MICE on the move

If you could pack a suitcase and commit to a year of travel – purely for work purposes – you could easily fill your calendar attending coffee tradeshows, conferences, certification events, origin, and competitions.

Australians are open to travelling across the oceans and expanding their coffee experiences, but this year’s Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) proved the global coffee scene is looking to us to enhance their knowledge of the Asia Pacific coffee culture.

MICE2017 attracted 9646 visitors, an increase of 4.7 per cent on 2016, and welcomed visitors from 41 countries, an increase of 14 per cent on 2016’s event. MICE attracted guests from as far as Nepal, Namibia, Guam, France, Myanmar, and Mexico.

“MICE is as a must-attend event on the global expo circuit. We might be a small industry in comparison to others, but our impact is huge. International travellers see the event as one of the most important in the Australasia market, a place to do business, network, and become educated on our unique Australian coffee culture – it’s also a good excuse for international guests to tack on a holiday to a country most have on their bucket list but deem too far away,” says MICE Show Director Simon Coburn.

Those who like to be organised can lock in 22 to 24 March 2018 at the Melbourne Showgrounds as the next host dates for MICE.

This year’s show saw the highest number of visitor attendance from roasters, representing more than 30 per cent of attendees, and up three per cent on the 2016 event. This was followed by café owners, senior managers, baristas, supply chain representatives, equipment manufactures, green bean traders, government associations, hospitality staff, and growers.

A survey of visitors found that the most common reason for attending MICE was to see existing suppliers, representing more than 16 per cent of visitors, closely followed by those looking for new products, seeking new equipment, to taste different coffees, compare products or suppliers, and to watch the Australian Coffee Championships.

More than 25 per cent of visitors came with the intention to obtain product information, more than 23 per cent came solely to appoint suppliers, and 23 per cent came to purchase equipment.

“MICE really does cater to everyone’s needs. From day one back in 2012 when MICE was first launched, it was established with the core purpose to be a place industry members did business,” Simon says. “Year on year, it’s growing considerably with many beneficial add-ons that increase value to our visitors, such as training certifications, hosting the Australian Coffee Championship, Australian International Coffee Awards, and Melbourne Coffee Week, but it’s always stayed true to its core objective. No matter how big it becomes, that will always be the case.”

The 2017 edition of MICE had one of its largest presence of international media with 77 registered media attendees, mostly from Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and China.

“It was incredible to host such a wide range of international media covering print, digital and social channels. Some journalists wanted an overview of the event, others followed specific baristas on the competition circuit, and some came to expose Australia’s coffee industry to countries that never knew we had such an intense coffee passion,” says Sarah Baker, BeanScene Editor and MICE Communications Manager.

More than 43 per cent of trade visitors heard about MICE via word of mouth, followed by social media and other exhibitors. Public visitors shared a similar focus, with more than 38 per cent of public attendees learning about the event via social media.

“These stats go to show that for an event such as MICE, which is incredibly visual, social media is crucial to reaching the public and encouraging them to experience our coffee world,” Sarah says.

As for trade industry, they don’t need much encouragement. Already, 80 per cent of exhibitors are locked in for MICE2018, and Show Organisers expect all floor space to be filled by the end of the year.

The lineup of roasters is already strong, with Grinders Coffee, Five Senses, Mocopan, White Mojo, Ona Coffee, White Horse Coffee, Axil Coffee, Zest Specialty Coffee Roasters, Rumble, Veneziano, Toby’s Estate and Evoke booking their positions.

“Now is the time to secure your exhibition space at the country’s biggest dedicated coffee expo,” Simon says. “Being part of the show is no longer just a way to tell the country you exist and that you’re committed to growing our Australian industry, it’s an opportunity to share your product or brand with the world, because the world is taking notice.”

Limited exhibition space is still on sale. Please get in touch with MICE organisers: 03 9690 8766 or event.organiser@primecreative.com.au.

For more information visit www.internationalcoffeeexpo.com

To purchase early-bird tickets to attend MICE2018 or buy Christmas vouchers, click here.

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