration also means that we should do business with each other in order to empower ourselves. Let us take advantage of meetings because, as I said: “the person seated next to you has a solution to your problem.”