MICE reveals its 2025 vision


MICE embarks on a new era, promising a strong brand identity, more diverse audience, and educational value to build the event Australia deserves.

Like all good events, evolution is key to future success and market longevity.

In the case of MICE, it’s about maintaining a commitment to creating the best show possible: having the most engaged audience, embracing the best exhibitors, and generating valuable leads as one of Australasia’s superior coffee tradeshows.

It’s for this reason that MICE is entering a new decade with a focus on positioning the much-loved event as one of the largest and most relevant coffee-dedicated in the Southern Hemisphere.

“MICE has long been a place to do business between buyers and sellers under one roof, and that will always remain, but this year we want to put the focus back on our audience – baristas and café owners – and support them beyond offering free coffee. We want our audience to come to MICE for an educational experience and leave with valuable insights and knowledge to support their businesses,” says MICE Show Director Lauren Chartres.

As such, this year’s MICE will include a Café Owners Education Series to engage café owners on key topics and issues impacting the local market, and their ability to thrive and survive moving forward.

MICE will also host a Global Coffee Report breakfast to add educational value for attending roasters. It will target global issues and their potential impact on the Australian coffee industry.

“We may be an island destination, but Australia’s coffee industry is not immune to global challenges. There is an immediate flow-on effect and quite often consequences that filter down to roasters, café operators, and even consumers. It’s important to address the current status of topics that are fuelling industry change, and learn more about if, what, and how they will shape the Australian market,” says Sarah Baker, Global Coffee Report Managing Editor and Symposium Moderator.

From 2025, MICE will make a permanent move to March, in order to cement itself in a fixed position on the global events calendar, and be recognised as the country’s annual go-to event. Show Director Lauren says, like all renowned international shows, consistency in scheduling is key to local and overseas participation.

“MICE was initially positioned early in the year until events such as COVID-19, hosting the World Barista Championship, and consequent scheduling backlog post- pandemic pushed the Expo further in the year,” she says.

Image: Prime Creative Media

“We know this is not sustainable for exhibitors, therefore MICE will return to its designated position after World of Coffee Dubai in January, and before the Specialty Coffee Expo in the United States in April. MICE will become synonymous with March once again, and we’re excited for how this will positively impact international visitors wanting to travel Down Under and make the most of business opportunities in the Asia Pacific.”

Over the years, questions of holding the event interstate and biannually have been discussed and genuinely considered, but beyond flexible exhibitor requirements, Lauren says it’s important to refocus on audience needs.

“We know it’s a challenging economic market for exhibitors, which is why we’re grateful for their ongoing support and that they see the value and purpose of MICE. But it’s also important to reflect and refocus on consumer needs and what they want, which is what drives this event to exist,” Lauren says.

“Can your customers afford to wait two years to see the latest in innovation and product development? Many can’t wait to do business biannually, or make a purchasing decision on the best roaster or most suitable coffee machine for their business. They need to know there’s an annual event that gathers the most important industry players and businesses to network and unite under the one roof. This is direct feedback from the audience, and feedback we need to have at the forefront of our decision-making.”

In addition, Lauren says MICE is designed to make business decisions easier. Rather than having sales reps on the road for three months seeking out new business, exhibiting at MICE and connecting with key customers is more time efficient, and ensures leads and decisions are made quickly.

“MICE is the one annual gathering where business is done. Exhibitors have a unique platform to convey their message, product, and service to their audience. At the other end of the chain, business owners can make all their purchasing decisions and necessary connections in the one place,” Lauren says. “It’s about making smart choices, and taking the time to be at MICE is one of those.”

Going forward, MICE exhibitors will appreciate a reframed audience that will broaden opportunities and industry connections across the foodservice sector.

“For so long, MICE has been positioned as an event that’s relevant to the café industry, and more directly, café owners. While this audience will always remain, we want to target and expand the clientele to embrace a broader foodservice audience. We want to invite key decision makers from across all hospitality sectors to make a complete demographic,” says MICE General Manager Siobhan Rocks.

Image: Prime Creative Media

“Coffee is at the heart of hospitality, and in today’s market, is an important consideration to venues that go beyond the suburban coffee shop. Think hotels, high-end restaurants, architecture firms, petrol stations, and quick-service restaurants. These new avenues of connection are in the business for coffee solutions, and in a country that values its high standards of coffee output, it is an evolving demographic we need to pay attention too.”

Siobhan adds that a well-made coffee has the potential to increase revenue for any business, with a repeat customer easily turning into a loyal one.

For many restaurants and hotels, it’s also about ensuring the overall offering is complemented by coffee service, so that the last impression customers have is as good as their first.

To help drive this vision, MICE will look to connect with governments, chambers of commerce, and agencies such as Austrade, to give exhibitors more exposure than ever before.

“MICE is more than Melbourne. It encompasses all of Australia and should therefore be respected as a national event with international recognition,” Siobhan says.

Event owner Prime Creative Media has committed to bringing in expertise from leading events to drive the future vision of MICE. As such, Siobhan joined MICE in 2024 to lead its redevelopment. She is an experienced events executive, having spent many years in senior roles at Diversified Communications. She has experience managing Fine Food Australia, Foodpro, Naturally Good, and FoodTech.

One aspect Siobhan has admired from the outside looking in is the sense of community and camaraderie within the coffee industry, and the renowned reputation the industry has as innovators and influences on the national and international stage.

“MICE is unique. It has its own DNA, character, and identity in the market, which it has retained for the past 12 years, along with the show’s relocation from its former site at the Melbourne Showgrounds to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre,” Siobhan says.

“It’s important this DNA is never forgotten, but only enhanced as the show makes its mark as a superior and established coffee expo in Australia, and on the international stage. The world’s eyes are watching closely, and we want to ensure our reputation remains as the country’s resident coffee show and an international hub for the global coffee industry.”

To ensure MICE continues to serve the industry, Prime Creative Media has established an advisory board to give its most valued customers a voice in the future of the Expo.

“This is the beginning of MICE’s evolution,” Siobhan says. “I am committed to seeing this event flourish into the event Australia’s coffee community deserves. MICE should be the centrepiece of your exhibition strategy for 2025, and beyond. We are committed to preserving MICE’s past and embracing MICE’s present activation, and invite you to be part of its future. Let’s ignite MICE magic together, and make this expo an event you truly can’t do business without.”

For more information, visit internationalcoffeeexpo.com

This article appears in the 2024 MICE Showguide. Read more HERE.

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