The Melbourne International Coffee Expo will make its return in May 2024, and introduce the country to some of the world’s leading products and innovations.
The key to longevity in the global events space, is the ability to evolve and remain relevant to the market. It’s for this reason the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) has become a veteran expo of the Australian coffee community, and remains committed to its core purpose of connecting buyers and sellers of the coffee industry in the one space annually.
“We put plenty of emphasis on this purpose,” says MICE Show Director Lauren Chartres. “We hope that anyone who walks through the MICE doors can make meaningful connections that can lead to greater opportunities.”
Over the years, these connections have led to long-term partnerships, career opportunities, and have helped grow a product, service or business.
“MICE is more than just an expo. It serves as a platform to unite the coffee community. It’s a place to share international machine releases, a one-stop- shop for cafés to connect with the right roaster to represent their brand, and a chance to show the global coffee community that Australia is a place of innovation and inspiration for world trends and standards,” Lauren says.
She adds that the fact that MICE celebrated its 10th edition in August is an indication of its relevance to the market. “Reaching 10 years shows just how important MICE is to our industry,” she says. “We’re so proud of what the expo has accomplish over this time.”
The 2023 edition attracted 10,218 attendees across the three days of the show, with visitors travelling from 56 countries.
“We were thrilled with this level of attendance, especially following the World Barista Championships the year before,” Lauren says.
Looking ahead at the 2024 event, taking place from 12 to 14 May, Lauren says MICE will remain committed to its values of connecting the coffee industry through the delivery of promotion, purpose, and product.
It plans on introducing new concepts and ideas that will continue its relevance in the coffee market, including the addition of panel discussions, which will see industry leaders present on a range of relevant topics around innovation, market challenges, industry longevity, sustainability, and practical themes dedicated to café operations.
“MICE is a platform for the Australian coffee community to unite, but it should also be a place to gain education, better understand information and topics that can support and grow a business, and inspire an individual’s career within the coffee industry,” Lauren says.
“Knowledge is so valuable, and sharing it is key to the next phase of growth.”
While the events team continues to evaluate and reinvigorate key aspects of the expo, retaining the DNA of MICE is also important.
That’s why the Product Innovation Awards will also make its return, which aims to recognise the top innovations among the expo’s exhibitors. New categories will be celebrated including ancillary electrical equipment, coffee preparation equipment, and coffee accessories.
“It’s always great to see the very best of innovation on the Australian stage,” Lauren says.
“We need to ensure these awards remain relevant to the industry, and that pertains evolving the categories to be in line with what the industry values. We know much value roasters place on the packaging and design of their products, as well as the importance of equipment in all of its forms. The new additions should welcome a new audience to the awards that we haven’t represented before, which is an exciting prospect for our 2024 event.”
The awards are open to companies from around the world who choose to exhibit with MICE2024.
“It’s a really good opportunity for businesses with a new product to showcase themselves to an Australasian audience,” she says.
This also allows for Australian businesses to witness some of the best innovations from around the world without having to leave home soil.
Australia’s Richest Barista competition, which made its debut during the 2023 edition of MICE, will also return for a second year.
“We were very impressed with how the competition went,” Lauren says.
“The competitors liked the fact that it was more of a casual competition that explored the different trades of being a barista.”
Rawirat Techasitthanet, also known as Jibbi Little (see page 17), won the inaugural competition, and walked away with the $25,000.
Lauren says registration for Australia’s Richest Barista competition is open for anyone, both domestic and international, who is looking to take her crown.
“We’re looking to develop the competition even further next year, so we’re hopeful more baristas will register from around the world to take part,” she says.
Continuing its annual tradition, Milklab will also return as MICE Platinum Sponsor in 2024.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with MICE again in 2024 to continue to build the Milklab brand and collaborate further with the industry,” says Milklab Marketing Manager Natalie Latimore.
“MICE has been an invaluable partner for building Milklab with coffee industry over the past eight years. It is the perfect platform for us to showcase our range of barista milks while facilitating important conversations with prospective and current customers.”
Lauren adds that plenty more exciting features are still to be announced for 2024, and that attendees and exhibitors should keep their eyes peeled for new information.
“We’ve got plenty of fun giveaways and competitions that you won’t find anywhere else,” Lauren says.
Registration to exhibit at MICE2024 is open and available via the exhibition’s website, with companies across Australia, and abroad, invited to attend.
“We can’t wait for next year’s expo. It’s the place to be for the Australian and Asia Pacific coffee industry,” Lauren says.
“For those who have exhibited before, consider the importance of supporting the industry, and the responsibility we have to evolve the industry together.
“For those new to the world of events, consider the value of being in front of your target audience, and how your presence can go a long way in contributing to the overall growth of your business. MICE is our collective industry event, and it’s up to us to show the Australian market, and the world, why it is a dedicated coffee industry event of the highest level.”
For tickets or to become an exhibitor at MICE2023, visit internationalcoffeeexpo.com
This article appears in the December 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.